At some point we have all directly or indirectly had this experience…

We end up in the Emergency Department of our local hospital (either for ourselves, for our children, or for a loved one), the attending emergency doctor performs their intake assessment, orders whatever tests and scans they need in order to come to a diagnosis, and then with a diagnosis they prescribe whatever interventions are necessary.

If the doctor feels that with the intervention (e.g. medication) you are medically stable they will discharge you home, if not then you will be admitted for observation and will stay a night or longer in a hospital bed.

When patients are sent home, most feel like… oh, alright… the doctor is stating that its not a serious enough medical issue that I need hospitalization, and the conclusion is that I’m “healthy” enough to go home.

When patients are admitted and stay in a hospital bed, the expectation is different… the conclusion is that I am not healthy enough to go home, which means I need more doctor’ing and the expectation is that the doctor will be seeing them routinely, hour after hour, day after day while in the hospital.  But that doesn’t happen, does it? No. Why not?

Because once the doctor has a diagnosis they have completed what doctors do: they identified why you are not medically stable and they provided a treatment to make you stable, what more do you want? The rest is up to you; your healing is not up to the doctor. Doctors do not heal!  Doctors prescribe a treatment which is designed to buy your immune system the time & space to kick into gear (hopefully you are healthy enough for that to happen) so you heal you.

The goal of a medical doctor is to make you medically stable. That’s it.  Doctors are not health specialists they are disease specialists: they are experts at identifying diseases and know what treatment each disease responds to giving your immune system the opportunity to heal you. Doctors do not study “health”, doctors study pathology with the goal of assessing and treating a patient to eliminate the immediate threat a pathology poses; but health and healing… thats up to you, the patient.

Medically stable or “within normal parameters” is not an indication of health… its simply a state where your medical condition is not worsening… that’s it. If it worsens then the doctor is called back in to reassess and see whether the medication needs to be ramped up, or perhaps other drugs need to be prescribed.

When sent home from the Emergency Department doesn’t mean we are healthy… it simply means we are not at immediate risk of worsening, hence we are not an immediate risk of readmission to the hospital.

When we are sent home after a stay in a hospital… same thing… we aren’t healthy, we just are no longer at risk of worsening, and whatever healing is gonna happen doesn’t need direct medical/nursing supervision.

The health care system nor health professionals ever state that they make anyone healthy (even though it’s in their titles). Yet this is the exact conclusion we have come to and neither health care system nor health professionals interjects to say that its the wrong conclusion… til now: I am saying to you, its the wrong conclusion. Which brings me to the point of this post: our health care system is not “health” care and our health professionals are not “health” professionals, both are disease focused and should hence be renamed or rebranded our “disease” care system and “disease care” professionals. If this was done, it would be clear that neither cures anything nor causes health; if you don’t get better its not because the doctor failed to fix you (at least not most of the time), its because your immune system even with the assistance of medical treatments still wasn’t strong enough to heal you… you failed you because you failed to maintain a strong vibrant resilient responsive immune system (due to poor diet choices, poor lifestyle choices, poor exercise choices, poor stress management, etc…).

Thats a tough pill to swallow, and its one we don’t want to. Personal ownership, responsibility, accountability for our own health… then why do we pay taxes? Its the governments obligation to keep us healthy…. right? And how is that working out? Oh, that’s right… we are the most overweight, obese, diseased, medicated/drugged society to exist… that’s how well its working out.

We no longer pursue healing or health, we are satisfied and content with “good enough” aka being medically stable. If we can take a drug or receive ongoing medical treatment that keeps us ‘as is’… as in not getting worse, that’s good enough for us, and now we stoop so low as to call this ‘healthy’.  But wait… to prove just how oh-so healthy we are, we are gonna quasi-train for a marathon, a grandfondo, or an iron-distance triathlon just to show everyone how all the extra bodyweight, all the pills, all the appointments we need aren’t holding us back in life.

Here is a visual representation of the fantasy that we live in, versus reality…

Note where “healthy” is relative to medically unstable… far far away.

Fantasy – as already stated – is that if you aren’t currently medically unstable and in need of hospitalization or emergency medical intervention… you are healthy.

Reality is that medical doctors are concerned with only one thing…taking a patient from being medically unstable to just on the other side of the line to being medically stable. That’s it… the moment you are stable… out you go!  We then mistake being discharged, being medically stable, being ‘normal’ for being healthy: meanwhile you can be morbidly obese, on multiple drugs (e.g. statins, beta blockers, diuretics, pain killers, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressives, etc…) and you can be discharged from emergency or hospital care because you are considered medically stable! And thats healthy?

This is how far we have perverted the concept of “being healthy”.

The end result is that most spend the majority of their lives dancing on the line between medically unstable and stable, bemoaning how the doctor/health system failed to ‘fix them’ meanwhile they haven’t made any effort whatsoever to actually move themselves towards health… they are victims, and their disease is everyone else’s fault (either failing to diagnose properly and/or treat properly). And then government officials wonder why is it that the health care budget (sorry, that should be the disease care budget) keeps growing and growing and growing… no different than the waistline of the population… yeah, real frikkin’ mystery.