Monday, January 08, 2007

Being told we're sick is making us sick

…As you know, HA is on a most unwelcome jaunt to Sick World—temporarily, she hopes.

…Yuck, yuck.

…Writing in the New York Times, H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa Schwartz, and Steven Woloshin talk about how everything is getting too medicalized.

…HA knew that. She wrote a story about premature gray hair after Taylor Hicks won American Idol—and a reviewer put in a bunch of sketchy stuff about gray hair being a symptom or precursor of this and that.

…Heloise (yes, that one) called HA and said she did not have an illness! HA agreed.

…Anyhow these reporters says the biggest health threat we face is our health care system, which has to come up with a diagnosis to get a payday.

…Every twinge these days is restless legs, insomnia, depression or some darn thing.

…Children don’t cough—they have asthma.

…They don’t have trouble reading and need more help—they are dyslexic.

…We even tag people with a label before they get sick—they are at risk.

…What is OK cholesterol? No one knows anymore.

…If over half of us have a diagnosis, what is normal? Maybe being “sick” is normal!

…Labeling someone as sick or at risk make them feel crappy and vulnerable and can cost them jobs and insurance.

…HA once got a label of “severe gallbladder disease” in her chart. She has non-symptomatic gallstones—a third of adults do!

…Worse, if “cures” are prescribed, they can be worse than the so-called disease. Sometimes side efx are only worth a throw if you are really impaired.

…Let’s try to get on with life and toss off these aches and pains and constant treks to doctors.

…If only HA could do this at the moment with her wacky eyeball.

…But that time will come.

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