Instead of merely complaining about the shitshow that our healthcare system has become (long before Trump) and will continue to sink into now that we have a president who truly doesn't care about anyone, I'm going to use my imagination now (before it's too late and we're all fucked).
I'm pretty convinced that traditional medical care is primarily a pill mill at this point. Having been to countless doctors and hospitals in the last six months, I have some anecdotal evidence to back me up here. I don't know what these doctors are learning about in medical school, but I know what they aren't learning: how to heal patients, and teach them to heal themselves, through lifestyle, mindfulness, and food-based changes. Of course they're not. I'm not stupid. The whole healthcare "industry" (what!? we call healing an INDUSTRY?!) would tumble if we actually figured out what our own bodies needed.
There are doctors who practice functional medicine and similar modalities: doctors who believe in sitting with patients, learning patient family histories, learning emotional and lifestyle patterns, helping people to think about what goes into our bodies. They're not cheap, but when it comes down to it, I think we should all look into making functional doctors our go-to practitioners.
I don't know about you, but I don't want a doctor to say to me, "Well, I don't know what's going on with you, and nobody's really sure how this drug works--it might make you insane--but we should try it." This has literally happened to Aaron at least 10 times in six months. And since we've been taught to be afraid when our bodies go on the fritz, we throw back the drugs because we're scared not to, or because it hurts too much not to. I'm not saying drugs aren't necessary sometimes; some of us need them to live fuller lives. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs. I get that. But they should not, should never, be our sole option.
Maybe doctors expect us to do all the other stuff--all that learning they don't get to in medical school. I've heard so many doctors say, "Yeah, I don't really know anything about that," when it comes to anything maybe even a tiny bit holistic. Maybe it's up to us to teach ourselves, as individuals and then as community members, what works for our bodies. Soon, we won't be able to afford any sort of traditional insurance; Aaron and I will be paying out of pocket for most things even this year.
What if we created community wellness clubs that consisted of eastern and western doctors who look at whole body systems, herbalists, yogis and wellness trainers, nutritionists, mindfulness practitioners, farmers, gardeners, permaculture specialists, midwives, therapists. What if meetings took the place of church? Where each week, we'd get a different sermon about ways to take care of ourselves, truly. After church, we'd congregate and eat plant-based potlucks. Maybe in the afternoon, many congregants would meander over the community garden and muck around. Better yet, the garden would be adjacent to the wellness club. Maybe during the week, one or two practitioners would volunteer a few hours to see people in need of advice.
What if these wellness clubs starting springing up in neighborhoods all over the place? What would happen?
Now this is looking more like the world I want to live in.