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What Happened?

My friend told me that he was seeing one of his many doctors and in the office there was a sign on the wall - What happened? And that's precisely what I was just thinking about as well. For years I have listened to older friends recount their endless round of visits to doctors. There was the cardiologist, the endocrinologist, the rheumatologist, the orthopedist, etc. Then there was the physical therapy, the occupational therapy. They would complain that their days were suddenly revolving around doctor's visits. It depressed them. It depressed me. What happened?

Yesterday I went to see my family doc because I got an attack of asthma. To cut it short I'm now taking a bunch of new meds-yuck. And while I was there I told her my planters fascitis was still bothering me. Next thing I know she's booking an appointment for me to see a podiatrist. And I was sent off to a physical therapist who wants to see me TWICE A WEEK for 3 weeks. It's happening. OMG, I'm beginning that downward spiral of fitting in time for my life around doctors' appointments and I am not a happy camper.

But I'm not resigned to this depressing schedule. I refuse, you hear me, refuse to let this keep happening. I am resolved to take better care of myself. And not only that, I have a theory that I choose to believe. It's like when you're hospitalized for some injury or illness and you find yourself succumbing to being taken care of. You give up control. Maybe you tell yourself and others you hate it, but a part of you—of me—finds it...well, just plain easier. So back to how this relates to my theory about visiting endless doctors. It becomes a habit, fills some a need. The older we get the more frightened we get. And there's something comforting about having all these doctors' appointments. I'll let them all take care of me, reassure me, catch something before it really becomes something. The visits become a pattern. It begins to seem natural and I also think for a lot of older people it provides a schedule. You go from "What happened?" to this is what's happening and that's just the way it is now.

I'm far from advocating that we shouldn't see doctors when NECESSARY. I'm merely giving a lot of thought to the propensity some of us may have of seeing more doctors or doctors more often than is physically needed. I'm saying that I think there's a big psychological component here as well. And personally I just don't want to let it happen to me!


  1. It might eat up a lot of time, yes, but the psychological aspect should be re-aligned. Instead of seeing it as a sign of weakening, people should know that it strengthens them in a lot of ways, maintaining a formidable body with each session.


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