Knowledge Is Power: Know Your Health! The First Order of Business
Knowledge is Power! The prolific statement of the 80’s that would be coined during a major campaign pushing for Americans to learn to read. Decades later this statement still breathes and is just as powerful now as it was then. Only this time sprinkled with the healthcare, organics and sustainable living movements at the forefront of accessible politics. The call to action here is your health being the first order of business. Coming from being fit all of my life to now taking pills so that I may seemingly be functional taught me that health is everything. And if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.
Let’s begin with the doctors. Do they know and understand the business of your health as you see it? Are they paying attention to the details? Are they listening and taking correct notes? Are they truly interested in your well-being and does it translate in their actions? Now turn to you. How involved are you? Do you have a complete copy of your medical file? Are you having productive conversations with your physician? Are you getting the results needed from them? And finally, if you’re not on top of your health politics, who is??
Like most, my objective from the beginning was to find out what the heck was going on. It was during the first office visit while answering a series of “qualifying” questions and hearing my physician insist that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. This was before any lab work had been ordered. It didn’t matter how clear and precise I was in describing the debilitating symptoms and their qualities. So naturally following the appointment, I hit the internet to gain some insight into this seemingly common affliction.
During the seamless hours of reading on Rheumatoid Arthritis it was discovered that many illnesses and autoimmune disorders share similar symptoms. How simple do you think it is to be misdiagnosed and placed on medication for the wrong ailment? Unfortunately, very easily. This is what happens when doctors don’t listen; or ask the right questions because they are too busy following protocol. What was also disturbing and sad were the blogs. Hundreds of personal stories from patients of all ages, who have been suffering for years. Exhausting every medication prescribed with no relief in sight. And guess what? Not one person mentioned being instructed to raise their nutrition bar or to meet with a Nutritionist. All pills all of the time and zero natural nutrition to help them heal or improve their pain management. Arrogant schmucks in white lab coats running through red lights to quickly stick you in “their box”.
By the second visit it was crystal clear that me presiding over the business of my medical journey was going to make a difference in its outcome. In my intense research on how to heal and return to living through high nutrition, natural medicine and minimal pharmaceuticals, I got in touch with my fear and embraced it. The cammies and jump boots got dusted off. The reality of navigating my way through a system that is designed (I believe) to keep people ill overwhelmed me. With all of the incompetencies performed, prescription pushing and new “legal” drugs being advertised on every media platform, I hung on to hope and faith in myself to insure protection from becoming prey to this dangerous (medical) industry. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones. It is important that we share real information with each other. Set aside our pride and blinders, and enlighten each other so that there is a true support mechanism in place to help one another. Help each other survive with some dignity no matter the outcome. On our (your) terms. Here are just a few pointers I would like to share.
1. Know your body.
2. Acknowledge and understand your true feelings/thoughts about where your health is and take action!
3. Request copies of all lab work and exam results as they become available. Although your physician may skim over results and render his professional opinions, be sure to research and analyze the information on your own. This is where the internet truly becomes a “supertool”.
4. Find out the best way to communicate with your physician(s) outside of office visits. Are they just a phone call away or is e-mail best. Ask them!
5. Communicate openly and honestly with your physician. Do not be afraid to question them or to share new information you may have acquired as it relates to your present health. Good or bad. Both you and the medical staff need to be on the same page at all times.
6. If you are not getting your needs met, change physicians. And if your gut points in the direction of a second opinion, go get it!
7. Remember that at the end of the day, when it comes to eating habits, there is always room for improvement. Most recoveries or improvements rely heavily on what I call ” supernutrition”. Eat more foods gifted to us from Mother Nature.
8. Keep an open mind to options. Outside of conventional medicine, consider natural, holistic or homeopathic approaches. They are legitimate forms of medicine and are on improving the quality of life for thousands! Don’t be sold on just pills, pills and more pills! Keep your options open. Research!
9. Maintain a folder of your medical records. Keep notes on your visits and what you experienced. Include thoughts and feelings.
10. Believe in yourself. And no matter what, you have the last word!
Are we living in the era of “patients vs. healthcare?” Yes! And a battle it is. There is so much money involved and a lot of sick people who are just straight up chronically ill! It is important to understand how we arrived at this point. It didn’t just happen overnight. Where ever your health ranks on the scale of 1-10, remember there is always room for improvement. Start from where you are and make gradual changes. Be patient and you will experience encouraging results. You owe it to yourself and those who love you. Hope this first article is a helpful one.
Peace & Respect