Health (S)care

Isn’t it interesting how you can change the entire meaning of a phrase with the letter "S." For my concerned friends and relatives: I am not sick and nothing has happened to me. My move to Pittsburgh necessitated my finding new doctors. I don’t like doctors; I like hospitals even less. From past experience I know that a doctor’s visit frequently involved me in some activity I did not like. So I try to stay out of doctors’ offices as much as possible. However, I feel strongly that I should have a doctor, just in case.

So Steve got me a recommendation from one of his colleagues and I went to see a doctor. We had a nice talk and he told me to get a lot of tests. I had to have some of these for my cataract surgery, and the doctor ordered a few others, including an echo cardiogram, which I took on Monday. That’s what scared me. I don’t have the results of the test; I won’t know them until I return to the doctor next Monday. Just taking the test frightened me. What if they had found something terrible and rushed me right into the hospital? It’s happened to other people.

I am generally healthy, and for the most part, not much ever happens to me. I eat more or less properly, if a little too much, I exercise, I don’t have high blood pressure or diabetes. I have high cholesterol, but very good HDL’s. I worry about this, but not enough to begin taking statins. So why do I worry? I’m not generally a worrier.

I have come to realize that we are a society that lives in fear. If the government isn’t making us worry about terrorists, then the drug companies are making us worry about various drug-curable (?) aspects of our health.  One of the doctors I stopped seeing in New Jersey gave me a number of long spiels about the strokes I could get from my high cholesterol. I have to assume the drug companies did a real number on her.
I marvel that drug advertising can be effective when I listen to the recitals of side effects. But I’m also certain that anyone with a touch of hypochondria probably gets most of the ailments described. In spite of the fact that the side effects keep me from taking any of the drugs, I guess the advertising finally got to me.

BTW, if you are interested in the quality of health care in our wonderful, advanced society read the story about a Rand study which rates the effectiveness or our health care system at about 55%. It seems it doesn’t matter whether you are black, white, rich or poor, your chances of getting good care are about 50-50.  "Everyone is at equal risk for poor quality of care."

2 thoughts on “Health (S)care

  1. I thought I would have a good relationship with this new doctor; he wasn’t pushing an meds. But I found out today he is leaving Pittsburgh. Now I’ll have to start all over again, but not for six months.

  2. I would certainly agree that a climate of fear exists in this country. I believe that fear has been deliberately cultivated because it suits the purposes of those who do so. The tragic aspect for all of us is that so many people accept that state without questioning.
    With regard to another of your posts, I do hope you find Shirley Sun, or she finds you.
    As her English improves, perhaps you could learn more of her stories.
    I worked for a short time as a Volunteer for Vital English. Most rewarding.
    I don’t feel the anxiety you, apparently, do re my medical status though there are issues to address. Believe that is partly because of the Dr.-patient relationship I enjoy.
    When my physician of many years suddenly expired a few years ago, I was faced with finding a new one. Took time for me to establish the type connection I desire, where he knows I take some responsibility for knowing about my medical needs, etc. Since I have been proven to be correct in choices contrary to his recommendations on occasion, he has come to respect my judgement. I respect his judgement, too, on numerous issues.
    Hopefully, since I deliberately selected a Dr. some years younger than I am (of course, that isn’t too hard, any more!) he will be the last GP I will have need for in my lifetime.
    I want a Dr. who knows me while I am still an active vital person, so that should I ever become otherwise his necessary treatments will reflect what he personally knows to be the person I am.
    So, I hope over time you are able to establish a similar relationship with your new physician. I’ve had to change doctors just enough times over the years to know it’s always an adjustment. Have only had to correct, by going to a different Dr., on two occasions — very important you feel comfortable. You and Dr. are a team to keep you as healthy as possible.

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