Informed Choice

I watched Weisburg’s Money and Medicine on PBS this afternoon. My beliefs have been validated. I am not a doctoring person. My husband is not big on doctoring either. We don’t have physicals; consequently, we are not “on” anything. When we have occasion to  seek medical attention, we don’t succumb to the salespitch for blood-work and random tests designed for people our age. I don’t care what my cholesterol level is. I suppose we’re lucky, or maybe just blissfully ignorant of the untimely end that awaits us. We don’t care; we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I’ve been to the doctor. I’ve had two back surgeries and some of my reproductive organs removed. I have an allergy to something that causes an anaphylaxis reaction. I used to carry an EPI pen so I could save my own life if necessary. I’ve had a few CT scans of my head searching for brain damage after a car accident. Ironically, the scan is more dangerous than the accident was. My husband has had scans too. After a car accident, he had a pin put in his ankle and his knee cap reattached. We’re not opposed to treatment but we’re only comfortable with a minimal amount of it.

I like the idea of cure and corrective treatment. I do not like the idea of lingering in an ICU for an extended term. I have a voluminous advance directive, covering many common scenarios. I like to think of it as Elroy’s Manifesto. I don’t recall the specific phrase “multi-organ failure”, even as I feel certain I’ve made a provision for that eventuality. I’ll be making a short revision this afternoon. I do not intend to overstay my welcome.

American medical consumers demand miracles that the medical community can’t hope to produce. We are suffering from unnecessary treatment. Money and Medicine is worth the time it takes to watch.

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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14 Responses to Informed Choice

  1. It’s something we need to take an honest look at before we can make a rational decision about what we will do individually and as a society.

    • elroyjones says:

      I had a conversation with my sister and my niece, both nurses, and we agreed that there are instances and lives that demand heroic measures. The choice is best made before medical catastrophe strikes.
      My husband does not have an advance directive, trusting that I will always be around to adhere to his wishes. It is harder for him to document mortality than it is for me; I suspect that is because he is a parent and wants to make sure his kids are okay.
      Death scares me because I don’t know what will happen and I don’t believe in god. BUT I can’t remember where I was before I was born so I think whatever happens in death will be okay. One time I was clinically dead (no respirations and no pulse) for a little while. The “experience” I had was pleasant; although, I believe it could have been caused by neurons misfiring as the body shut down.

  2. Peggy says:

    I will say that I prefer to have any cancer diagnosis early. I’d be really pissed off at myself if I died too soon because I didn’t get my regular mammo or pap. Because I’m lucky enough to have employer-provided healthcare (with a small amount paid by me), I take advantage of all the wellness checks and annual dental checks. If I’m lucky enough to have insurance, by god, I want to know what’s going on. Knowledge for me is key. What I do with that knowledge will be up to me, though. But, I do want to know.

    • elroyjones says:

      I’m not a big fan of preemptive diagnostics. I’ve been the beneficiary of several excellent employer sponsored plans and I’ve never taken advantage of the wellness checks. I love to have my teeth cleaned but I just can’t bring myself to participate in the annual physical.

  3. This was just awesome…

    • elroyjones says:

      It was revealing. I was particularly impressed by the physician who admitted that medicine is not an exact science.

      • pouringmyartout says:

        Well, nothing is, but I see what you mean.

      • elroyjones says:

        It’s rare that a doc will admit that medicine is not exact, or that physicians are not the hands of gawd.

      • pouringmyartout says:

        Almost as rare as it is for priests to admit they can’t talk directly to the big guy, or politicians to tell the truth.

      • elroyjones says:

        I shouldn’t even bother because you don’t link!

      • pouringmyartout says:

        I just care about you. I find my opinions inside my own head. We just happen to agree on lots of stuff. And don’t feel bad. Nobody is reading my novel either. Even my kid gave up.

      • elroyjones says:

        I will be out of town seeing my favorite niece for a couple of days so I may have some time then. I haven’t been reading much lately because work takes up too much time. When I do have a chance to read, I do a few chapters at a time.

      • pouringmyartout says:

        I didn’t mean you, silly.

  4. gold price says:

    You also rightly point out that you’re pretty asymptomatic. What’s also true is that the treatment’s a helluva lot worse than the disease … so it’s pretty tough even for people who do have symptoms. So it can be kind of a shocker to people who don’t have ‘em. In fact, most people who have hep C opt to not do the current treatment.† To add a bunch more pro’s & con’s to the mix, I’d suggest reading this entire page. Ya might wanna check out the treatment decision page, too ( here ).

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