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."