Be Your Own Lab Rat

Are you confused by all of the conflicting medical advice in the media? What about all of the different diets out there? The Natural Medicine versus Conventional Medicine camps? Here’s my advice.

Find a healthcare practitioner that you trust. I have an integrative nurse practitioner that addresses health from a holistic perspective. She is also familiar with natural and conventional treatments.

Do your own research. You have information at your fingertips everyday. With that said, try to avoid misinformation by looking for reputable sources.

If something isn’t working, try something new. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find what works for you. Remember that everybody’s body is different. What works for me might not work for you.

Be patient. Unfortunately, your health probably won’t change overnight. It might take awhile to see changes, especially if you are changing your diet or trying new health supplements.

Listen to your body. Remember—you are the only one that is living in your body (unless you have a little one growing inside of you). Sometimes you are the only one that will know when something is wrong or when something needs to change.

Don’t give up. If you are making even the smallest effort to improve your health, that is great! Just keep on going and give yourself some credit for your effort.

What steps are you taking to improve your health? If you like this blog, consider liking the Facebook page as well!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Do You Want To Improve Your Health?

Do you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do to improve your health? Let me simplify it for you. Just consider these four things. Four is a small number, right?

  1. Detoxify. Detox your body, mind, relationships and house.
  2. Put good stuff in your body. Eat superfoods and supplements.
  3. Practice self-care. Set aside time for exercise, rest, and other activities that will lower your stress level.
  4. Foster good relationships. Spend time with people that feed your soul, and spend time in service to others.

Take one small step today. Find someone to keep you accountable and get going. You got this!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Life Lessons From My Six-Year Old

She drew on the mirror with yogurt.” That’s what I told my husband the other day. I bet that you can guess that I am a mom! Mother’s Day is approaching, so I thought that it would be appropriate to share six things that I am learning from my six-year old.

  1. Play in the mud and rain puddles.
    My daughter doesn’t really care if she gets mud on her clothes. Life is messy. I am learning that it can be fun to play in the mess!
  2. Smell the flowers, even if you’re in a hurry.
    My daughter doesn’t rush around everywhere like I do, and she absolutely loves to smell flowers. She reminds me to slow down and enjoy the moment!
  3. Always forgive.
    No matter how many times I have to say, “I’m sorry”, my daughter is always quick to forgive me. I am learning that forgiveness can be a remedy for bitterness.
  4. Be silly.
    My daughter can find humor in almost anything. She makes me want to laugh more!
  5. Tell people what you need.
    My daughter always asks for help and is very helpful to others. I am learning that it is better to ask for help than to overexert myself.
  6. Make friends wherever you go.
    My daughter likes to greet everyone that she sees. I am learning that it is nice to connect with someone new, even if it is only for a moment.

What lessons have you learned from your kids? If you like this blog, consider liking us on Facebook as well (@myinspirationforwellness)!

My Physician Missed A Lump On My Armpit

When searching for a new healthcare provider, it’s difficult to know which providers are competent, kind, and professional. Sometimes, we just have to hope for the best. When I have to visit a new healthcare provider, this is what I hope for.

I hope for someone that will not miss the small things-or even the big things.

When I was in college, I had a big lump on my armpit that was the size of a kiwi. It was so noticeable that my usually calm and laid-back mom sent me to the doctor right away. When I showed it to my doctor, she said, “I don’t see anything.” She didn’t acknowledge it until I pointed at it.

To this day, I am still scratching my head about this incident. Did she think that I was a hypochondriac and assume that I was being paranoid? Did she forget to put her contacts on? Was she tired? Did she even look the first time?  

I hope for someone that knows who I am-or at least doesn’t confuse my chart with someone else’s chart.

When I was pregnant, I saw an endocrinologist because my thyroid was out of whack. His office seemed to be busy because it took them three or more days to answer questions like, “Does the doctor want me to keep my appointment?” When I finally got a call from a nurse, this is what she said to me: “The doctor says that your thyroid levels look good. Keep taking Synthroid.”

I had never taken Synthroid in my life.

I hope for someone that is kind, humble and open to complementary therapies.

