I had a friend go to the emergency department at a major hospital last week and l have been reflecting on her experience and how if she had listened to her body the whole episode could have been avoided.
When our wellness is compromised we often have signs that things are not quite right in our bodies. Sometimes we go to the doctor about it and are reassured everything is o.k and often prescribed a pill of some sort to control the symptoms, other times the problem is not addressed or we ourselves may just keep ignoring the niggling problem hoping it will go away. My friend on reflection realised the life threatening problem had been present for a few weeks and on going to the emergency department she received life saving treatment which is what the emergency department of hospitals is designed for. I had to track her down though as once admitted there was not a permanent bed as the hospital was literally over flowing and her cubicle was missing the vital curtain that gave her privacy.
If you have ever been to an emergency department it can be a long wait and l have always had wonderful treatment when l have visited with my children usually in the middle of the night, but my own experiences have been mixed. Two years ago when my whole health crisis was developing l had to go in the ambulance to this same hospital with breathing difficulties. It was scary saying good-bye to my family as l went off in the ambulance in my dressing gown, with no money, phone or identification. On arriving at the hospital there was a huge queue of people to be triaged and on realising l wasnt going to drop dead l was asked to hop off the ambulance trolley and walk into the waiting room where l was expected to sit for up to 8 hours while l waited to have tests etc. A long day and l was diagnosed with pleurisy and sent home with a letter for my local G.P who had ignored my symptoms for several weeks.
Looking around the waiting room is an eye-opening experience with a look of misery and pain on most people’s faces. There are the obvious sign s of illness such as a person with a serious cough or someone with a blood stained cloth wrapped around there hand, but there are also many other people who don’t look that sick but have obviously resorted to the emergency department to seek the help and support they desire.
My friends experience has opened my eyes as to just how many sick people there are and that hospitals are a place that l want to avoid if l can. Sometimes things pop up unexpectedly such as a few months ago when l had an Ovarian Cyst burst. I wanted to go to the emergency department but was home alone with three children and my husband away. There are times when it is vital to seek urgent medical help and others where if we listen to our bodies we can work through the pain and the situation will resolve which fortunately is what happened to me.
The message of this post is to take care of yourself and follow a lifestyle which supports wellness. Have your regular medical checkups, listen to the signals that your body is giving you and consult with medical and health professionals that support your wellness goals. A hospital is not going to make you well and having an emergency where your life is threatened is very frightening, and this is all complicated by a medical system that is strained and pushed to the limit. When you have a serious illness your life can very quickly become highly medicalised and decisions regarding your wellness are often made by medical professionals that are working within their own parameters with little understanding of your life circumstances, goals or aspirations.
I hope my friend is going to be o.k. I have given her a lot of advice on how nutrition can support wellness but the desire to change must come from within herself. My need to follow a holistic Paleo lifestyle is driven by a desire to feel great and live a full life, rather than being swallowed up and consumed by medical tests and appointments with decisions about my health being made by members of a stressed and strained medical system.
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