One perk offered at dialysis is a private TV. During those tedious hours, it’s impossible not to watch some and often a whole lot (though reading makes the time pass faster). What has amazed me is the incredible number of ads promoting some kind of pill or medical device, either that or offering legal help in suing the company that sold you said pill or device.
Watching this stuff my imagination takes off. I discover symptoms of maladies I can’t pronounce and in many cases don’t even know what they are and I even spot a few situations where I might be able to sue somebody. Being on dialysis makes it worse because I get a complete blood workup every single day as a natural part of the process along with a mini-checkup on arrival and departure. Needless to say, there’s always some measurement that’s just a little off which sends me to my computer in an effort to pin down the dread disease that might be threatening me.
I am in awe of the medical professionals who saved my life and now are giving me a new and better one, but enough is enough! There’s a difference between health and obsession about health. We all should care about our health but we shouldn’t become its servants. I am dismayed by the number of people who regularly dash off to emergency rooms with a stuffy nose or who demand a potentially addictive pill because of the slightest irritation. To me, this attitude is itself a kind of addiction and an exercise in self-absorption.
The cure for all this is putting our focus on activities that give our lives meaning and joy while understanding health as something that helps us pursue those activities. We do well to take care of our health but only because we want something much bigger, happiness and a productive life – greater things that truly deserve our time and attention.