Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Medicine X...A world of Changes sparked by a new idea!-

I've been home for a few days now. Slowly, I'm making my way back into my normal life...but that's the difference. It's not my normal life. Something changed. I discovered a passion, a spark, that I did not know I was capable of. I have called myself an "accidental activist," I quite literally fell into standing up for others in my position. I didn't not plan on taking this path, and I acted as such. I wrote my blog, I spoke out when I could, I did what I could when it was possible to work that into my schedule. In Palo Alto, California I discovered that I need to me much more active. As I wrote before, I was most taken aback by being included in the same company as these titans of advocacy. I still can't believe my name could be brought up in such company.

These were not the only lessons learned. I gained a new respect for "Participatory Medicine." The thought that a patient can be, and should be, the expert of their own care. This education often comes at the patient's own expense. Not only through personal expense, but mental anguish, personal strife, and in the best of cases personal triumph. Triumph was what I heard most while at medicine X. Patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds, encompassing a myriad of chronic illnesses. These people are more than survivors. Surviving lends itself to barely making it through. No, these amazing advocates are truly living, not in spite of their illness, but in conjunction with it. Then I had an epiphany. Amputees ARE chronic patients. When looked at through the traditional sense, a chronic illness is just that. An illness that doesn't go away, often with increasing complications as time goes on and no currently known cure. As an amputee, there is obviously no cure, the only difference is I wear my medicine. My medication is my ability to interact with the world, I display it proudly, a badge of honor that I am not a survivor, but I am living.

I was able to interact and network with some amazing physicians, leaders of industry, and various other caretakers. Hearing of amazing innovations, new viewpoints of the patient/physician interaction, and ways to track your own healthcare data. What I enjoyed most about Medicine X was that the patient was front and center. We held a prominent place at the front of the room, able to directly interact with the various speakers and presentations. Every aspect was to show the importance of the viewpoint of the patient. Increasing awareness of the various chronic illnesses, but not actually focusing on the illness itself. No, for the first time in my medical career, the patient was more than their respective ailment. We were once again people, our ailments only a portion of who we are, fully integrated into our lives, but not dominating it. The way the healthcare experience should be...the way Medicine X convinced me it could be with the right education.

I'll have more later, I'm still digesting the massive amount of information.

Until Next Time...PM

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