I feel very lucky to have good health and after spending four hours in an emergency room Tuesday evening, I have renewed my commitment to doing all I can to preserve it.
My Dad had an urgent eye incident and he needed immediate medical attention so we drove to one of the local hospitals here in Washington, DC and waited for a diagnosis. You can debate the pros and cons of Obama's health care bill until the cows come home but it all falls away when you are in an emergency room. Or maybe it's that the harsh reality of health care in the United State becomes very clear.
Insurance or not, there are priorities in an emergency room and chronic and extreme cases always come first: gun shot victims, people in car accidents, anything that looks like it may be fatal. I think the people who work in emergency rooms are incredible. Doctors, nurses, police, medical support staff are all running around busy with the purpose of trying to fix people and get them back in some kind of working order. These people must be wired differently because I have no idea how they find the stamina to do this kind of work day in and day out.
I'm sure there is a system in the emergency room for the rest of us who are urgent but not looking like we fall into the fatal category. I just couldn't figure it out. I know it was based on the idea of triage but that's about all I could figure out. After you have been waiting for while, your sense of time becomes skewed and you realize that the word "shortly" as in "the doctor will be with you shortly," is a relative term.
I guess this is my long way of saying that health is more than not having a disease; more than not being injured. If you are lucky enough to not have an ongoing health condition, then please become a participant in your own health. Make good choices about diet, exercise and rest. Also pursue activities that make you happy and bring you peace and good mental health.
You can participate in your healing and find a good solid healthy way of life for yourself. You know your stress points and cravings better than anyone else. There are things you can change. Try to become proactive. I have found that the more I take control of my health, the better I feel.
Start today. Google "GOOD HEALTH" and see what pops up. Look at what you eat. Take a ten minute walk. Call a friend.
My Dad is home now and I thank the doctors and nurses who helped figure out and diagnose his eye problem. They were wonderful!!
But I won't forget the ER and the dynamics of being there.