Friday, April 23, 2010

Health Care is a current hot topic and while this blog will not be exclusively or even mostly about those issues, it is a big part of my professional persona. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for over 25 years, a mom for 23 years and a writer for 10. I was thrilled when health care reform passed because I have seen the effects of the insurance payment system on people’s lives and their health.

Since we have an illness treatment system in this country, not a health system, most of the people only see providers when they are not at their best. It is the equivalent of trying to negotiate the biggest contract of your life while you have flu symptoms. Your head is pounding, every joint aches, and even your hair hurts, making it hard enough to sit upright and think let alone have your interactions with the provider be on equal terms.

Creating a system which would focus on wellness will be a long hard slog. As providers we get paid the most for doing things to you. We don’t get paid as much to prevent your illness or problem in the first place. I’ve always thought we have a great system for you if you get hit by a truck or have a heart attack, but not so good if you don’t want to have a heart attack or develop diabetes, chronic lung disease or some other equally life long problem. Most of the truly big gains in the health and well being of most people have come from public health initiatives like clean water, sewers, immunizations, and anti-smoking efforts.

There are many subjects close to my heart, like childhood cancer, complementary therapies, stress reduction and gardening. I am certain many of them will crop up in my writing as time goes on.

Thought for the day: Weight loss is a very simple proposition. You just need to have all of your metabolic hormones in balance, be able to exercise enough to break a sweat and eat 100 calories less each day than you burn.

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