A hospital is not the ideal place to go and get well. Think about it. A giant, sealed up warehouse with shared air circulation where sick people are stored. It’s essentially an enormous repository for germs.
And what about the effect of a hospital on your state of mind? The only people sitting around in hospitals are sick, injured, or both, or know someone who is sick, injured or both. The collective thoughts running through just about every person’s mind in a hospital can be boiled down to “Gee, this is depressing.” That’s not exactly a recipe for a positive, healing atmosphere. You wouldn’t go to funeral homes to cheer yourself up, and you shouldn’t rely on hospitals or even doctor’s offices as your one-stop-shop for curing all that ails you.
Mending at home or in the hospital
I say this as I painstakingly (literally) pick up my right arm with my left arm to drag it over to the mouse each time I need to make a click. Like right now. That’s because I successfully dislocated my right shoulder over the weekend while hiking.
Now, that’s obviously an injury that should be looked at by a doctor, and could potentially end up needing surgery for complete recovery. But even something as serious and debilitating as that can be worked on in the comfortable and clean confines of your home, at least to a degree.
Know your body
When we feel an ache in our body or we’re getting unusual feedback in some form, our body is sending us a message. “Hello, something isn’t right here, can we please address this?” Or, if you’re more like my shoulder right now, it’s more along the lines of “Hey! What are you doing hiking barefoot like an idiot?”
Whatever it is, we’d be a lot better off if we listened to what our bodies are telling us. A lot of the time, it’s something as simple as being dehydrated. You may not know you need water, but your skin, brain, and other vital organs do, and they’ll speak up.
Often times, dehydration causes headaches. The vast majority of us probably don’t drink enough water every day, and one of the first signs of that is often a headache. If you get headaches often, try drinking more water than you think you need. A tall glass of fresh water first thing upon waking in the morning can be a huge game-changer for your wellbeing. It’ll jump start your metabolism, help to flush out toxins that built up during the night, and re-hydrate you after your 6+ hours of having no water (I hope you sleep at least that much).
A prescription for more problems
Instead of a simple remedy like drinking more water, too many of us elect to go to a doctor and be prescribed a drug to mask our symptoms. According to one study, 50% of Americans use at least one prescription drug each month. That is way too high a percentage.
Imagine your body is like your car. Every so often, something breaks. Luckily for us, we have computers in our cars these days (we’ll call them your central nervous system) that track irregularities and malfunctions in your car. Everything from a tire registering low air pressure to a broken taillight gets noticed and presented somewhere on your instrument panel in the form of a “Maintenance Required” light or something similar.
When one of those lights comes on, the majority of us do what’s expected–we fix the problem causing the light to turn on. Or more likely, we hire an expert to do that for us.
You wouldn’t go to your car mechanic and say “Hey, do me a favor and unscrew that tiny bulb behind the instrument panel causing that light to go on, here’s $150.” That would be more than a little insane.
Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing with the majority of prescription drugs we take—turning off our Maintenance Required lights instead of addressing the real issue at hand. In the meantime, the cure is often worse than the disease. The failure to properly diagnose and address the problem, coupled with putting complex chemical compounds in your body is a recipe for making the problem worse, not better.
Yes, you might get some instant relief when your headaches or your indigestion don’t cause the same level of discomfort as before. And you might have some false peace of mind when your Maintenance Required light quits reminding you that your car has a problem. But the problem still exists.
Spend your money elsewhere
Next time you’re feeling out of sorts, take inventory of your body and how you’ve been treating it. Are you giving it enough rest? Nutrition? Water? Do some research on what can cause the discomfort you’re feeling, and address it at home, not at the doctor’s office. At the very least, you’ll save a few bucks you’d otherwise donate to the pharmaceutical giants (to the tune of $263 billion a year in the U.S. alone, if anyone’s counting). You’ve got more important things to blow your money on.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go ice my shoulder.