Monday, January 16, 2012

Quality of life

Medical treatment can be pretty nasty. They cut out body parts, stick needles and other things in you, put poisons in your body, take pictures of your insides using nasty dyes (a/k/a contrast agents), and give you little pills that come with paragraphs of fine print detailing possible side effects. Then they say try not to throw up, get some exercise, eat right, don't drink, stay out of the sun, get some sun, use sun screen, watch out for the chemicals in the sun screen, organic food, whole grains, blah, blah, blah.

We stumble from doctor appointment to doctor appointment with lists of unanswered questions, looking for a cure. We eat bad hospital cafeteria food, and confirm we are safe at home while being weighed for the billionth time.

But we still need to have good quality of life. I mean that's one of the the most important things about being a patient. If we can't have a cure for cancer, we need to settle for good quality of life. What is quality of life? I think it includes things like taking time to smell the roses, going to the beach, enjoying a meal, and sharing a laugh. It does not include nausea, needle pokes, medical bills, and signed releases to relieve the hospital blame in case of accidental death.

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