As an MD and a healthcare advocate, I pride myself on knowing the best way through the health system. I do have my complaints with the American healthcare system. My role as an advocate is to help my clients navigate the healthcare system maze. But, never in my lifetime did I imagine we would be living through something as unsettling as this health crisis. I naively thought worldwide pandemics, such as the Spanish Flu, were in the past. I thought our healthcare system, although imperfect, would be able to handle anything thrown its way. My heart breaks for Elmhurst Hospital and all the New York hospitals where I went to school and did my training. These hospitals are the best in the world. To see them being overrun and their healthcare personnel having to put their own safety and well being on the line is beyond heartbreaking.
I am sad for the world right now. I am sad that our way of life has been put on hold. I am sad that a simple trip to the store can now endanger our health. I am sad for our parents who, just by being older, are at a higher risk of serious complications. I am sad for our children who cannot be with their friends, who came home from college, and who should not be spending their time worrying about their own health and the health of their loved ones. I am sad for the trip I had to cancel to celebrate my father in law's special 90th birthday. I am just profoundly sad.
And yet, I can wallow in the sadness or I can turn to a feeling of thankfulness. I am thankful to all of our healthcare workers who are working tirelessly and selflessly throughout this pandemic. I am thankful to all of our scientists who are working around the clock to come up with treatments and vaccines for the infection. I am thankful for those politicians who are keeping Americans in mind as they work around the clock to provide leadership and assistance as needed. I am thankful for all the grocery workers, truck drivers, and all other essential workers who go to work each day and help me get the basics I need for my family.
I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my home. I am thankful that I have my children at home. I am thankful that I am able to provide food and shelter for my family. I am thankful that the pandemic came at a time when we all have internet, Zoom, and all other ways to stay connected.
It is true: the more time you spend on being thankful, the more you realize how much you already have. I started this morning feeling really down; but, as I finish writing this blog, I look out my window and I see the blue sky, the sunshine, and a pear tree that is almost ready to burst into bloom. I feel grateful.
Stay healthy and be well. And as always, if you need help or need some personal guidance, reach out to me- your health advocate. www.melissahakim.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 484-533-7822.