Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Doctors and Dentist: It Must Be July

I haven’t posted a blog in over a week as I’ve done just about NOTHING of interest.  It is July, and I’m quite good at adding insult to injury (when it comes to my life).  And so what do I spend these hot humid days doing?--yearly medical and dental appointments, of course.

I could bemoan the worst blood draw I’ve ever experienced and the huge bruise on my arm.  I could share the creeping upward of my weight, as judged by the doctor’s digital scales.  (And my excuses, of course, were a pocket full of keys, heavy belt, shoes, and such.  But then my blue jeans quietly told me a few months ago about my middle expanding!)

Or I could share that my medical insurance allows me to walk into my yearly appointment, with a General Practitioner, and walk back out with a co-pay of $0.00.  Or I could share that my medical insurance allows my doctor to order yearly blood work and other tests, and as long as I go to my insurance’s approved provider, I walk out from those tests with a co-pay of $0.00.

Don’t get me wrong.  I pay a fee for my medical insurance.  And other than my yearly “well-check”, I do have a small co-pay.

But as I drove away from these yearly checkups and tests, I wondered how it could possibly be controversial for all American citizens to have medical insurance.  The details certainly need some fixing; but what initial contract doesn’t? 

And if the idea of medical coverage for all citizens somehow riles folks up, seems the age discriminator could be questioned.  Is it the most common form of age discrimination to provide medical insurance for those 65 and older, and not for all?  Does it take turning 65 to “deserve” medical benefits?

Or if that idea still riles folks up, maybe the alternative would be for none of us to have insurance.  Seems that might bring down medical costs a bit.  Just wondering…

Instead of sharing those thoughts, I will share something a bit personal.  I’m sharing because this something is apparently quite rare for U.S. middle class citizens. 

Here it is:  I haven’t taken antibiotics in TEN years.  How about that? 

My not taking any antibiotics, since June of 2004, has nothing to do with some kind of personal belief system.  I just haven’t needed any.  Maybe that is my belief system:  I don’t take medicines that I don’t really need.

 I’ve understood for a good many years that colds and flu are viral, and antibiotics does harm rather than good.
I’ve understood for a good many years that if you go to a doctor with these viral symptoms, the doctor is likely to prescribe antibiotics because who wants to leave the doctor empty handed?  To prevent “complications” is the justification by a patient’s request.  But antibiotics, by definition, causes complications. 

This doesn’t mean I haven’t been sick.  I've had a couple of colds.  I had a really bad case of the flu a few years ago.  I missed a week of work; I ran a multi-day 102 degree fever; and I felt like my muscles were detaching from my bones.  

What did I do?  I stayed home and I tried not to share (don't you just love when someone shakes your hand and then obviously shares that they have a bad cold?). I gave myself rest and hydration and over-the-counter fever reducers (and I certainly grumped to myself over those lost days from life’s better days).  And if I'd developed any symptoms of a bacterial infection that my body's health couldn't overcome on its own, off to the doctor I'd gone.

Anyway, pending no medical news other than a probable reminding of the cholesterol and triglyceride issues of my high fat, high sugar diet, I’m glad my July medical appointments are behind me.

Aren’t you glad I usually write about birds and travels?

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