Wednesday, 5 September 2012

What stops us taking responsibility to care for ourselves?

Self-management is about taking responsibility for caring for ones self. Although not easy or always successful, self-management does present a framework for responsibility and caring. In that pre-EPP course time, what prevented me from taking that responsibility? Now as an experienced self-manager, what stops me looking after myself every day?!

I am inclined to say that it is because we are all human, all have lazy days and so on. But although that may account for the odd day or two, I do think there are much bigger issues at play. Timing, expectations and the structure of the healthcare system may all be involved, but I think fear is the main one.

Taking responsibility for our care means that if something was to go wrong, who can we blame? This is not to focus on the blame culture of
Modern society, but on the paranoia of patients with LTC not to do anything to make their conditions worse. I for one dread the prospect of having done something that has made me worse and kicking myself for having done it. I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment.

My care is important but I don't really know how much I trust my self to have control over it. On those bad days when it seems the whole world is against you, do I trust myself enough to make decisions that really are in the best interests of my health? Do I even know (on a good or bad day!) what is best for myself?!

Responsibility of care should not be an all-or-nothing concept - it should not lie with either our healthcare professionals or us as the patients. Sharing the responsibly and knowledge is the best solution, and will make that leap of faith into self-management more appealing. Shared decision making crops up again!

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