It’s safe to state that people love to talk about themselves, but I’ve often wondered if this extends to conversations about their health and well-being. Yes, the regular bout of viral fever or children’s cough and cold or parents’ heart problems and diabetes are generally safe conversation topics. But more serious or subtle health issues, the nagging pain in the knee, the chest cough that won’t go away, that itchy patch on the thigh that’s been there forever…..these hardly get talked about.
A likely reason for this could be that something minor, yet long-standing and undiagnosed is never ‘cool’ enough to be discussed. It gives others the feeling that we are not in control of our lives and we have tiny, niggling problems too, not just big, earth-shattering ones. We love talking about complex surgeries, a long drawn out spine problem, carpel tunnel syndrome etc. But very often, it’s the tiny, yet persistent health issues are the ones that blow up into serious issues.
A very close family friend has had a history of several serious medical problems, diabetes from a young age, back pain and more recently a heart attack. In dealing with the bigger problems, a persistent rectal bleed was ignored over the span of the last one year, until an examination by a surgeon revealed a cancerous growth, which was causing the bleed. Now, the other health issues dwarf in comparison to the tumor that she’s fighting against.
We also talked about, in our previous blogs, how the small health issues get swept aside because of lack of time with the doctor. During a hospital visit, either routine or for some specific problem, we often prioritize the bigger problems and don’t discuss the small ones thinking that the doctor has so little time for me, let me just get this over with quickly. This is especially common when you take young kids or elderly parents to the doctor, you tend to focus only on the main problem and sweep aside the smaller complaints in an effort to get done with the visit.
So what happens to these so-called minor issues? Do they ever get addressed? I’ve noticed that while we don’t like to talk about it, such issues play on our minds enough to cause anxiety. It’s also comforting when we discover that the small, but annoying health problem that we’re facing is not so unique and actual quite routine. Take the example of hyperthyroidism, most women in their 30s who lead stressful lives, are diagnosed with this and initially it’s worrying as you suddenly realize that a simple hormonal imbalance is causing so many symptoms. But when you find many of your friends and family suffering from the same ailment, it’s strangely reassuring. I’ve also noticed that when we read about other people having similar health issues, it can be quite comforting and often helps us take the right steps towards diagnosing and treating these conditions for ourselves.
One of the new features that we added to Mirai ConsultTM, is targeted towards providing such a reassurance. You can search or view all questions relating to a topic that’s worrying you, using a tag cloud on the home page. Once you see all the questions listed, you may get the answer you want without even having to type out your question again or you may choose to post a new question if what you’re looking for is not exactly covered. It’s our endeavor to support you in your health-related queries and get the conversation started, so let’s talk about all your health problems….
Aditi, a clinical research professional-turned healthcare entrepreneur has co-founded Mirai Health along with her husband Aakash. Mirai Health is their third baby and follows the birth of their two boys, Siddhant and Samin. Besides work, Aditi is passionate about Hindustani classical music and yoga.