Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

February 8, 2018

Huge pileup in Ames from the storm yesterday.  I went through a pileup New Year ’s Day on I-35 at Story City – it was a dreadful debacle and it scared me.  A couple of things – turn on your lights and slow down in bad weather.  I have automatic lights and if I don’t turn them on fully, the sensor doesn’t turn them on because it is daylight.  However, in this cold, when semis are churning up dry cold snow, your lights are necessary for safety.  Also, slow down.  Speed limits are designed for safe driving conditions.  If other drivers want to blast away, let them, and then wave at them in the ditch as you are safely passing by at a speed appropriate for the weather.

We are not indestructible.  In any way.  There are no shortcuts.  Let’s use pain for example.  Pain is a symptom of something that the body doesn’t feel is right.  We all deal with pain differently.  Sometimes we medicate, sometimes we have surgery, sometimes we have different forms of therapy.  When we medicate, we mask or numb the stimuli that caused the pain*.  I remember once at a service excellence conference, the speaker said that they instruct the ER staff and providers to tell patients “we have more medicine than you have pain.”  Opiod crisis?  You think we may have contributed to the problem? … Yes, probably.  

(Personal note: I had GERD back in the early 2000’s – I couldn’t eat after 7 at night because I would be up all night with heartburn.  I then took Prevacid and could eat whatever, whenever – I promptly gained 60 pounds.)

Accountability in society is sorely lacking.  Want to lose weight?  Then a lot of times we’ll do a program that makes money selling you diet food or journals or meetings, etc.   (You think they want you to lose weight and solve your issue?  No. They are a for-profit business for a reason.)  You want to mask pain for 12 hours?  Take a pill.  You want validation for whatever you are doing?  It’s not that hard to find something or someone online to tell you that you are awesome.  However, there is nothing like getting healthy the right way.  There is nothing like a patient or family member writing you a note telling you that you are indeed very special.  There is nothing like doing the hard work to accomplish a task that in itself is validation that you are right and good.  Slow down, turn your lights on, get healthy by weight management and exercise, take drugs only when necessary and be accountable to someone for something.  

*spare me the emails disputing this … I am a non-clinician and sometimes make up stuff when I don’t know the real answer.  

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