Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Old age is not a disease – it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses. Maggie Kuhn
Sometimes things happen that make us realize the power of words. Yesterday I got a manicure and pedicure. I chose to have an accent nail on each hand and foot. The manicurist did a fabulous job, and I was totally happy with the result until my daughter called my accent nails “ghetto nails.” All of a sudden I didn’t like it so much. Nothing changed but my perception.
Do we realize how little things, change how we perceive situations or people.? Do we need to be careful we don’t let our perceptions interfere with our life? Yesterday we were talking about going to the doctor for a checkup. I said, “I don’t want to go looking for a problem?”
Am I being irresponsible? When we don’t want the drugs that drug companies and doctors say we need are we being contrary? Is preventive medicine a way to get more people to become patients, or are we actually preventing disease? Once a doctor has said we are pre-whatever, we can’t un-know that, and we are likely to go along with a prescription that will prevent a reality we don’t want, from coming true. How can we say no to a drug which might prevent a problem we don’t yet have?
What are we to do when we are confronted with preventative medicine that entails taking drugs for the rest of our life, for a problem we don’t yet have? The United States is 4% of the world population but they account for 42% of global prescription drug spending, Are all these drugs making them healthier?
Do the drugs advertised in Direct to Consumer ads (DTC) increase our health care costs? Are normal bodily functions medicalized and stigmatized by prescription ads.? Is someone getting richer, are we any healthier?
The fear of being put on pain meds that would lead to a problem has made it so when I have been in pain, I waited to see if I really needed to see a doctor because I thought a drug habit was a worse result than short term debilitating pain. Am I just paranoid?
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire
Health care is a great thing, but we will have to be careful we aren’t allowing ourselves to be exploited by drug companies looking for ever bigger profits by creating ever more diseases they have a drug to cure.
Just like the use of “ghetto nail” instead of “accent nail” made me like my manicure less. Being told we are pre-disease instead of healthy may make us think about our self differently. What is the difference between pre-disease and healthy?
There are a few diseases where “pre-disease” may be a thing, precancerous lesions, increased intraocular pressure (pre-glaucoma), pre-diabetes, and pre-hypertension. These “pre-disease” states are causing a lot of problems and extra costs to our health care system. Are the treatments of these “pre-disease” conditions doing anything for our health?
What is a normal person to do? Do we look for “pre-disease” states and take the drugs prescribed? Do we try and live as healthily as we can without looking for diseases until they actually are present in our life?
For me, I think I am choosing not to look for problems I don’t have. When a problem presents itself, first I look to my diet. If diet and exercise can’t fix things then a doctor may be needed. My goal is to stay off the patient treadmill. I understand it can be hard to get a un-diagnosis if we feel we have been overdiagnosed. Of course, this makes sense, would you want to stake your reputation and career on saying you didn’t see a problem someone else has diagnosed?
All of this overdiagnosis may lead to underdiagnosis as those of us afraid of being overdiagnosed stay away from doctor’s altogether. What a conundrum?
Obesity is awesome from a Wall Street perspective. It’s not just one disease – there are all sorts of related diseases to profit from. Anne Wojcicki
Physical activity – even if you don’t lose an ounce, you’ll live longer, feel healthier and be less likely to get cancer, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. It’s the closest thing we have to a wonder drug. Tom Frieden
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