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Feeling well vs. feeling healthy

One of the more subjective points in my dealings with medical personnel is the matter of “How do you feel?” The obvious answer then would be “Not so great.” on most days. That’s of course not what your doctor or nurse want to hear and in the following interrogation phase they try to find out what makes you feel so bad. Understandably, the medical staff want to hear something that they can fix by giving you another pill or an injection, by pinching the right nerve endings and giving you a massage, having you inhale spirit oils, rubbing on ointments, getting you some bandages, inserts for your shoes or other medical aides, sending you to do some gymnastics and rehabilitational sports. They want you to feel and be “healthy”, which in their thinking equals feeling and being “well”. But does that actually mean you feel “well”?

At least for me and my illness it doesn’t most of the time. The paradox about my condition is that all values like oxygen saturation in the blood or pulmonary flow can check out just fine under normal conditions, but yet I may feel like week old bread all the same and those values go weird under the smallest bit of duress. In a very bad phase in fact even medical treatments can contribute to feeling “bad” rather than feeling “well” because they may trigger other side effects or simply be an annoyance. Make no mistake – when you are feeling totally beside yourself and just want to sleep all day, firing up that inhaler and doing controlled breathing for 20 minutes three times a day is terribly bothersome and you simply don’t want to do it. So a lot of times on the road to feeling “healthy”, one does never actually feel “well”…

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One comment on “Feeling well vs. feeling healthy

  1. you wrote about something that I had felt but without words. at the bad days of sickness, sometimes I feel “well”, because I sit down somewhere but my body is doing something, it’s trying to be healthy. thank you for finding the words.

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