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You are in Charge of Your Health

20 J0000005UTC 2011

I’ve always been one to listen to doctors obediently and do what I am told (“Put this smock on; eat this; take these drugs for the rest of your life.”); not question authority; not rock the boat; behave myself in the waiting room. But a couple years ago I started to take charge of my own health. I started very tentatively, like warming my hands at a fire. Then my entire body warmed and woke up.

Five years ago I read a book that overhauled my take on disease and health called Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie M. Siegel M.D. A concept that sticks with me today is that we should not allow anyone to put a time frame on our lives: “You have six months to live.” That kind of talk is about liability, safety, fear and money. It robs people of hope and optimal healing capacity. When we take our health into our own hands, rely on the support we are given and entrust our life span to the divine or to science or to superb faith or to the intricate workings of our own bodies– rather than the proclamation of another person– we do ourselves a great service. We make room to live well, heal well and, in the end, die well.

I started taking charge of my own health when I deliberately did not do what my doctor told me to do. Twice. When there was an inkling of arthritis, I was directed to a rhumatologist and told I would be medicated. When I had a small cyst, I was told to head across the street for an ultrasound, asap.

I did not go to the rhumatologist or the ultrasound. I went home, had a good cry, got really angry at the system and cursed a lot that I had no clue what my alternatives were. But then there was the internet, like a bright beacon in the storm.

What part of arthritis and cysts did I have control of? Did I cause them? Could I prevent them? Reverse them? Could I do it without more doctors, tests, medications and lousy side effects? I figured out quickly that some of my lifestyle was possibly causative and that I did have some control. I found out that sugar is inflammatory and that caffeine contributes to cysts. I could take control of those. 

And control feels really, really good.

I cut my caffeine in half and removed soda, fruit juice, anything with high fructose corn syrup, white sugar and white pasta. I overhauled my drinks and carbs. And it was easy because it was my body and I had the power to change it. I did not have to be poked, prodded, medicated, hospitalized or dressed up in one of those dumb ass-showing smocks in order to alter my health.

Am I the picture of health today? Not really. I have a salt-and-vinegar chip vice like you would not believe, my knuckles ache when I climb (but I can climb 700 feet in a day and am stronger than ever) and sometimes I drink too much coffee. But you should see my nutrient intake! The greens I eat– I’m like a freakin’ sheep– and I used to hate veggies. Soda is way too sweet now and water tastes great. The body does change; it can absolutely change for the better.

Truly you have the obligation to question “authority,” search for your own answers, seek alternative care, wait to start tests or take medications, make your own decisions and assume the control over your body and mind that provides the power to heal. You are in charge of your health.

Chow!


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Travis Percival permalink
    20 J0000005UTC 2011 6:49 pm

    Beautifully written and such a great mentality. I agree completely – It’s our job to assume that there is always more to learn and alternative ways to solve each problem we face. Appreciate the professionals for their opinion – but don’t leave it at that!

  2. doctorblue permalink
    20 J0000005UTC 2011 9:34 pm

    Bravo for non-compliance! When I woke up to the realities of our medical care system, I too began reading medical books, case studies and carefully scrutinized the information I found online. What an eye opener to the influence of money. Unfortunately I didn’t wise up until after I’d become disabled. Now I am on a quest for competent medical care seeking out those rare doctors with the knowledge and will to help me heal. I’ve made some progress in the last couple of years and remain hopeful.

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