Each of us approaches our own health care in our own way. Some are faithful about getting their annual physicals, some go to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, and some are like me. My philosophy has always been "ignore it and it will go away."
I probably should have gotten a clue when the cold didn't go away after two months. Certainly by the time the third month rolled around, the cough had gone from bad to worse and I was experiencing a shortness of breath, common sense should have kicked in. The "light bulb" finally came on at three o'clock this morning. I woke up and I was suffocating and soaked in sweat. I went out to the porch and as I gasped for each painful breath I knew it wasn't a cold and it wasn't going away.
I was at my doctor's office at 8:00 a.m. Within ten minutes I was being given a breathing treatment and by blood was being drawn. By 10:00 a.m. I was at the hospital having x rays of my lungs. I walked in to my office at 11:30 armed with four prescriptions including an inhaler. My doctor had talked to me about the obvious diagnosis of COPD and emphysema and we danced around cancer. My doctor told me that we would "face it together" and I knew he meant it. By four o'clock my doctor had called me and told me that I have no sign of cancer. I'll see him again on Tuesday and they will call me tomorrow and let me know what day next week I'll see a specialist.
Can anyone tell of any country with a government run health program where my story would be the same? How many weeks do patients wait in Canada or Great Britain to see a primary care physician? How many weeks or months do patients wait to see a specialist? Or get an x ray? To find out test results?
I haven't heard anyone say that health care in this country is perfect. Almost everyone agrees that we need reform. If we allow a government takeover of our health care 100 million people could be forced off their current plans and forced on to the government plan. Aside from government health care being blatantly unAmerican, it doesn't make sense. Tonight the President can promise anything and everything but we already have example after example have how flawed government health care is in practice.
I found out today that I will spend the rest of my life under a doctor's care. I am fifty-one years old and I plan on the rest of my life being a very long time. In order for that to happen I have some work to do and I need to take responsibility for my health. I also need the level of health care that I have now, not a bunch of empty promises from the president.