I am not a disease.
Although when I enter your hospital, or office, or outpatient center, you may refer to me as one. You may lump me together with an odd set of symptoms, or signs. You will define me with those antiquated terms. You will pretend that you will know how I, my body, will react when placed under certain stressors. You will prescribe treatments for my disease, and yet leave me out of the equation.
You know, the me that the rest of the world sees when I am outside the obtuse boarders you have created. Only a fraction of my life occurs in your realm. The labels you give, the actions you take, have consequences. They may determine my physiologic or economic well being.
Are you listening?
I am not a checklist.
You may use one when deciding whether my treatments are covered. You may question my doctor, read him the riot act. You will say that I don’t fit your algorithms. I do not adhere to your guidelines.
Diseases follow a pattern, unlike every other aspect of human behavior, they are quite predictable. Why should I be different from any other? Why should my pain and suffering be unique? Require unique solutions?
I am not a mark.
My suffering was not meant for your exploitation. I see your commercials on television. People with my disease run through angelic fields with smiles on their faces. I do not live here. I do not run when my body aches and my mind is numb.
You ride in like a savior and ride out with my wallet strapped on your back. You offer false prophesies. Some of your drugs, injections, and sprays truly save lives. Others are crap.
Must you treat them as one and the same? Just to make money?
I am a human being.
My disease is part, not the whole, of me.
Lift your eyes from your tired misconceptions, your white-washed guidelines, and your market-driven economies.
And look at me.
Jordan Grumet is an internal medicine physician and founder, CrisisMD. He blogs at In My Humble Opinion.