More and more often we hear stories of people who do not listen to the medical advice that they seek. The most recent public victim of this phenomenon is Casey Johnson, the 30 year old Johnson fortune heiress.
Ms. Johnson was found dead on January 4. Autopsy results have now been released and according to the L.A. County Coroner, its findings were that the cause of death was related to her diabetes. The cause of her natural death is called ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body is surviving on too little insulin for an extended period of time. Mayo Clinic described the diabetic condition as one which creates toxic acid build up which can cause diabetic coma. The site explains that diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal if untreated.
Reports state that Casey Johnson was fully aware of her health condition yet she was not taking the recommended insulin or taking care of her body as her doctors had recommended. Sources close to her reported that she was not exercising or following the diet recommended for her condition. There was a lot of media attention at the time of her death about her erratic behavior and the unsanitary conditions in which she was living. These reports added to the hype and speculation about her life and death.
Question is: Why don’t people listen to the medical advice that they seek and pay for?
Overweight patients that are tired, are short of breath or have chest pain are told to exercise and lose weight or they’ll die. Do they do it?
Patients with high cholesterol are told to change their diet? Do they do it?
Businesspeople are told to reduce the stress in their life so they don’t have a heart attack. Do they do it?
Smokers are told to quit smoking. Do they do it?
What is it about the human psyche that makes us doubt the advice that we get? Do we know better? Do we think that the worst that can happen will only happen to someone else and not us? Are we waiting for a magic potion or some fairy dust that will make it all go away?
What have you been told about your own health condition? Is there anything that you’ve turned a blind eye to? Do you know why?