Last time we visited, I talked about words. Well, the title today is two words that deserve their own volume. Because they are two of the most misused words in the English language. First their meanings –
HEALTH – (from healthline.com) Health is a measure of quality of life that is difficult to define and measure. In the 1940s, the World Health Organization defined health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Okay, first paragraph and I am confused already. But this definition is the standard one, so we will run with it, even though I honestly do not see how you can have any trouble with “physical, mental and social well-being” without having “disease or infirmity”. Cause if you don’t have a disease, and you don’t have an infirmity, you are pretty much good to go, I would think.
Next word, CARE – five different definitions here, from dictionary.com: (intransitive verb)
1. to be concerned
2. to make provision
3. serious attention
5. private organization for the collection of funds, goods, etc., for distribution to the needy in foreign countries
1. could not care less; be completely unconcerned
2. be alert; be careful
3. take care of yourself; goodbye: used as an expression of parting
4. to watch over; be responsible for
5. to act on; deal with; attend to
1. to feel concern about
Great, but that’s a bunch of different usages, so lets look to thesaurus.com for synonyms:
Main Entry :
Part of speech :
personal interest, concern
affliction, aggravation, alarm, anguish, annoyance, anxiety, apprehension, bother, burden, chagrin, charge, consternation, discomposure, dismay, disquiet, distress, disturbance, encumbrance, exasperation, fear, foreboding, fretfulness, handicap, hardship, hindrance, impediment, incubus, load, misgiving, nuisance, onus, oppression, perplexity, pressure, responsibility, solicitude, sorrow, stew, strain, stress, sweat, tribulation, trouble, uneasiness, unhappiness, vexation, woe, worry
Main Entry :
Part of speech :
carefulness, attention to detail
alertness, caution, circumspection, concentration, concern, conscientiousness, consideration, diligence, direction, discrimination, effort, enthusiasm, exactness, exertion, fastidiousness, forethought, heed, interest, management, meticulousness, nicety, pains, particularity, precaution, prudence, regard, scrupulousness, solicitude, thought, trouble, vigilance, wariness, watchfulness
Main Entry :
Part of speech :
custody of person, usually child
administration, aegis, auspices, charge, control, direction, guardianship, keeping, management, ministration, protection, safekeeping, superintendence, supervision, trust, tutelage, ward, wardship
HOLY MOLY BATMAN! We could be here for weeks!!! So, says my analytical brain, lets put the two words together and look up HEALTHCARE! Once again, my friend dictionary.com – healthcare – Definition [helth-kair]
(n.) The field concerned with the maintenance or restoration of the health of the body or mind
(a.) Of, pertaining to, or involved in healthcare
Okay – so now we have it all laid out, and I have solved the riddle! Getting good, quality medical care, i.e. HEALTHCARE, is a royal pain in the posterior. Just ask someone with a life threatening or debilitating illness or injury. I have figured out WHY!!!!! It’s as simple as reading your thesaurus! Look at the synonyms listed above, especially if you have a life threatening or debilitating illness or injury, and tell me that they don’t ALL apply to some part of your daily existence! Doctors, hospitals, nurses, treatment facilities, insurance companies, social security disability, well-meaning friends, family and friends who think you are faking, the stranger in the store – literally every possible scenario you encounter on a daily basis falls under one of these words.
No, folks, serious illness, disabling illness, life threatening illness, terminal illness – NO ILLNESS is a joke. But healthcare is. Why should your cancer diagnosis mean you lose everything you have worked all your life for? Why should your diabetes diagnosis mean you have to jump through hoops to get the care you need to prevent problems from arising, instead of having to wait til things go bad? Why should you be subjected to a trip (or trips) to the emergency room to be dismissed like you were in the way – told you are “Panicking” and sent home with a sedative – no investigation into the real problem? Yes, we need to get awareness for our diseases, so that inroads can be made to find cures. Right alongside those inroads need to be MAJOR improvement in HEALTHCARE! Care, compassion, general human decency all need to find their way into every hospital, every nursing home, every doctors office, every clinic, every insurance office, every social security office, every hospice center, every medical supply house. Quit worrying about the dollars, and put concern where it belongs!!! NEWSFLASH – DEAD PATIENTS DON’T PAY THEIR BILLS!!!!! Quality of life – utmost importance – and how the hell can someone have a quality of life when they spend their days and nights worrying themselves sick about how they are going to pay for the necessary treatments and feed their families! Quality of care – first priority! Rich or poor – sick is sick. Everyone should be able to have the necessary treatment and medicine to get well, or at least improve their quality of life if getting well isn’t an option. We need to educate people about illnesses and diseases – publicly and loudly. The stigma attached to walkers, canes and wheelchairs must be eradicated! There are many more things that can be done. The possibilities are endless!
It starts with YOU! Yes, you, sitting at your computer or with your phone or iPad. When you see that person in the wheelchair struggling with the door, help them. When you see that caregiver trying to load the patient in the car, and it looks like they are struggling, help them. When you see the person on the electric scooter who can’t reach the can on the top shelf at the grocery store – reach it for them. You aren’t that busy. You can take 5 minutes. If you think you are that busy, fine. You just spent 5 minutes reading this – you still sure you are that busy? Volunteer!!! It costs NOTHING. You can make the day of someone by giving of your time. Send emails! Tell our elected officials what needs doing – they work for you. Offer to drive your neighbor for a treatment, or to the store, or to church. The possibilities are endless. One person can’t make a difference, you say. Oh, really? I have. I may not be changing the world – but I got your attention long enough to read this. Now run with it – you will be amazed at how good you will feel when someone says two little words to you. “Thank you”.