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  • Marika

A Case For: A Proactive Approach To Your Health

You know if you haven't been sleeping well; if you haven't been eating well; if you don't get enough activity; that that nagging pain is not fixing itself...deep down, you know. But you're getting through it. You're making it happen. Or maybe you're not getting through it all that great...

Why do we have to wait until we really have something to complain about? Maybe you could take the reins and make a change. Baby steps or giant leaps - whatever you are ready for! With a little guidance, small life changes can be extremely impactful when we address our issues before they manifest in the form of illness or injury.

It's really about balance, right? I don't want to throw around phrases like "burning the candle at both ends" or "taking care of everyone else but you," because if this doesn't describe you or someone you know, you would have stopped reading by now.

Let's talk about what happens when you wait and you become sick or sustain an injury. It's finally bad pick up the phone and call the doctor. You wait for an appointment and go to your PCP first, tell your story, likely have some blood work, and then you walk out the same way you walked in -- either with a referral to a specialist or a prescription for medication...or both...or neither. Maybe you make that specialist appointment, and you wait a couple weeks or months, in the meantime still suffering from whatever brought you there in the first place. Maybe in this time you filled your Rx, bought a brace or a new expensive miracle pillow. Maybe you've missed some work or time with family and friends.

Finally! You see the specialist. Now we get answers! Or maybe not. Tests. Let's do more tests. OK, now we have answers (usually, hopefully). Is the solution evident? Maybe it's a quick fix; perhaps some therapy or some foot orthotics. Maybe another referral to another MD because we still don't know. Maybe **gasp** surgery.

Now, think about the cost of all of the above:

Rx + brace/pillow/orthotics + time + copays or co-insurances + more copays + time + deductibles + time + work missed + your sanity

All because you waited until you were sick. Because you could handle it and didn't want to complain. But you knew things were wildly out of balance! Why did you wait? We all have a million reasons, but one of the big ones is how we are conditioned to take care of sickness, not promote wellness. Health care is anything but care for your health - it is sick care. What if how you felt was actually being listened to and your issues (we all have them!) were addressed before disaster strikes? Insurance won't pay for it. They'll pay for the quagmire of care described above once you're hurt or sick (they'll pay poorly, and after you've paid your "fair share").

You deserve a shot at conquering your issues before they are injuries; without drugs being thrown at you or a shoulder shrug and further referrals/tests/appointments or nothing - because you're not sick enough to be paid attention to.

I think we can do better and be better. I think we can know ourselves and listen to our bodies and not allow ourselves to be pushed aside when things are in danger of spiraling.

"Health care" needs to take on a different approach. "Health care" should consider the whole person - not just their body part or list of particular symptoms today; their actual story - how they live their life. Identifying the precursors to sickness could be huge! Listening to people - imagine that?

Now that would be something.

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