Yep, I have fallen behind on this, despite my best intentions, so I’m going to knock out a few more all at once!
Day 5: Health Activist Soapbox
Oh, so much I want to say! But lately my biggest “health activist soapbox” issue is universal health care. Yep, I support Obamacare. 100 percent. I’m a T1 diabetic and my life depends on having access to insulin. It’s not a reality I chose I want, but it is what it is. I also know that by having health care, I stay healthy and end up costing our system WAY less than I would if I didn’t have health care (because then I would just constantly end up critically ill in the ER, where they would have to treat me). As far as I’m concerned, having access to health care is a right, the same as having access to a public education and all the other things the government provides us (roads, sanitation, water treatment, public schools, food subsidies, etc). It’s not even something that should be up for debate, and this last election confirmed that. If you don’t have the same feeling, it’s probably because you’ve never been in the position where you needed health care but didn’t have insurance. Oh, and if you’re worried about us having a socialized health care system, I can assure you that we already have one – it’s called Medicare, Medicaid, and emergency rooms. When someone doesn’t have health insurance and ends up in the ER, they get treatment. Who do you think pays for that? We all do. Let’s just take our broken socialized system and make it one that actually works.
Day 6: Write about a time when you had to take the high road.
This is something that actually happens fairly often when you live with T1 diabetes. On a weekly basis I seem to encounter someone who thinks he/she is an expert on “diabetes” thanks to some news article or account from a friend of a friend. We’ve all gotten the “Cinnamon cures diabetes!” or “Did you see that piece in Reader’s Digest about reversing diabetes? You should really try that.” Ugh. Sometimes I do feel that I’m able to get through to someone, able to tactfully and coherently explain that type 1 diabetes is different from other kinds of diabetes, that I will be dependent on insulin until a cure is found, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I get angry and threaten to shove cinnamon sticks up their noses. And, yes, sometimes I take the high road and just change the subject entirely.
Day 7: Redesign a doctor’s office or hospital room.
Despite being a pretty healthy T1 diabetic, I have spent my fair share of time in doctor’s offices. When I was little, waiting and examination rooms filled me with dread. I had an intense fear of doctors and all things medical (ironic, huh?) and I don’t think this ever made things pleasant for my parents or the medical staff. As a child, I would have wanted to see more “fun” things to distract me, but now that I’m able to keep the crying and screaming to a minimum, my adult needs are quite different. The waiting often feels like productivity time sucked out of my life. I’ve frequently spent more than an hour waiting to see a doctor, a time during which I could get a significant amount of work done with an internet connection. If I could redesign, say, an endocrinologist’s office, I would install workstations and WiFi in the waiting room. I see my endo four times a year. Each time, I wait anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to be seen. I’d hate this a lot less if there was an area I could use to get some work accomplished while I wait.