Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Talk- Your Health

Good morning!  Some of you may have seen this on Facebook, but I had a major health scare this week.  I was prescribed a new medication that my doctor wanted to try, to help with nerve pain and control.  We have tried many different kinds to no avail, but she wanted to give this last one a go before I see the neurologist.  So I picked up my medication but I put off taking it...I am in the habit of double checking all medication I am given, just in case.  I kept forgetting to look it up, and as the week went by it was nagging me that I hadn't started taking it yet, so I grabbed the bottle and was about to take the first dose dismissing the fact that I didn't research it yet.  But then in a rare move of patience, I put the bottle down and grabbed my computer to look it up real quick.

Had I not done that, I would be dead right now.

Turns out this medication has extreme SJS warnings all over it, and somehow it just slipped through the radar.  For the record my doctor is phenomenal- I have been to countless doctors and she has been the only one to stick with me and continue to dig in to my illness, vowing to never give up on me.  This was just a simple mistake that could have cost my life.

I was pretty shaken that night, and even a couple days after.  SJS is not the way I want to go out!  And to think of how close I came just kind of jarred me.  Don't get me wrong- I am ready to die.  Not in a cryptic, depressed way- just that I know Who I believe in and where I am going.  But even so, I was still taken aback by how quickly it almost happened.

I am not going to answer questions as much as I just want to give you a few tips as far as your health goes.  I have learned a lot over the past few years, this last year in particular and I want you to be confident in the area of your own healthcare.

Be informed.
This seems like a given, but in all honesty this society is rife with the "herd" mentality- if everyone else is doing it, then I will do it.  We take articles, commercials, and even doctors at face value.  I encourage you to always be your own advocate and take time to understand what is going on around you and to you.  You do not have to have a medical degree to have an understanding of your own body and how it works for you.

Be explicit
If you pull a muscle in your calf and you type your symptoms into WebMD, you are sure to come away thinking you have cancer and 6 months left to live.  This is the downside to easy access to information. Everyone googles their symptoms and waltzes into their doctors office convinced they need to see Dr. House, assuming they have a rare and fatal illness.  You have to know your body.  You have to be explicit in your descriptions when you feel changes in your body.  You can read all the textbooks in the world, but each person's body works and responds to different things in different ways.  Do not assume changes or pains mean something crazy...pay attention, document thoroughly, and be patient.  As annoying as it is, most of the time when the doctor tells you to take a Tylenol and rest, it's usually true.  But in the cases where it is not, you need to understand that things do not happen quickly, and the more detailed of an understanding you have of what feels wrong with you, the better you will be able to work WITH your doctor.

Be aware
Nobody knows what is normal for you except you.  If you do not pay attention to your health, then you may mistake something as being a problem when it is not- or vice versa.  For example, every since I got my gall bladder taken out I know that for me, if I eat a meal that is heavy on the grease and is mostly fried, then I will feel sick and maybe even throw up.  I have paid close attention over the years as to what it feels like and what makes it occur.  If I was not aware of how my body works, I would be running to the doctor thinking I have a stomach flu or food poisoning.  Be aware of what is "normal" for your body.

Be aggressive
While I think that many people are big babies and need to understand that there is nothing a doctor can do for a cold, there are those times where there really is something wrong.  When that is the case, you have to get aggressive if you feel you are not being responded to properly.  I have been through several doctors over the years and I have left a lot of them due to my dislike of the way they handled my condition.  I simply did not feel that they were doing their job and since I knew what was going on in my body, I knew how very off course they were at times.  After 3 years I finally found a doctor who I am satisfied with.  She is treating my illness in it's entirety rather than separating and isolating symptoms.  She has looked me dead in the eye and told me she will never give up on me and that she will keep digging.  I had to be aggressive and I had to walk away from doctors, but it was worth it to get to the place where I am getting treated.

I hope this helps a little.  It's not that I am fiercely into the whole health scene, it's just that I have taken off the rose-colored glasses when it comes to this country's medical practices and I want you to start to stand on your own two feet when it comes to YOUR bodies.

On a completely separate note, I am throwing an little advertisement out at you- If anyone is in the Saratoga, NY area and looking for a fabulous day care, there is one opening up this summer that I highly recommend!  Located in Ballston Spa (Saratoga County), Jumper Bean is a NY state licensed group family child daycare.   I personally know the owner, and she is an energetic, sweet woman who loves kids and animals and will make your child feel loved.  Aside from the fact that your child would be getting fresh air and a varied curriculum, my favorite thing about this day care is that not only do they provide breakfast, lunch, AND snack, but all the meals and snacks are ORGANIC!  Yes, you read that right.  This is a daycare that feels like home and has your child's best interest at heart.  Here is the website for more information:  www.jumperbean.com

Hope you have a wonderful week!

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