I don’t mean the kind of people who make sure that our health-insurance “payers” are holding back reimbursements long enough to add shareholder value. There are names for them, but probably best not printed.
I’m talking about a discussion my wife and I had the other day about sleep apnea.
I made the mistake of honestly answering a sleep-apnea screening questionnaire a few years ago, and found myself on the slippery slope to using a CPAP machine. I have “borderline” sleep apnea, which means I stop breathing many times during the night, but not enough times to have a full-scale intervention.
Which I don’t want. The CPAP machines look awful, invasive, uncomfortable, and unfashionable. I’d do almost anything to avoid them.
So my wife and I got in a discussion the other day.
“You stopped breathing last night,” she said. “I heard it. It was awful. I don’t want you to get hurt. You’ve got to do something about your sleep apnea.”
“Like what?” I said. “One of those CPAP machines?”
“Are they so awful?” she said. “<A mutual friend> uses one.”
But I did think they were awful. I started lying on my sleep-apnea screening test to avoid hassle. And here it was coming at me from my life partner.
We got in a bit of a fight about it, and she ended up saying, “OK, I won’t bring it up again. I’ll just let it take its course.”
Which brings me to my point. She can’t do that. She has a healthcare fiduciary relationship with me. And I with her. We can’t let one another just do what we want when it comes to health.
And little as I want to use a CPAP machine, it feels good to know someone has that relationship to me.