Sunday, October 2, 2011

Seniors, Health & Lessons to be Learned

It appears to me that when one reads about seniors and health, it's either dire (cancer, heart attacks, limited mobility and even more limited health coverage) or unealistically optimistic ("84-year-old climbs Mt. Everest"). I hardly ever see myself in these stories, even though I suspect I'm pretty normal when it comes to my health care needs.

I'm 62. I feel fine. I tend to rate my health as "good" but when I look at my health history, it may be that it is more in the "fair" range. I had a quadruple by-pass 2.5 years ago. I'm diabetic and have been for 12 years. The only reason I don't have high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure is that I religiously take medications that keep both within normal ranges. Ten months ago, I bowed to pressure from my nurse-practitioner and started to use insulin. It was a very good decision that has dramatically decreased my glucose levels, and, as it turned out, those who told me that the shots wouldn't physically hurt, were correct. That, too, is a good thing since I'm an utter weenie when it comes to injections.

I find myself surprised by those my age who are somehow proud of themselves for NOT taking cholesterol or blood pressure medications--as though admitting the need for them is, in itself, a failure. (Obviously, I'm talking about those of us who do have elevated numbers, not those fortunate enough not to need any medications.) This goes triple for diabetics moving from medications to insulin. I understand the latter since I, too, felt like taking insulin was an admission that I wasn't able to control my diet. Duh! I WASN'T able to control my diet. Call it what you will--lack of willpower, whatever. While I was ditzing around, promising to get my diet on track, my glucose numbers were ever-increasing. Insulin takes care of the problem. It could have taken care of the problem years before when the medications began to lose effectiveness (as they usually do after 6 to 8 years of use).

All of which leads me to Grace's Lesson for the Day--if what you're doing isn't working, FIND ANOTHER WAY!

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a lesson that would work in my financial life as well as for my health.


Bob Lowry said...

Find another way...marching order for all of us no matter what the situation.

I am fortunate to take no medications, have no known health issues except some minor arthritis and knee pain. My wife, on the other had, started with a laundry list of problems and infirmities at 30. She has battled to stay on an even keel ever since (she is now 57).

The best decision she ever made was to take over the management of her situation by herself. She learned all about drugs and interactions, side effects and long term problems. She asked all the tough questions. And, when something didn't work, she "found another way."

From 15 pills a day to 3...from constant pain to a 5 on a scale of 10. She just started using the patches I wrote about a few months ago that proved so successful for my son-in-law. She reports a pain reduction to 2 or 3.

Following the "experts" blindly off the cliff isn't a good idea. Whatever the situation, chart your own course.

Anonymous said...

I have to take synthroid for my thyroid. But besides that I am trying to do more natural things(we have a nurse pa who is very into home remedies). I have started take glucosamine for my arthritis, I take zinc, b6, and a few other things that seem to be helping.

Now if I could find a natural remedy for migraines I would be doing great.


LC said...

Good advice for all areas of endeavor! Good example, too.