January is naturally a time for introspection and reflection for a lot of people (I covered this in my post about resolutions). This includes thinking about health. After a routine doctor’s appointment, it was suggested that I have a follow up appointment to investigate my health further. Spoiler alert: I’m totally fine, yay! After the appointment though, I dove into research, which is typical of me. Tread carefully with this, friends. If you tell WebMD you have a back itch, it may tell you that you’ve got an autoimmune disorder. If you have a little pain in your toe, it can be terminal. It’s easy to get in the rabbit hole of “worst case scenarios” if left to your own devices and the Internet. I thought I was pretty good about curtailing this, but still, I had a little cloud hanging over me for the last week or so. I was feeling generally happy with my life and starting the new year on a high note, but this nagging situation did loom in the back of my mind , if it wasn’t already at the forefront.
I’m sharing this mainly to help and encourage others to do a few things:
- To be proactive managing and maintaining their health.
- To be an advocate for themselves and ask questions.
- To nourish and appreciate good health.
- To avoid creating narratives that cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
- To not settle for a medical practitioner that doesn’t make you feel understood, cared for, and supported.
To be proactive managing and maintaining their health.
When we’re kids, our parents hopefully took us to the pediatrician, the dentist, the psychologist, or wherever we needed to go in order to grow up healthfully. As adults though, we have to be responsible for our own health. That means setting appointments in a timely manner, following doctor’s orders, and staying consistent with these habits.
To be an advocate for themselves and ask questions.
If you have questions for the doctors or nurses, ask them. Don’t feel shy, embarrassed, or like you’re an inconvenience. When you have their attention, take advantage of their expertise. As humans, we crave the known so any insight to put us at ease or understand where we’re at health-wise is so important.
To nourish and appreciate good health.
If your health is on track, keep doing what you’re doing and be grateful that you aren’t struggling with something serious that’s out of your control. Also, if you can make reasonable tweaks to your lifestyle that will drastically improve your health, talk to a doctor about finding routes to pursue that. We only live once and we need to care for vehicle if we want to fully enjoy the ride!
To avoid creating narratives that cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
This brings me back to the double edged sword that is Internet research. Limit that and instead, try to do activities that calm you and keep you mindful without allowing your thoughts to go out of control negative. For me lately, it’s been puzzling and David Attenborough (please adopt me as your granddaughter) documentaries on Netflix!
To not settle for a medical practitioner that doesn’t make you feel understood, cared for, and supported.
I found a doctor that was not only informative, but she answered my questions fully, made me feel comfortable (actually she made me laugh a ton), and she was proactive and comprehensive in her approach to my health. I never want anything less! Don’t settle for a practitioner that isn’t willing to answer questions in a way you can understand, or one that makes you feel uncomfortable or like you’re just a body with a pulse. There are wonderful, compassionate, and enlightening doctors out there!
That all said, I wish everyone a very healthy and happy new Year! Take care of yourselves!
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