Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Conformity over Originality

Following the Yellow Brick Road to extinction...?

When did we go there? How did we get here? When did we become this? A trailing mass of Dickens characters, lined up with little cups in our hands asking, “Please sir, I want some more?”

Oh yes, doubt as we must this inclination, doubt as we must to protect our inflated egos, doubt that we will to protect the fragile nature of our existence, this much is true; we have succumbed to the disease of mediocrity, insincerity disinformation and dependence.

Our purposes were much larger. Our desires were much greater, our needs much smaller, but now, things have changed. I see it, in the young as they hook the button into the button-holes of their lab coats and sling the almost never used stethoscopes around their necks, constantly “crossing the Ts and dotting the “Is” with their heads buried in their digital divide and one eye on the time-clocks, that life has changed.

There is a clamor about “guidelines” “rules” and “methodologies” that need to be weighed on one side of the scale and the patient’s needs on the other side. The “balance” seems to tip away from the patients, on an ever-increasing sway, even though there are much ballyhooed “patient-centric” discussions that rivet our eyes and fill our ears. The disconnect is real, the gulf is getting wider and the drumbeat of rationalization is getting much more intense, even as the person in the gurney, with question marks gleaming in both eyes, tries to decipher, but fails miserably, of what is going on around him or her.

Haboob over Phoenix

Conformity to a design is like a haboob over thought. In originality, lies the path towards innovation and new ideas. Where did that contemplation go? What happened to the differentiating between multiple diagnoses, when did the understanding cease? When did severity or age become the firewalls to thought? From the kernels of original and diverse thoughts come the grandest of ideas and elaborate innovations that help and spur better thoughts and newer ideas about protecting health. When did the frost of this “new thinking” stop that seed from blossoming? When did we become the “unfeeling, uncaring, punch the clock group?” that just talks about caring. But I digress.

Those that are young feel that age is for the aged. That, that far away 60s and 70s is a traverse across the grand scale that might take eons to cross. No, not so! It all happens in a blink of an eye. Then what happens? Do these young ones turn into beautiful carriages, from their pumpkin mode? Or, faced with mortality will they transform into, like any other pumpkin, shriveled with sallow complexion. Oh, but they need only the Camera-Obscura into themselves, an introspection so to speak, to see “reality” for what it really is and delve into rational thinking.

We feed the desire to live longer, to exercise, to diet and live healthy lives and having done so when ailments come knocking on the door, we wish to turn our backs because there isn’t enough to feed the notion. Yes, living healthy is a prescription to stave off disease and prevention against this imbroglio of healthcare chaos, but when need arises proper care for those in need once considered appropriate is now the abnormal. Oh, I don’t mean keeping a person alive on a respirator for months, or such extremes of inappropriateness, but a patient in her 70s with a diagnosis of lymphoma to be told to go home and die in peace really rattles my cage.

Living life is becoming cost-prohibitive. The social barriers to aging are ever-increasing. Some specialty societies are hiring only the younger doctors right out of schools to enter into palliative-care subspecialty so that the emotional disconnect between existence and time is pursued to its eventual outcome –cost containment. It might be a more civilized version of indoctrination. The dictates of this wonderful, politically correct, benevolent society are feeding the monster of its autophagic demise.

The dual landscape of doctors and patients are mired in these deadly games of impoverished thoughts of conformity. The salvation, then, lies in the originality of thought through knowledge and understanding.

Imagine if we were to live the lifespan of Abraham, as some genetic-engineers predicted a while back, where then would we be? I think the real magic in living is in good health, in avoidance of the vicious whirlwinds of illness by choice and lifestyles. The water-spouts of ever-increasing burdens of high-brow interference is sure to land at the footsteps of every human being alive today. The shifting-sands of this irony will swallow the “human” in humanity. If only we would learn to not be dependent, but be self-sufficient and chart our own destinies. Self-reliance in all aspects of living is the greatest of all liberties, the hallmark of freedom. We must choose to govern our own health. We need to empower ourselves to understand our own bodies. Only with knowledge we can understand how our insides work and with the understanding stave off disease. While the flux of this pull-push continues in medicine, personal enlightenment is the only true road to health. (Please take the time -16 minutes -to see this video ~ very enlightening)

Somehow it is easier to see this from atop the hill between the young and the old. What is happening and what is becoming.

 I hear drumbeats of “appropriateness of care,” of “cost of life,” “evidence based medicine” and I wonder to myself, “They know not what they do.”

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