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Feb 19, 2019 13:18:22

The system makes it difficult to be healthy

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 485 words | 372🔥 | 372💌

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 372🔥
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I'm supposed to stay away from fast food. For the most part I do, but I admit sometimes I have caved in.

The fast food drive-thru window is a shining example of efficiency. McDonald's even has two drive-thru lanes that converge into one, and somehow they manage to get my order right every single time. 

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have drive-thru windows as well, but they are not nearly as efficient. In fact, the only time I will use the pharmacy drive-thru window is if no one is waiting. If there is one car there, it is always faster to park and go inside to pick up a prescription. Yes, the pharmacy has to verify your identify. But why is it so much faster and more convenient to get a Dave's double cheeseburger or two sausage egg McMuffins than it is to get presumably life-saving medication?

Another point of friction is the doctor's office. At my last doctor's visit a couple months ago he said I would be due for lab work this month. My last lab work in September was ordered through a different doctor's office, so this is the first time I am getting lab work through the current doctor's office. I called the office to ask about it and was told by the receptionist that she needs to contact my doctor and would call me back. That was last week, and I haven't heard a peep since.

I have type 2 diabetes. Diabetics need to have lab work done more frequently than people with no health issues. I would have expected a standing order for me to obtain bloodwork whenever I need it. 

My solution is to skip the middle man and order the lab work myself. There is a company called Life Extension that offers lab testing that I have used before. You order and pay for the test, schedule an appointment with a blood draw facility, take the paperwork in and give the sample, and in a few days you get your results. The downside is that you are paying out of pocket up front but eligible to be reimbursed through a flexible spending account. The labs I ordered are $265, which considering the last lab bill I received was over $600 I'd say that's a bargain by comparison.

As a society we need to figure out how to make it easier for people to make healthy choices. Maybe organic food should be $.99 for dense nutrients and cheeseburgers should be $8.99. And when people get sick or are diagnosed with conditions, the system should allow those people to get the care they need without all the hassle. Many people will just give up and opt out of the system, which is ultimately bad for that person's health and bad for the rest of us who end up paying for the increased medical costs when that person inevitably reaches acute status. 

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