Pulling out of the tailspin - part 3
I still see both Janet and Sharon as patients. The two have had dramatically different outcomes, one pulling out of the tailspin and the other crashing.
Janet is now on disability. She truly is in pain and unable to stand for any length of time. She lost her job when she started having problems with her car and was unable to get a ride to work. Due to her poor educational background, Janet has been unable to find another job. Her breathing is short due to cardiomyopathy and COPD. Her husband and son remain unemployed. Janet was unable to pull out of the tailspin and is now living a life in poverty. Her obesity complicates her diabetes and her hypertension. We've managed recurrent ulcerations of her feet and know that a lower extremity amputation is likely.
Sharon, on the other hand, pulled out in time to recover her life. She really embraces life. She exercises daily and has recognized a weight loss that brings her BMI to 36. She's completely off of both her hypertension medications and diabetes medications. She's dating and planning a trip to Cancun in the spring.
Health care choices matter. The choices often require taking responsibility for your health and your life. As you reach your 50's and 60's, health care choices matter even more. From the examples of Janet and Sharon, you can see how their choices throughout their lives have an impact on the closure of their lives. Janet entered a health care tailspin from which she couldn't pull out. Sharon did pull out of the tailspin. She worked hard to improve both her health and her personal life.
Live well and make good choices. It matters.
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM