Cure and Care

Are cure and care the same? Generally speaking, from a clinical perspective, a cure is medical care in the minds of most medical providers I know, with few exceptions. Cure is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I am fortunate to be able to say I have been cured now seven years, but I have learned that care covers a whole range of things that are just as important as being cured when it comes to outcomes. As I have said before, some of us need very little in the way of care, while others will need more enhanced support in their healing and path to wellness.

Care speaks to wellness, and this is a more holistic approach, which I find myself aligned with more as time goes by. In my work, I have been fortunate in being exposed to the indigenous approach to wellness and care. I am new to their approach but as I learn more I understand that much of what I have come to believe about care, grown within me organically, is similar to their beliefs about the whole being and treating to cure is but one step in a process.

Empathy and Care

The importance of peers is part of the whole person experience in my view. Empathy is necessary, and in most cases it is made easier for the person listening to understand what we are going through as we share our story and how we feel in our journey towards wellness. Medical professionals do not have the time, and in most cases do not have the training, and certainly no lived experience, except in rare cases.

Trained counsellors are somewhere in between peer and clinical care. They typically have some education and training to include all manner of skills meant to help their clients. Some are very good at finding resources and some are very good listener, even better listeners than some peers, but they lack one thing-experience living with hep C. Like I alluded to in my comment about listening skills, not all people are very good at listening and training can help but we are simply not all cut out for good practice in care.

Despite how we parse out the meaning of words, there are distinct differences in what people perceive as care and cure (treatment) for any illness, and it is no different for hep C. Cure does not mean it’s over and done, all good. Again, maybe for some and to be fair I rarely hear from them. What I hear is that people are dealing with any number of issues before cure and afterwards, and in some cases for years after. This is true for me, and as I know, not at all unique.

What does my own care look like you might ask. The medical care is dealing with the individual issues one by one, not looking at the whole me. This is a typical medical response as I have said, but is it enough? Not so much for me, but to include me, I hope that we can change this approach to wellness and maybe it starts with you and me. I am working towards a model that is meant to address the whole person and not just the virus, disease, or condition, because that is not who we are. We are so much more and I don’t mean other illness.

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