By Victoria Lynn Hall
“We’re not here to figure out what is wrong with you.” The doctor at the emergency room told me. “We just make sure it’s not anything life threatening.”
And he sent me home with a prescription for my symptoms which was the same thing my primary doctor did and in both cases it made no difference. The next step was to see a specialist but I had to wait several weeks for that and then I had to undergo an invasive test which, even with insurance was expensive and gave no answers. So the specialist prescribed another pill and, almost as an afterthought, suggested I make an appointment with a dietitian.
After a couple weeks of following what I thought of as rather counter intuitive advice from the dietitian, my symptoms started to subside. After a few months, I was healed. It turns out that what is generally accepted to be healthy eating habits in our society aren’t all that healthy for me. Who knew? Not the doctors that had cost me hundreds of dollars by then and billed my insurance company way more but the dietitian that wasn’t covered by my insurance, who charged me just $50 for the essential knowledge I needed to control my own health.
I share this story not just because it is indicative of what is wrong with our health system but also with our entire way of thinking in today’s society. It seems to me that whatever sickness, literal or figurative, arises in this country, we only look to address the symptoms and even then it is often not in the way that is most effective but in the way that earns the “experts” or the “people in charge” the most money while people continue to suffer. And yet, there are often better solutions that would cost less and address root causes that could prevent more problems in the future.
Like that emergency room doctor, our government is willing to help but not heal.
Why is that? Why didn’t my primary doctor send me to the dietitian before the specialist? Why didn’t the specialist recommend the dietitian before they recommended the expensive test? The cynical answer would be that they were thinking of how to milk as much money out of me and my insurance company as possible but it is more likely that this priority is just baked into our health system and they don’t think to question it.
And what about my responsibility in that situation? Why did I trust “the experts” so much? Why did I rely on conventional wisdom to dictate what was healthy for me and need someone else to tell me that there was a connection between what I was putting in my body and how it felt? Why did I believe that a doctor or a pill could “fix me” rather than look for the cause and effect of my own actions?
How much of what we trust about the world is just baked into the system? When there is a crisis like the Covid pandemic or the power outages in Texas, how many of us just think of what can be done to help the situation and not what needs to happen to heal the conditions that caused it and prevent similar crises in the future? Do we take responsibility for how little we have examined the cause and effect of our collective actions in the world? Are we thinking about the systemic problems that contribute to the ever increasing amount of death and despair in our world or are we just constantly looking for someone to blame or a quick solution to mitigate the damage?
Could it be that experts outside of our government and corporations have solutions that are more viable but, because they aren’t as profitable for certain industries & don’t get the attention of mainstream media, we don’t know about them? Could it be that the right way to deal with our problems is actually less complicated than we are led to believe?
How life threatening do our symptoms have to be before we start figuring out what is wrong with us?
When will it be time to go beyond helping and start healing?
I feel that the way Biden is handling the Covid pandemic is a clear example of how our governmental system does not prioritize healing or even helping as much as other nations do. For more information on this subject, I suggest following Michael Oman-Reagan on Twitter and reading his article: Biden’s Pandemic Strategy is still Trump’s Pandemic Strategy.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.