Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why don't you have time to go see the MD?

In follow up to my post about not ignoring symptoms of a stroke, I got to thinking...

Why do people put off going to the Doc? Why do we say, "I don't have time," or, "It's probably nothing"? Where does that attitude come from; we don't have time to look after our health or we can't go to the doctor?

I really think that culture, that attitude, comes from our lack of available, universal health care and how driven we are for our jobs.

First of all, in other countries, annual physicals are required, you are scheduled time off for them. How does that simple fact affect attitudes? I would think it would make people more aware that their health is important, not to mention finding very treatable afflictions early on.

Often times I think people are worried that if they a) take off work (maybe not get paid) to go the doctor, and b) pay the ridiculous costs of an office visit, oh and c) waste an even more obscene amount of time waiting for your appointment - and then it was nothing.....Well, then you have wasted loads of $$ and your time and lost time from work.

Wow, you just made yourself sicker....

We have a culture in the US that work is so all important. For many, as hourly workers, it IS all important. It they don't work, their families don't eat. Even for those who have insurance and sick days, going to the doctor means your co-workers have already sent you home b/c they think you contagious.

Would it be different if we could go to the doctor, be seen and know it would be a more reasonable cost?
Would we look after our health more and our jobs just slightly less if our work/employers had the attitude of forcing us to go get physicals?

I do personally believe that the attitude of health and going to the doc would be better if health care was a given, not a gift through our employer or some other grace. I also think that people would look after their health more if they also thought medications needed could be had without selling your children on the black market to pay for said meds. I have already had folks in my unit who confessed to stopping blood pressure meds b/c they had a hard time paying for them.

The expense to our society as a whole and those individuals personally will be so much greater now that the person literally 'blew a gasket' and leaked blood all over their brain and are never going to be the same. The meds would have been oh so much cheaper...