Sunday, April 28, 2013

Family Medicine Activist: Dreams and Realities

#HAWMC Day 28

Just outside of Farmersville, Ohio on Chicken Bristle Road, life seems different.  Slower.  Calmer.  Natural.  In fact, the birds are singing, a squirrel just ran across the yard, a cardinal and bluejay visited the feeder (not together), the pond is smooth and the fields are a moist brown beyond the acres of grassy yard.  Twenty-five acres including the pond adjoining the “family farm” await my wife and I as a potential hiding place and future reality once we hang up our suburban life.
Maybe we should commit to having our ashes spread over the twenty-five acres when we’re deceased since the medical career looks like it’s on a course to reach my 75th birthday before it lets up, and we may never live on the pond-land while alive.  The need for Family Physicians and our current financial trajectory will carry that far before a writing room (or maybe a tent) overlooking the pond calls me to the reality of a writer’s paradise on Chicken Bristle Road.
What about you, persons with chronic health conditions and diseases?  Do you have some choice in your path?  Where you are?  What you do?  What is your dream?   How have you modified it to accommodate your condition?  How will it be affected by normal aging processes on top of your condition?

Many persons are living comfortably at seventy-five, but seem to decline a lot before 80 (men) to 85 (women).  The musculoskeletal system starts to nag folks in their 60’s, drag them down in their 70’s and crush them in their 80’s.  Of course, this isn’t mandatory, but we see a lot of it in Family Medicine.  Knees and hips eventually inquire about potential replacement.  Spines bend, twist and/or pinch nerves as the space for freedom of nerve sheath movement gets less and less.  Tingling and pain descend down the nerve roots into the arms or legs, sometimes associated with numbness, precluding the patient from knowing when the feet hit the ground while walking.

Somewhere along the way we notice what’s happening in our current reality and each decides how to respond to the deterioration.  Your Family Doctor is ready to work with you to clarify your potential for goal accomplishment using the body and mind that you have.  Your body may benefit along the way from prevention and/or therapeutic strategies in addition to care of your chronic condition.  We’re here to help you have your life or understand why you can’t if it’s impacted by medical conditions.

I hope you all have an equivalent setting like our land on Chicken Bristle Road to dream of for a peaceful future, or at least a place to spread your ashes if you get stymied by your current reality and don’t fulfill your entire dream.

Peace to all, whatever your reality (s).

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