As I’ve quietly alluded to, I have been through some difficult times lately in regards to my health. I thought I had my life figured out and that the track I was on was more or less set in stone. Then my health started getting weird(er). Since mid-October I have spent nearly a month in-patient at the hospital including 5 separate ER visits. At my worst point, I lost control over the left half of my body and my immune system became useless, essentially appearing to be functionally partially paralyzed and very vulnerable to further illness. I have had well over 20 outpatient doctor appointments, and have worked all of 5 days in the past 90 calendar days. Not only that, but I already have nearly 15 outpatient appointments scheduled before we get to March. Plus it’s quite likely that up to another dozen could happen between now and the end of March. My employer has been incredibly understanding and helpful (for which I realize I am very fortunate and incredibly thankful), but back to my point, your health is something that is easily ignored or perhaps just not prioritized until it is interfering with another aspect of life. Ironically enough, I was actively pursuing improvements in my health when things took a turn for the worse. Though it appears this could be due to a medical procedure that didn’t go as expected. Either way, health should be appropriately considered in any major life decision since the impacts of poor health can cripple some of the best laid plans (whether financial or otherwise).
For months now, I have been trying to get my doctor to help me with certain aspects of my health such that I can find more ability to promote my own well-being through exercise. as of right now, I can hardly make it through an average day without an absurd amount of medicine to help control pain and other symptoms of my currently poor health. So, the results of my (and my doctor’s) efforts have unfortunately been negligible. Then I have this serious health breakdown, likely in response to the previously mentioned procedure recommended by my doctor. It’s hard not to be mad at him (even though it isn’t directly his fault) when perhaps more action on his part prior to the ‘medical procedure gone wrong’ could have prevented that extreme of measures from being necessary. But honestly what good will trying to guess on that do? Not much!
Instead, I am taking my health back into my own hands and being more proactive. In my current state, my primary care doctor is not going to have the knowledge or power to independently return me to being health. Not all my actions (and reactions) may seem exactly related to my current health concerns but it’s all one big messy intertwined mess of variables. If I have the capacity to control/influence any of them, I should optimize their ability/efficiency such that there are less factors to contribute to poor health. So that is my goal. Better control what I can so the desired results (improved health) are more likely to be stacked in my favor. First of which will likely be a new doctor that genuinely listens and is willing to try more reasonable medical options with me. Secondly, I am continuing to alter my diet as I have been for the past year or so. I am dramatically reducing sugars, processed foods, and anything with significant counts of ingredients that I don’t understand what they are. As these unhealthy foods are removed, they are being replaced with more regular consumption of healthy foods. Significantly more grown foods (not stuff sold in boxes at the grocery store) like salads, homemade fruit drinks, other vegetables, more fruits, and better quality, sometimes organic meats.
For example, I have essentially removed soda from my grocery cart, and replaced it with primarily water(filtered at home) and a variety of teas and coffee (both home brewed, and not loaded with sugar). I have probably consumed an average of only one can of soda per month in the past year. Considering I previously consumed 4-7 cans per week, that alone has provided noticeable benefits with weight, mood, and mindful consumption of sugars. Though I don’t claim to be some ultra-healthy person (I still enjoy an occasional mixed drink, lunch at a fast food venue, and wonderfully greasy or sweet foods) I have significantly changed my diet to better support my health and life goals.
In addition to dietary changes, I hope to be at a point soon where regular intense exercise is again a realistic option. I am also seeing additional specialists to get to the bottom of my current health concerns. Hopefully they will find meaningful diagnoses, allowing treatment and eradication(hopefully) of the symptoms I’m currently experiencing.
We as modern day humans have identified (and unfortunately created) thousands upon thousands of ways we can harm our own health. Despite this, many options are still available for us to maintain and even significantly restore our health. We just have to know a little bit about how our actions lead to exposure to various dangers and how our food consumption influences our health. Being mindful in balancing satisfaction and supplying our bodies with the foods/chemicals it needs. In addition to self moderation, even the healthiest of individuals should maintain a good relationship with a local doctor who can assist whenever the need may arise. In a world with increased dependency of the many variables of life, maintaining health can seem to be more difficult for some. However, doing so will ensure that you and those around you have significantly better chances to live regular healthy lives and enjoy the finer things of life.
So what can you do about your health?
- Be mindful of what you are exposing your body to.
- Be aware of the needs of your body and primarily consume foods that enhance your wellbeing
- Avoid (or strictly moderate) consumption of potentially harmful foods, drinks, or chemicals
- Maintain a relationship with a knowledgeable doctor who takes the time to listen to what you desire from your body and suggests how you can maintain or work to achieve your goals
- Maintain a positive mental attitude about your health. A loss of health does not necessarily mean health can’t be restored. And carrying a negative attitude about your health is likely to reduce slow down or even reduce the likelihood of recovering back to good health.
- Have a group of confidants that you can trust in the event that your health is failing and you need assistance for various things. Meaning, don’t assume that you can make it through everything on your own. It is only healthy to have people you can trust to make decisions for you if you are unable.