“American is straight-jacketed in western-empirical medicine doctrines, summed up, quite unspectacularly as: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We eat poorly, don’t exercise, make bad choices and only when we have a heart attack or other significant medical event do we seek professional help. This leads to a lifetime of decline in one’s health, energy and vitality with no pro-active efforts towards maintaining health, increasing longevity, making decisions that will have positive repercussions in the long term.
Only when the symptoms of disease become so pervasive that they are readily identifiable by the patient do they even consider going to their doc, questioning how they got there, changing there lifestyle choices and begin the process of “fixin what’s broke.” More often than not, by that time, it is already to late for any intervention but the most drastic and then the cure is often equal to or worse than the disease – radiation, chemo, surgery, etc..
Not only does the conversation have to change, the entire attitude must change. There must be a shift in how we perceive our lifestyles and act on our own behalf. We must shift from patient dependent on others giving us our options to self-advocate, working hard to lead healthy lifestyles. There must be a shift towards healthy living and prevention and away from post-diagnosis invasive intervention.
What is your role in your health? Are you a patient? Are you a self-advocate for your won health? Can these things coincide? The word “Patient is derived from the Latin word patiens, the present participle of the deponent verb pati, meaning “one who endures” or “one who suffers”. I think it is extremely telling when the expectation of anyone seeking medical help is that they will have to endure and suffer. Was this what Hippocrates had in mind? Not likely.”
Redefine the conversation, sure…but redefine your attitude, your own role in the conversation, your goals for your health and life, your longevity and vitality, your attitude towards your health. It’s time to be an active player in the script of your life and your health, not a sometimes pawn taking no responsibility for your well-being until you get ill, at which point your options are extremely limited and you have to give up that responsibility to someone else.” -dg
Yes, We Need a Different Conversation, Surgeon General. But In More Ways Than One
I’m not going to weigh in on whether the new Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, should be thinner. Of course you’d have had to expect that controversy to erupt nano-seconds after she assumed office on January 11, and it did.
Instead, I want to push Benjamin’s platform even further forward. Benjamin talks about changing the national conversation. I say we have to change how we conduct that conversation…