Come back in a month to check your blood pressure and we’ll renew your medicines. Come back in three months to check your blood sugars and we’ll give you more refills. Come back in six months and we’ll do a repeat PAP. We’ll take a sample of your blood at your next visit. Come back in a year to see how much you have deteriorated. We want to keep an eye on you. Schedule your routine colonoscopy. Make sure you have a yearly mammogram. Let’s do a baseline EKG for comparison in case you have a heart attack.
This is not health care. It’s not even sick care. It’s surveillance. Just wait and see. We’ll launch a series of attacks on the disease as soon as it rears its ugly head. “Wait Before We Get It”. Until then, we do surveillance. It’s the accepted conventional approach. Feed the beast, until it’s big enough that we can see it.
We have many drugs to use on you, make sure you come back for them. This is the state of the art. Until the time comes that we crack your chest open, we can teach you how to keep an eye on your sugars. We’ll let you worry and show you how to follow your blood pressures yourself. You have a disease. Accept that it cannot be reversed. If you don’t use our medicines you will have a heart attack. If you don’t use follow the complicated regimen, you might lose a limb or even your eyesight. Don’t use alternative methods, they don’t form part of our plan.
If a doctor listens to you and discusses alternatives, regard them with suspicion. If they ask you to cook, encourage you to spend time with yourself, practice yoga, or write, remember that unless they are members of our association we don’t endorse them. Do yourself a favor and take this referal for an MRI, make an appointment with the counselor for your depression, and be sure you stop at the ATM machine before you pick up your prescriptions.
A note of caution, don’t expect to recover your health by changing your lifestyle; very few people can do that. Certainly do not think that I would guide and support you — that was not part of my training. Now I am too set in my ways. Medicines are our best bet. Besides, who is ever able to truly change and sustain a new lifestyle? I sure haven’t. Why should I believe you can?
Ana M. Negrón MD 9/09