I trust that the headline caught your attention. And that you will pay close attention to what I am about to share with you.
HOSPITALS ARE NOT PLACES OF HEALING
As a physician, I work as a hospitalist. This is a physician who specializes in treating patients when they get admitted into the hospital. A typical shift as a hospitalist lasts about 12 hours.
I typically work 14 days out of the month for 7 days at a stretch. It gives me an incentive to make sure that I tend to my health and wellbeing.
There are certain criteria that must be satisfied by most insurance companies before an admission to the hospital is deemed appropriate.
Put in laymen’s terms you have to be so sick that it would be a risk to treat you outside of the hospital.
So why is this information so important in order to live powerfully with type 2 diabetes? Because by the time you have to be admitted into the hospital, you probably have developed complications associated with type 2 diabetes.
These complications will most likely begin to affect the quality of your life. This is because they usually affect the vital organs of the body.
Here are some important facts to know about diabetes complications:
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people age 20-74 years
- 2 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes also have hypertension and will also need to take medications to treat this.
- Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease.
- A significant number of people have problems with their nervous system that can throw off the body’s natural rhythm.
- Diabetes causes gum disease that could lead to tooth loss. Dental disease has also been found to increase the risk of heart disease.
- 60% of amputations of the lower limbs are due to diabetes.
This just a small snap shot of the potential complications related to diabetes occurs.
Naturally it’s easy to predict this can become a slippery slope of repeated admissions to the hospital.
Hospitals are not designed as place where healing takes place. A typical day as a patient admitted in the hospital is spent getting tests to diagnose whatever appears to be the problem. In between the patient gets seen by at least one doctor- the admitting physician who is usually a hospitalist such as myself.
Think of yourself in a hospital gown being poked and prodded by different people, examined and questioned over and over again. Next you may be hooked up to an IV and be given powerful medicines to run through your veins designed to make you feel better. At times you may even suffer the side effects, which at times are worse than the medicine itself!
Hospitals are hubs of at times endless activity and so these routines go on around the clock. The day shift signs out to the night shift.
At night expect your sleep to be disrupted by blood pressure, pulse and breathing counts at least every four hours.
And then the routine picks up again the next day. More blood tests, more prodding questioning….
You get the picture.
Life becomes monotonous.
This is the side of living with diabetes that a lot of people become aware of either by watching a spouse, lover, a friend, a neighbor, a relative go through this.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way!
I am passionate about empowering people to choose differently, because at the end of the day life is all about the choices that we make.
So let’s say that you have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or been diagnosed some time back. And let’s say that just because you are visiting this blog I can state with confidence that you don’t what to be a part of those statistics I listed above.
Then starting today you can choose differently!
Choose to learn all you can about what it takes to live a powerful life with diabetes.
Choose to focus on adapting the right mindset and that rather than feeling a victim of this condition that you become empowered.
Choose to make healthy lifestyle choices such as checking your blood sugars regularly, eating right, and exercising frequently.
Choose to make sure that you schedule regular appointments with your primary care doctor. And that if you are referred to a specialist that you also see that doctor.
Choose to take your medications as advised and that if you develop a side effect from the medication that you contact your primary care provider.
Choose to ask questions when you are not certain. If one health care provider does not answer them to your satisfaction, keep searching till you find one who is willing to partner with you in your care.
Choose to focus on prevention rather than cure.
I have treated countless patients with diabetes. I can speak to my observation that those patients who were actively engaged in treating their type 2 diabetes.
My patients who were focused on what they needed to do to stay healthy rarely got admitted to the hospital for complications related to diabetes.
Those who played a somewhat more passive role and even approached their care with a sense of resignation inevitably ended up with long-term complications.
It is sad to say that after close to 25 years of being a physician and treating chronic illness, I can almost predict who will and who will not do well- just from studying their mindset.
Mindset is one of the first things I work with a patient or a client on.
Have you ever seen someone just released from the hospital? They look worn out; sometimes even older than when they went in. Chronic illness takes a toll on the body. It causes emotional stress. It takes a long time to heal. And so even though a person may be discharged from after being in the hospital, they are far from healed.
True healing involves the body mind and the spirit.
Hospitals do not heal the body mind and spirit. Even though I work as a hospitalist, I am transparent enough to recognize my limitations within it’s walls.
It is my hope that you will start today to make more powerful choices. That you do whatever it takes to reduce your risk of complications from diabetes.