No Ordering A La Carte on the Health Care Menu!

27 06 2011

Medicine and health is a business, of which we are all consumers. Yet medical professionals hold this god-like status in our society, and we are expected to heed and listen without question while forking over massive amounts of dough (don’t even get me started on health insurance in our nation… will not go there).  Seems like they’ve got a pretty good gig, no? I mean, sign me up! Someone will absolutely take my word for something or be berated into compliance while I get paid huge amounts of cash?

The only problem is, I don’t believe in hurting people. I guess you could say I have an… oath. Yes. I have this personal oath where I do not wish to inflict harm on others. Okay, I’ll admit, sometimes I would like to. But, I don’t. Like I told a recent commenter on the “Mommy Wars” post, I at the very least do not draw first blood. But I digress.

I think our health care providers, as smart and educated as they may be, need to come back down to earth a little. I think they need more humility. Maybe a bit more compassion for the patient. I think they need to realize that WE are the ones in power, WE have the say, and WE get to choose what does and doesn’t happen to our bodies. Or, we should, if we were truly free, which I have my doubts about.

It is not wanting to be ordered around and subjected to unnecessary things or things which we do not agree with which has driven so many women to unassisted childbirth AND unassisted pregnancy (the latter of which I am almost forced into considering for my next one, due to the circumstances– see my book).

If I had my way, I would say no to certain tests and yes to others in pregnancy without anyone batting an eye. I would say no to vaginal exams unless I felt it might be worth it– maybe once to check it out, or if we suspect anything unusual. I would say yes to please keep giving me prenatal care on my terms, but no to tending me during labor and delivery (hands off, please). I would say yes to checking out me and baby post-delivery and giving me your expert opinion on our state, while cleaning us up and caring for us in any way we may need. Instead, I have to take all or nothing. It’s their way or the highway. Doesn’t that seem a little backwards to you?

Sometimes I feel this is just the legality of situations, be they in-hospital or at-home, docs or midwives. Sometimes I feel they could be on our side, fudge it a little, vouch for us, look out for us, give us what we want, what we need… but they don’t. In that case, it’s either they’re too comfortable and don’t want to rock the boat for us, or it’s that they truly believe in everything they are doing and have been doing, more so than they care about or believe in the wants and needs of the woman.

Naturally across the board (not just for pregnancy and birth), I think health care should be a la carte, like a menu. I drive down the road in my region and see a big billboard that reads the name of the hospital, and adds “Now doing heart transplants!” (or something along those lines) I find it humorous, but in a cynical way. Is this something we are shopping around for? Is this elective now? It’s just the way it is phrased, mind you, that troubles me (I otherwise *get* it)… by taking something emergency-natured and making it sound like an option or a choice, like buying a new car. So we have this, and we have elective c-sections, and we have plastic surgery. These are the types of things on the “menu”? And they’ll willingly fill your plate.

Under the care of these health standards, if drugs were calories, we’d all need heart transplants. (Hell, if drugs were drugs, we’d all need heart transplants, I suppose! *Lawl*) Either way, whatever literal or analogical, the health care industry sees dollar signs… some doubly so. All you have to do is show up.

What I’m asking for are a bunch of sides on this health care menu. This is flat out denied, or strongly discouraged, depending on what day you go in, which location you select, and which “waiter” you receive. I want to pick and choose what I need and what is done to or for me– what I “eat”, or consume.  As a consumer of their services, we are being told we have to take the whole meal cooked their way or leave. They obviously don’t care if we’re going hungry, they just want to tell us what to eat. And, they believe they are going to get our money anyway, one way or another. I’ve found the loophole–  I’ll stay at home. In fact, I can thank them for their attitudes in a way– if they had all been more accommodating, I may still be laboring with the pros instead of understanding truths about the human need to be alone in labor. So I guess in their own way, they’ve done me (and you?) a favor in that department.

So, thank you medical professionals, for your stringent rules and sometimes condescension. I am a better woman because of you. Everything I needed, I already got. It’s at home. I’ll come to you if I’m still hungry… that is, if you don’t close your doors to me.

PS– this is my video as seen on another blog post I did recently. I’m posting it in case you missed it, because I discuss the independence of assessing your own condition and the importance of weighing and considering everything to make a choice, rather than letting the medical establishment make choices FOR you.

 


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