Friday, March 28, 2014

A source of refuge?

Everyone who enters a healthcare setting is there because of hope and fear.

The 52yo male with high blood pressure.
The 46yo female with Type 2 Diabetes.
The 27yo male with generalized anxiety disorder.
The 4yo female with a nasty cough and an earache.

The are looking to get rid of the pain or discomfort.  They are hoping to feel better.  They don't know what their future holds and they are afraid of untimely death or medical complications.  The process of aging, sickness and death affects us all and it is a lot to handle.

So we ask the doctor, the pharmacist, the nurse or dietician to help us.  And they want to help.

So we give you a medication, set out some treatment goals that have been statistically proven to reduce your long term risk (even as those goals change every couple of years), and we enforce regular follow up and examination.

But we aren't in the business of curing things.

We can get rid of certain infections, cure your kids pink eye (if its bacterial).  We can remove certain tumors and benign growths, but we don't cure much of anything.

We can't even cure acid reflux (but here is a Prilosec).  Funny isn't it, how easy it is to direct you to a pill instead of doing the hard work of recommending a change in your diet and lifestyle and following up on that change.  What if a doctor's first words weren't as simple as take this?

So people come to us, looking for health, to feel better and to remove the fear of death and the unknown.  We give them a pill.  A subscription prescription for health.   A placebo would not be a moral treatment, but placebo or active medication the cure rate would remain the same.  Zero. 

That is because the cure lies in you.  If there is a cure at all. 

It is your choices, your decisions and actions.  It took a long while to get where you are, and it won't reverse over night.  But if you care about your health, your well being and happines, then you need to take responsibility for it. 

Do you turn the keys to your health, well being and happiness over to others?
Or do you own it?  Take the keys.  In the meantime, we are still here to help you manage your symptoms and reduce your long term risk while you make those changes. 

That is what we should be here for- helping you in the pursuit of your own health and well being.  Empowering you, providing the support and filling in the knowledge gaps. 

This is about our healthcare system, but it also applies to our work, religion, happiness- everything.

Take the keys. 

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