Monday, October 19, 2009

My Health Care Solution

One of the biggest problems with my current health care plan is me.

As the the debate about health care in this country has intensified, much of my attention has been focused on questions of availability and affordability. It's an intensely personal issue, of course, and not just for me, but as such, the question of responsibility requires more attention than I've been allowing.

This realization might have come sooner if I had been better patient over the years. But, because my interactions with my doctor were so infrequent, I never took my role seriously. Like most people, I thought the responsibility for health care was the doctor's; I am supposed to stay as healthy as I can, but when something goes wrong, it's up to the doctor to fix it.

Well, as I get older, I realize quite naturally that something is always going wrong, and if I wait for or rely on the doctor to fix it, I will be disappointed. And, that's exactly what has happened to me over the years. I've never been happy with my health care because I've never taken the proper responsibility for it.

This is more than just 'eating right, exercising and staying healthy'. This means that when I do go to the doctor, I have to go for a specific reason and I have to prepare for the the visit. In the past, I've never actually gotten ready for an appointment, in the sense of organizing my thoughts, planning my questions and getting ready for what I know will be an all-too-brief encounter with the doctor.

This is not just a disservice to the doctor, but it undermines my intent to remain healthy by not taking my part in the interaction seriously. If I don't approach it with a desire to help him, how can I reasonably expect him to provide me with anything but the most superficial kind of care?

So, I began the process of taking control of my health care by changing doctors. It didn't take a lot of effort, but it did take a new determination. I went in with a new attitude, and told him so at the outset. I told him that I was willing to work harder to stay healthy if I could be assured of having someone who would work with me, instead of just for me.

The result has been a much better outlook for my health. I don't have any serious problems other than my migraines at the moment, but in the long run, I know I'm going to need a professional on my side. I'll need someone who trusts me to bring him as much information as I can. I'll need to make the best use of our time together by coming in prepared to get right to the issue at hand, and ask the questions that I want answered.

I know I should have been doing this all along, but as it fades, the arrogance of youth no longer prevents me from admitting that if I want seriously good health care, it's up to me from here on out.


d2 said...

Excellent thinking.

bc said...

Yes, good thinking...but don't forget to "eat right, excercise and stay healthy!"