I think that one of the most amazing things about humans is our ability to adapt. I learned about this ability when I was in elementary school. I had to have a palate expander on the roof of my mouth, and it was super uncomfortable. At first it hurt a lot, but after a while it became my new normal. I started to feel like I’d always had that expander in my mouth. My mom told me that was because I ‘adapted’ to the circumstances.
Adapting to painful circumstances is a coping mechanism. It’s really helpful at times. We can take a painful situation, accept it as normal, and move on. In some cases though, it’s not helpful to adapt to painful circumstances because it just hides them. I think that this is what has happened with the healthcare crisis we are in. We’ve adapted to a new ‘normal’. Many of us just try to do the best we can, even if we don’t love the system as it is.
I believe that it’s important to focus on solutions rather than problems. But it helps to see the problem clearly first so we know what we’re dealing with. So here I’ll quickly lay out some facts about our healthcare crisis, and then I’ll talk about some ways I’ve found for focusing on solutions instead of becoming overwhelmed by the problem.
“Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse.” -- Judith Weissman, researcher, NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City
The average hospital stay costs $15,734
60% of all bankruptcies in the US are related to medical expenses
28.5 million Americans do not have health insurance
Of those who do have health insurance, four out of ten said that they had trouble affording their deductible
“The system we have is unsustainable, and it cannot continue” ---Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services department of the US government
It would be easy to find more stats, but you get the idea. Things are not okay with our healthcare as it is now. Instead of focusing on the depressing stats, why not focus on some solutions?
One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is how strange it is that when I hear the term “healthcare” I immediately think about insurance, medicine, and doctor visits. Healthcare can also mean preventative medicine, but even that doesn’t sound right to me. I think there’s a whole other way of looking at health, and a good term for it is “wellness”.
The word wellness is already solution focused. For me it brings up ideas about what it means to be “well” in a holistic sense. Instead of a conversation about different diseases and injuries, and all that goes along with those circumstances (drugs, hospitals, insurance etc) we can talk about ways to maintain or even improve our wellbeing.
Personally, focusing on solutions feels really good to me. I like the idea of putting my energy into a solution rather than dwelling on the problem. That’s one of the reasons that I find the ideas behind Live Harder Wellness so compelling and exciting. I like going to prehab training sessions and volunteering my time because it is a way for me to focus on possible solutions rather than the problem.
What about you? Do you think we’re currently in a healthcare crisis? Have you found ways to focus on solutions? Share them in the comments section below.