Monday, May 11, 2015

You Can Determine Your Own Health Destiny


Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a sudden traumatic event.  Suddenly we are told we have a chronic life-long condition for which there is no cure and that we face a life of complications and early death.   As someone diagnosed with Type 2 this can be particularly shocking as we are treated by the medical system in a really patronizing way with very mixed messages.  We are told that not only did we cause our condition by being fat and lazy we are also given commands by our doctors to take our medication and do certain things with our lifestyle.   Before being diagnosed with diabetes my interactions for the healthcare system was for acute care, a cut which was stitched up, an infection with a prescription of an antibiotic.  I saw the doctor, trusted their competence. I was told what to do and then left and complied with their direction.


But diabetes doesn't work that way.  I was given a pill, told to take it and that little pill would just fix me up and I would be fine.  It was a slap upside the head when I realized I would never be fine and the doctor could do very little to help me be fine.  It is terribly disheartening for any of us to go see the doctor, not achieve the results that they decide for us end up being labelled as non-compliant.  We just didn’t do it right.

If there is one thing I have learned from my diabetes it is that the healthcare system has some fundamental flaws.  It has things almost entirely backwards in critical areas.  I am the patient, I am in charge and I decide my own destiny.  I don’t accept the idea that my lifestyle gave me my diabetes, I got diabetes because I had a genetic predisposition to it and fundamental things about modern life are at a mismatch with my evolution adaptations.  And the healthcare system is not infallible.  The act like they are a religion with doctors and guidelines being high priests, but they get the most basic things wrong.  They don’t understand the role of carb restriction in diet.  They don’t understand the mental aspect of diabetes.  And they just medicalize everything.

Being diagnosed with diabetes helped me understand I could not be a passive player in my health.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve been plagued by a number of additional health issues and what I learned from having diabetes has really helped me take control of my health.  I now research my conditions.  I question my doctors. I take care to understand the harms that can happen with treatment.  And I make sure that my doctors know that they are my adviser and I make the choices in my health destiny.

8 comments:

  1. I couldn’t agree with this post more! You really have to take control of your health and research everything. We are the ones that have to live with what doctors do/don’t do/prescribe. I have already had a couple doctors refuse to treat me because I wanted something different than what they did. You really need to be your own advocate when it comes to your body.

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  2. Thank goodness for people like you Brian! I think that those who question the medical 'professionals' help those who are afraid to. You may add some new ideas into their brains so the next person can have even better care.

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  3. You are one of the most proactive people I know, Brian, and I am so glad to have you on my team.

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  4. Thanks for your accurate account of the medical world of diabetes. I've had my struggles with the doctors especially around medications and "diet". I've pretty much had to tell my doctor what I was and was not willing to do, and be labeled non compliant. It's okay, it's just one more label, I don't live by the labels anymore. Thanks.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing, because I know you are empowering others to take charge of their health too.

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  6. Great post, Brian. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Brian!!! I'm thrilled to see you in this space! Great post. Great advocate!

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  8. Is there something wrong with, "They're not going to listen and lose weight, they're going to ignore my instructions anyway, so let me give them a pill that will at least keep their sugars semi-managed!"?
    I agree with you, but I think we're well under 10% of diabetics. Motivator Jim Rohn used to say something to the effect of, "If you want to be one of the successful 3%, you need to steer clear of the other 97% who won't do the work."

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