Saturday, July 31, 2010

the doctor said

Recently a friend injured his knee badly and the doctor said the only way to “make it as good as new” was surgery. Deep down, he is not ok with the idea of going under full anesthesia and having all the sensitive nerves and connective tissues in his knee touched by surgical equipment, but he is anyway trying to get a date for surgery because the doctor said so.

Another friend was told by her doctor to drink two glasses of cow's milk every day because her bones are brittle and has a risk for osteoporosis. She hates the taste and feels like throwing up every time but still drinks it religiously because the doctor said so. She didn't even ask if there are alternative ways to get calcium and now suffers every day.

It's amazing how we can surrender our health and well being into the hands of a person who barely knows us beyond out weight, height, heart rate and symptoms. Once we tell our complaints to a doctor and s/he prescribes us something, we believe that everything will be magically fixed from that points onwards.

We are in an era where everyone's getting more and more control freak. Think about the way we order food; “I want the mushroom omelet, but no mushrooms and only 3 egg-whites please”???  More and more people in offices are saying that they would rather do all the work themselves because they find it difficult to trust their team members. We want to know exactly how the chef cooks our food and how it will be served. We need to feel in charge what people do and how exactly they do it. Yet when it comes to taking charge of our own health we don't even move a finger beyond dialing the doctor for an appointment – let the doctor or the prescription pill do the rest. We are completely desensitized to what our bodies and our inner wisdom tell us, yet we obey everything the doctor tells because s/he is supposed to be the expert. Worse is when masses of people follow the “one-size-fits-all” advice that is coming from the charismatic looking doctor who appears on the evening news. Go figure...

It's my body, my health. There are no spare parts and I can't really go and buy a newer model if  I screw this one up. Why not just take good care of it to start with? Then listen to what it says and make adjustments accordingly? Having lived with it all my life, I should have a pretty good idea when and how things happen to my body. What contribution would I expect from someone who just met me 10 minutes ago or who sees me only when I'm sick?

Most of us try to assume more responsibility in our work to manage a bigger budget, wider geography, increased number of subordinates... Why not start with taking a bigger responsibility of our body, health and happiness and see how that works for a change?

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