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Published: Wednesday 11 September, 2013

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Stories from behind the examining room door, as told by Rod Moser, PA, a primary care physician assistant with more than 35 years of clinical experience.

Important:The opinions expressed in WebMD Usergenerated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have. Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD Usergenerated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Usergenerated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Usergenerated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, reallife experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. You would be surprised how many people are refusing it because they do not think they need it. But, what about the rest of us?

We all share this small planet; a planet with limited natural resources, and a planet that is progressively becoming more polluted and damaged. Globally, steps are being made to limit greenhouse gases, preserving the protective ozone layer, finding cleaner fuel sources, and replacing some what has been exploited and raped over the centuries.

I grew up in a strip coal mining area, where beautiful topsoil was moved aside in order to get at a narrow layer of soft coal. Thanks to the efforts of environmentalists, much of that land has been restored. The air and our streams are no longer stinky and yellow. It was commonplace to run sewer lines directly into a pristine creek. A generation ago, people mindlessly dumped their trash along the side of rural roads, or simply threw out their fastfood bags from a moving car. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson efforts, our roadsides are no longer piles of discarded junk and rubbish. Little by little, America became more beautiful when people started caring.

A week ago, we were given evacuation orders when a wild fire threatened our neighborhood. Over eighty homes were burned to the ground. Had the wind changed directions, our home would have been lost, too. The cause of this fire is yet undetermined, but arson is a possibility. A few minutes ago, the Department of Forestry spotter plane buzzed and circled my house. There was another fire; this time only a mile away and the wind was blowing in our direction. The quick efforts of our local fire department quickly got this fire under control. According the Highway Patrol, a motorist threw a cigarette out of the window, starting a roadside brush fire. Thr winter coats canada goose owing a burning cigarette out of a moving car deserves jail time, in my opinion. Of course, they will never catch the culprit.

Are we all doing our share? Do you turn out the lights in rooms that are unoccupied? Do you use energyefficient bulbs? During the summer months, do you set that thermostat a little higher? Do you drive the speed limit and wear your seat belts? Do you recycle your aluminum cans, glass, and plastic? Are you immunized against vaccinepreventable illnesses? Do you wash your hands? Do you smoke? All of these seemingly little things help our planet and your community. As members of the human race, these are your responsibilities.

As a child, we did not have seat belts in our vehicles. Children were not restrained in infant car seats; they could freely jump from the back seat to the front if they chose. Motorcyclists were not required to wear helmets. So, how does wearing seat belts impact our role in the community or the human race? A nonseatbelted person is more likely to sustain serious head and neck injuries, assuming they are not killed. If they have health insurance, the bills could be astronomical for their care. This will raise rates for all of the other insured people who do wear seat belts. If the person does not have health insurance, the state and federal government will end up footing the bills, and of course, guess who pays the state and federal government through taxes?

Smokers feel that they have a right to smoke. Apparently, to Smoke is protected by our Constitution somewhere. Smokers pay the same insurance premiums as you and I, but of course, smokers tend to get more respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, asthma, or emphysema, use the emergency room more often, and have a higher rate of cancer, requiring expensive surgeries and cancer treatments. Smokers have higher absenteeism at work and lower productivity. Again, the insurance companies and we nonsmokers foot the bill, as well as the government. When smokers flick their cigarettes out of a moving car and start a fire, someone else still has to pay for those damages. When a person chooses to smoke, they impact more than just their own lungs. They seriously impact ALL of us, directly and indirectly, in so many ways.

If people defend their right to smoke, do they also defend their right not to wash their hands? Is personal hygiene or the lack of protected by the Bill of Rights? Someone comes out of a public restroom and doesn wash their hands. They put their contaminated poopy hands on the door handles. A little child touches that handle and becomes seriously ill. The simple act of washing your hands can have a major impact on the community.

There was a major public health effort in the 1950 If people had the right to refuse vaccinations, no one really exercised those rights. Everyone felt that it was our community responsibility our duty to be vaccinated, so that people would not get polio, or measles, or whooping cough. In less than a decade, the incidence of these vaccinepreventable diseases plummeted. Everyone, by getting vaccinated, did their part. These public health efforts have saved millions of lives and billions of dollars, yet now, people feel they have the right to refuse vaccinations for personal reasons reasons. They don care if they, or their children get the diseases, and they certainly don care if they spread it to others in the community. You cannot achieve immunity unless all or most of the herd has been inocul winter coats canada goose ated. Just like one bad apple making the others rotten, if there is an unimmunized person in a community, the disease will survive. An epidemic starts with one.

There are people in the community that count on immunity Our efforts to vaccinate ourselves and our children is their only protection. They want others to take any risks, but then expect the insurance companies and society to take care of them if they get one of these serious, preventable diseases. Medical care is Godawful expensive, not just in dollars but in emotional toll. Are their calculable risks to taking vaccines? Sure, very small ones. The risks of serious vaccine reactions are considerably less risky than the chance of getting struck by lightening, but yet people are afraid. Some of these fears are created and nurtured by the Internet, backed up by pseudoscience and charlatans.

Perhaps the real barrier is trust. Since the 1950 Americans seem to have lost faith in their government, perhaps for good reasons. Remembering serious health threat that influenza can cause. Millions of Americans died in 1918 and it can happen again. Why don people listen?

In order for people to share responsibility, we have to have trust. We have to trust that everyone will do their part and not opt out or make excuses. We have to trust our elected leaders and our scientists, and we need to come down hard on those who betray basic, human trust. It has been said that we can trust, but verify. It is perfectly normal to question recommendations, but at some point, it will come down to trust. Do you trust your government? Do you trust your medical providers? Do you trust your own judgments?

As a medical provider, I am on the front line. I had to take four nasal swabs for a pertussis test this week on a 15month old. The mother does not in vaccines, so none of her children are immune. I can take care of her because I am immune to pertussis. I took my vaccine. Otherwise, I would be putting my own life at risk. I can take care of people with influenza and other lifethreatening illness because I am vaccinated, and this is my job. Vaccines are not perfect; few things in life are perfect, but vaccines are and will remain one of our best defenses. It is much easier to prevent an illness than treat one, I can assure you.

Please do your part. Don throw trash out of the window. Turn off unnecessary lights and use energyefficient bulbs. Wear your seat belts or helmets, and secure your children in car seats. Don smoke, and if you do, stop. Wash your hands. Unless you have a true contraindication, take the recommended vaccines. Be honest and learn to develop trust again. We live in the same community; on the same planet. We are all in this together. They do not reflect the opinions of WebMD and they have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. WebMD Blogs are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on WebMD. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately. winter coats canada goose