Most of the patients I see as a doctor are coming to get help too late. They don’t come until the problem is already so far along. By too late I don’t mean they are about to die: it’s just that often the problem didn’t need to happen in the first place!
Yes, the health care system has become a sickness-care system. It can be difficult to afford medical care, and difficult to access care as well. And yes, there are some medical problems that cannot be prevented.
But too often I see patients who want a magic fix for something they spent a long time causing themselves, knowingly or unknowingly. And sometimes there’s just no good fix available!
Yet even when we’ve made a mess of things, it’s never too late to make positive changes. And seemingly small changes
If you haven’t already experienced frustrations with the healthcare system, you will! For all the innovation, research, and high-tech options available, we still face major challenges in making those technologies affordable and available. Yes, our healthcare system needs work.
Major problems exist in at least three areas:
First, healthcare costs too much. The costs keep increasing faster than incomes can keep up. Healthcare costs as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product), government spending, and personal or business income show no signs of slowing down. Costs are a frequent reason people don’t use medications as directed or get medical care they desire or need.
Change can feel threatening, especially to those looking on. I’m sure you’ve heard some variety of the saying, “The only thing that never changes is that things will always change.” One of my valued professors said it this way: “You never put your foot in the same river twice.”
Change that happens around us can feel very un-nerving. And change we choose ourselves can be just as uncomfortable. But if we DON’T change, we won’t ever get better results. The anxiety and discomfort we experience as we go through change is temporary, but absolutely necessary. Research actually demonstrates that those who successfully change anything significant in their lives are willing to experience some real anxiety along the way, but keep on going regardless of how uncomfortable they feel.
Love, romance, and Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you are like many others, making the sellers of heart-shaped baloons, teddy bears, flowers, cards, and chocolate covered strawberries very happy again this year. My favorite is the chocolate covered strawberries, and Thanks to my wonderful husband there are two dozen in the refrigerator right now! (Or at least there were earlier today: they aren’t lasting very long!)
What is it about the human heart that responds to love – or wants to? I think it’s the way we are made, and the way God intended it to be.
I know what it’s like to be single and lonely: I was that way for 48 years. I also know now what it’s like to be married, in love, and thrilled with the joy, comfort, and security a healthy marriage can provide.