Last year I did the the bravest thing I have done in my life. And to me being brave has very little to do with exposing yourself to all sorts of life-threatening activities such as parachuting or bungee-jumping or even riding a bicycle down a ski slope in Slovakia in the summer (one of my friends has actually done this…). Well, I guess these things are also brave in some sense, but most of the time they just seem unnecessary… at least to me, but then again maybe it just comes with the territory of having a movement disorder.
To me courage has to do with following your heart even though you don’t know what will be. I read a quote from some old Greek last year and it goes something like this (if you think the translation is a bit dodgy that might be because it has been translated from Greek to Swedish and then to English): “Where you talent and your passion meet the needs of the world, there lies your calling”. I have found my calling. I am just about to finish my second semester at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studying Health Informatics (HI). HI is simplified all use of information and communication technology within healthcare in the broad context and here lies my calling. I want to use HI to empower myself and fellow chronic disease patients by giving us tools for understanding our situation better, tools for more effective communication with our doctor and nurse and tools for education. Education of ourselves, education of healthcare professíonals, education of our near and dear as well as awareness for everybody.
In my point of view, this is the only way healthcare can meet the increasing number of chronically ill without having the cost spiralling totally out of control. The only way is to give patients the choice to contribute if they want to, to allow patients to take responsibility for their own health, for their own care.
I am not saying this will be easy, but that is not a reason for not trying… We will all have to be brave and then the sky will not even be the limit!
(by the way, if any of you would happen to know who was the originator for my (probably severely and brutally disconfigured) quote about callings, please just let me know, OK?)