Is there such a thing as a “healthcare fiduciary”?

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.

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