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Senior Correspondent

"You Are What You Think." Deepak Chopra

I experienced a medical miracle this past week. At least it seems like a miracle to me.  

My eyesight has been restored to near perfect vision. It all started when I learned that I had cataracts in both eyes.  And, that this was unusual for someone as youthful as me. (Got to love the bedside manner of this doctor) The good news…a perfect lens would be implanted during the cataract removal procedure and near perfect eye sight was in my future. Having worn corrective lenses of some sort since I was a 6-year-old, this seemed like a true miracle to me.

But there was a catch! The procedure required me to enter the "health care system." Given that I enjoy excellent health, I have been fortunate to experience mostly the preventative side of things. And, that is a blessing I do not take for granted…ever.

As I was gearing up for this foray into the scary, hairy health care system, I had a lot of considerations. Would my incredibly expensive health care insurance come through? How long would it take to recover? What restrictions would I have? What if it didn't work? Or they got the wrong eye, or I ended up with a black eye? Or what if I failed to do all the pre-op stuff right? OK. I'll admit it. I was stressing and obsessing.

And, then serendipity kicked in, and I happened to read an article that suggested that every thought has a biological response. Every mood either supports or inhibits your body's health. The article suggested that maintaining health is about way more than eating the right foods or getting enough exercise. I was reminded that I could be my own health care provider by choosing positive, healthy, productive, can-do thoughts.

Statistics indicate that happy people who have a positive attitude tend to heal more rapidly than others who do not. So, I knocked off all the worrisome thoughts and plugged into a more positive channel. I tuned up my attitude, remembering that I am my own health care provider, and that I have a say in how things go in the operating room and afterward. 

I rather enjoyed the whole experience, with the Dr. Pris help of two of my favorite coaches, Hank and Pris. I was informed that my blood pressure was likely the best the surgical team would see all day. It helped that relaxing music was playing in the background and the surgical team seemed to be on top of their game and committed to making the experience as spa-like as possible.

Leaving the outpatient center with a big patch and the word YES written on my forehead, above the surgical eye in black marker, I was quite a sight as we went about getting my prescription filled and lunching. Laughing out loud is part of my health care plan, and I was pretty darned funny.

The day after my surgery, I opened my mail to receive a notice that my health care premiums were once again increasing. And, as always, this notice felt like a kick in the gut, because it seems there is no upper limit on these costs.

Not affording myself the luxury of any negative thinking around the increase, it was time to go for the post-op appointment. I was to learn that the procedure worked perfectly and nearly all restrictions were lifted. Expecting to have a couple of weeks of limitations, I was thrilled. Being my own health care provider sure works for me. And the premiums are extremely affordable. 

All of this made me wonder how our collective health care system might change if we all were to remember that we are our own health care provider, first and foremost. 

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