I’ve blogged about the “Real Patient’s Bill of Rights”, and while I am a strong patient advocate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t blog about the “Real Patient’s Bill of Responsibilities.” If we have a right to healthcare, then it follows that we certainly have responsibilities associated with that right. So, here I go – I’ll take the first stab at what I think the “Real Patient’s Bill of Responsibilities” should be. I know some of you will strongly agree with these and some of you will strongly disagree. Either way, go ahead and share your thoughts. Here’s my take on the “Real Patient’s Bill of Responsibilities:”
- You have the responsibility to get a second opinion when you don’t agree with your doctor’s advice (unless he’s telling you to diet and exercise). Certified Legal Nurse Consultants know from experience that not all medical advice is good advice.
- You have the responsibility to tell your healthcare provider the truth. The MD’s not stupid; he can tell from your BMI that you’re fudging on your diet (literally or not).
- You have the responsibility to eat foods that are good for you – not just foods that taste good. Sure it’s easier to eat from drive-throughs and the processed food aisles at the grocery store, but maybe it’s time to rediscover fresh veggies and healthy proteins.
- You have the full responsibility for your children’s eating habits and diet. Yes, I know it’s easier to get a child to eat McDonald’s fries than broccoli, but what are you teaching them?
- You have the responsibility to maintain a minimum level of fitness. You don’t have to look like Jillian Michaels, but you should be able to walk to the kitchen, or outside for a cigarette, without gasping for air or stopping to rest.
- Speaking of cigarettes, you have the responsibility to quit smoking. It’s 2013 and the evidence of health-related side effects is irrefutable – so why do you persist?
- You have the responsibility to see a physician occasionally. Not because that physician will do much, but because it makes you consciously think about the state of your health.
- Once you’ve had a blood panel, you have the responsibility to keep off statins. They’re not just bad for you, but they actually encourage the bad eating habits they’re trying to counteract the effects of. I know more than a few people taking Lipitor who sit in Denny’s and Popeye’s complaining of muscle pain and weakness. Duh!
- You have the responsibility to understand your pathology, prescribed meds and side effects.
- You have the responsibility to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sure you’ll miss an episode or two of Game of Thrones, but your body needs sleep to restore itself and is key to a healthy body. Living with a sleep deficit leads to bad decisions and a host of pathologies.
- You won’t like this one, but you have the responsibility to give up wheat and products including wheat. There’s more and more scientific literature showing that wheat causes everything from excess abdominal body fat to “grain brain” – i.e., the inability to full concentrate. The government is fully invested in the food pyramid and won’t be turning it upside down anytime soon. Your granola, sweetened yogurt and healthy bagel start your day at an unnecessary deficit.
- You have the responsibility to give up sodas (diet or regular) and energy drinks. Water is healthier than anything that comes in a can or bottle. Oh yes, indulge in healthy green tea and you rev up your metabolism.
- You have the sole responsibility to take care of yourself. No one else (nurse or doctor) can, or will, do it for you.
- You have the responsibility to stay out of the hospital – yes you do. Your life depends on it. After 31 years in the legal nurse consulting business, I promise you can trust me on this one.
I’m Just Sayin’,
P.S. Before you print this blog and post it on your refrigerator, I’d like you to comment here to agree or disagree with the above.