A couple of years ago, I was admitted to the hospital because my arm blew up (I had a crazy allergic reaction on my skin). With chin held high, squinty eyes peering down at me, and an expression on her face that said “I am God,” the Attending Physician snidely asked me questions like, “Why didn’t you see a skin doctor? Why are you taking fish oil?”

Due to my burning eyes (my contacts were old and I was not able to get my glasses from home) and lack of sleep from being monitored throughout the night, I was too much of a mess to explain to her that my insurance would probably not pay for dermatological services–even though my husband and I paid a boatload for the insurance. I was also too tired to explain to her how beneficial fish oil was for me, so I just responded, “I read that fish oil is good.” With a condescending chuckle, she looked back down at her computer keyboard.

I hope for someone that will spend just a tiny bit of extra time with me if I have questions.

Our first pediatrician was very cordial and pleasant. Unfortunately, she spent most of our appointment typing on her computer and a minute or so examining our child. After the minute or so was up, she said, “Thank you, your papers will be at the desk, take care!” She was almost out the door before I stopped her to ask her a question. She scribbled something on my paper and basically ran out of the room.

I don’t have firsthand experience as a physician, but I know that they are forced to have quick appointments; I also know that some physicians feel as if they have to work so fast that they eventually start to see their patients as products on an out-of-control assembly line. Therefore, I don’t really fault this physician for her behavior. Unfortunately, this might just be an example of our broken healthcare system in the U.S.

I hope for someone with compassion.

I personally know two mothers that recently lost their babies in the second or third trimester. So, when I started having abnormal bleeding in my third trimester, I was very fearful for my baby and almost started crying in the midwife’s office. I was embarrassed of being overly emotional and was (unreasonably) ashamed of being a burden on the midwife.

Instead of impatience or lack of compassion, the midwife took my hand and tenderly said to me, “It’s okay. We are going to figure this out. That’s what we are here for.”

I hope for someone that goes above and beyond my expectations.

When my daughter was sick and our regular pediatrician was on vacation, we visited another doctor with his own practice. When I entered the office, the “receptionist” was on the phone. When it was time for the doctor to see my daughter, the same “receptionist” ushered us into the exam room, took my daughter’s vital signs, examined her and called an outside vendor to order lab tests. A few days later, the same “receptionist” called me to see if my daughter was feeling better.

When I visited the office again, the same “receptionist” was talking to one of the dads in the waiting room. At this point, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and asked, “Why are you doing everything? Is everyone on vacation for the holiday?” He told me that he could not afford his staff anymore. “In the same way that insurance rates are rising for patients, they are rising for us as well.” He went on to say that physicians will probably not be able to afford to have their own practices in the future.

This broke my heart. This kind physician took the time to call me to see if my daughter was okay, even though he had to be the receptionist, medical assistant and physician for his whole private practice.

Do you have a healthcare provider that goes above and beyond your expectations? If you like this blog, consider liking Inspiration for Wellness on Facebook as well (@myinspirationforwellness)!

Who Are You?

No more labeling of children’s charactersEvery child needs to be seen as a multifaceted being-now shy and withdrawn, now boisterous and outgoing; now slow and thoughtful, now swift and purposeful; now stubborn and uncooperative, now flexible. But never the same, always in process, always with the capacity for change and growth…Every child needs to be seen as a “learner” and encouraged to experience the joy of intellectual discovery and the satisfaction of making progress-however fast or slow…Every child needs to be encouraged to experience the pleasures of sports, song, dance, theater, and art without worrying about having to be the star athlete or a musical genius or the class actress or the family artist. No more imprisoning of children’s hopes and dreams and possibilities by locking them in with labels. Who knows what any of us might become if just one person believed in us enough to help us explore our unexplored selves.”

This is an excerpt from the book, “How to Talk So Kids Can Learn at Home and in School” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Do you ever feel like people slap labels on you? I know that I am guilty of labeling myself and others. This is not always done with malicious intent. Unfortunately, the label that we slap onto ourselves or someone else is incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate. Here’s my challenge to you-scrape off the labels that have been slapped onto you. You don’t have to live by those labels! Go out and join a Meetup group to make some new friends, pick up a fun hobby, volunteer for an important cause, read some stimulating books or travel to an inspiring location. As the author puts it, I challenge you to explore your unexplored self.