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Friday, July 9, 2010

Options and choices

I got an interesting phone call yesterday. You see, a couple of weeks ago I came across a widget in a magazine that I wanted to know everything about, because it was perfect for me and I had never heard of this particular widget. So I contacted the company online, and the next day spoke with a young lady who was not only very helpful, but also quoted me a price that is quite manageable for me. Now I am in the process of figuring out how I can get this widget into my hot little hands.
Then yesterday afternoon I get a phone call, a guy from the same company called to give me information. I didn't let on that I had already spoken with a young lady at his company and that my questions had been answered. I figured I could always learn a different perspective.
And that I did! He quoted me a price that was almost twice as high. Twice as high is never acceptable for me. Be it a dollar item or a car. 
I had to really bite my tongue, I so wanted to say something to him. Instead I wrote down the information, thanked him, and hung up.
Two opinions, one I researched, the other was just presented to me without asking. 

I am now seeing correlations to the "health care field". (Wait, hang on... lets just call a spade a spade. Our current system is nothing resembling a "health" care system. It is a "sick care" system, plain and simple.)
Patients are presented generally with one option, most likely "traditional". And a minority will seek out "alternatives".

I love researching information, finding the best deal for me. It has become a challenge that I enjoy in all areas of my life, health included. Except I am not only a researcher of information, I am also the distributor.

When a condition presents itself to me, I want to find the most manageable way to treat it. Traditional sick care is generally the most expensive way if you're looking at the big picture, be it in dollars and cents or "human cost". But in some cases, its what the patient wants and I have to support that, regardless of how hard I have to bite down on my tongue.

Personally, it makes sense to me to go with the least costly option, financially is obvious to most, but what many folks don't (want to) understand is what I call the "human cost".
Human cost is the pain and suffering an option causes, it includes physical, emotional, as well as long term cost. It is a cost benefit ratio that each of us has to calculate for him- or herself. As before, twice as high is not acceptable.

While I can make the choice for myself to see pain as a symptom and warning and seek out the cause, it may be unacceptable or intolerable to others.

While pills and potions are rarely an option for me, for many the quick results make up for the side effects.

While surgery is an absolute life-saving only option, for many the removal of a troublesome organ or unwanted tissue is very first choice.

Believe me, there are days when I want to scream. Scream about the pain I see caused by people's choices, that oftentimes bring them to me as a last resort. And yet, they still don't get it. "Fix me quick, Doc, and send me on my way."

And then there are days when I get compliments that remind me that there are people who do get what I'm trying to accomplish.
The patient who calls me first - regardless of what the health issue is - and trusts me to help her make the right decision for her.
The long distance client who prefers a consultation with me over one at a traditional health care facility.
The first-grader who writes me a letter to thank me for taking care of her baby brother so he can be healthy and happy. 
I am so thankful those expressions of trust and compliments of care. They humble me, and sometimes I don't believe I deserve them. But they definitely make my day.

So what am I trying to say with all this...
We have to make the right choices for us. And we all have to find a source that helps us make those decisions.
Research and find the sources that deserve your trust.

We need to learn about choices that don't work for us in order to know which ones that do, that have the right cost benefit ratio for us.
Know the price you're willing to pay for your health, now and later.

Periodically re-evaluate your choices.

(Re)Claim your health.

Dr. Marie

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dr. Marie : Thank you for making me better and keeping me as a finely tuned machine !!!!