Monday, September 24, 2012

Thoughts About Health

Since I'm able to feel, I have pain in my neck, shoulders and back. I have lots of therapy throughout the week to help reduce and even try to eliminate it. Sometimes the pain is constant and hard to deal with and other times it's gone altogether. There is not much more I can do to get rid of it besides stretching and occasional pain meds like ibuprofen. One thing that tends to happen is that I can tell that I am in pain simply because of the way my body responds (I have muscle spasms) but I may not be able to feel it completely. Then I have to take a combination of meds for pain and spasms.

As far as my nursing staff goes, I understand that working for a C-1 C-2 quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down isn't always easy. I try to give my nurses breaks whenever possible to allow them to rest their body. Some of my nurses have pain as well in different areas, either from old injuries or working for me. I've had my physical therapist, Nicole, come out and give the nurses training so that they have good body mechanics when moving me.

One of the biggest things is for someone to recognize when something is not feeling right with their body and making sure that they get it taken care of. Especially if it could get worse and cause more damage or pain in the future. I found this list of thoughts that people may think to themselves when they experience feelings about their health and they are ignoring it or don't think it's that bad. Take a look at it and see if there's a dangerous thought that you're thinking about your health that may just be worth taking a second look at.

The 10 Most Dangerous Thoughts About Your Health

Which one is yours?
1. Maybe it will go away.

Are you willing to risk that it won't?

2. It comes and goes.

Why wait until it is a constant problem?

3. It's not that bad!

Compared to what?

4. It only hurts when I…

If your tooth only hurts when you drink something cold, is the problem cold water or a cavity?

5. I know what my problem is…

What is your solution?

6. I was told I've got to live with it.

Don't give up on your body or your body will give up on you.

7. I don't want to know.

What you don't know can hurt you. What you do know can help you live a fuller life.

8. I don't have any symptoms.

Did you know that the first symptom in over 57% of heart disease is a heart attack?

9. I don't have time.

If your time is valuable, can you afford to ignore your bodies signals and risk being affected for weeks, months or even your lifetime?

10. I can't afford it… My insurance won't cover it.

You can't afford not to. What insurance covers your car payment, your rent/mortgage or your groceries? You find a way day after day, month after month to pay for these necessities… What about your greatest necessity, your health?

When any of my nurses tell me they're in pain and therefore aren't able to do things how I normally do them, I most likely will hear one of these 10 reasons why they haven't been able to address it. I can understand to an extent, but it also affects my body whenever I am being moved differently because of someone else's pain. Also, it can sometimes limit some of the stretches and position changes that I do. I think it's important for everyone to not just think everything is okay with their health because they have an excuse on why not to get it taken care of.

There have been multiple times over the past 10 years where my body has told me something is wrong and I listened by going to the ER or getting on some medication. There are also multiple times I could have (or almost) died had I ignored the signs my body was telling me. I'm grateful when I know something isn't right and that I make the right choice to do something about it, for my own health and benefit.


1 comment:

Matthew Smith said...

One of the reasons people don't always go to the doctor when they have some niggling health problem is that some doctors have a reputation for being dismissive about such problems, particularly to women. They brush them off as psychosomatic, stress-related or something else other than a physical condition. I have also heard of many cases of women being misdiagnosed as having IBS when they actually had ovarian cancer.

Also, some doctors prescribe medication unnecessarily. A few years ago (I was about 30, or maybe even less, at the time, I cycled regularly and ate fairly healthily) I went to the doctor for a routine thyroid medication prescription. As usual, he sent me for a blood test (they are done every 6 months or so) and also specified a cholesterol test. When I came back to the surgery, he gave me a prescription for statins. I thought this was odd because nobody had ever mentioned anything might be wrong before, and I am reluctant to take tablets unless I know what they are for. I spoke to my friend who was also a doctor (albeit a junior one) and he basically advised me not to take them. More recently, after I had switched GPs, I told the new doctor the story and he said I had made the right decision.