I must first start this week’s blog with a disclaimer. This blog is not intended to give medical advice. It is solely my opinion. All that I ask is that you read it and then make choices that are best for you. :)
Being a member of CrossFit 330 most likely means that you want to be a healthy person and that you try your best most of the time to make choices that positively impact your life. Our coaches try to give the best guidance in making decisions regarding specific movements and scaling, dealing with injuries, and even nutrition and supplements. Since none of the coaches are doctors or nurses, we fall short in helping with other medical issues. My birthday was a couple weeks ago. And, as it turns out, I often have a few doctors’ appointments around my birthday. While sitting in the waiting room at one appointment, I got to thinking…working out and eating right is only part of being healthy. I have several medical professionals that I have on “my team.” Medical professionals should be an important member of your healthy-living team, too.
A few things to consider…
Know your family’s medical history—This is important. Does your family have a history of cancer or autoimmune disease? Are allergies common? What about heart disease, high blood pressure, or depression? Talk with family members. Chances are you aren’t the first one with some type of condition. Even if certain illnesses aren’t part of your family history, you should still get screened for them when appropriate. For example, we have no known breast cancer in my family, but I still get regular mammograms. Even though it’s not a comfortable test, my feeling is that someone had to be first to have it “in the family.”
Get regular physicals and follow-up with specialists regularly—Staying in touch with your medical team will help evaluate your overall health and keep chronic conditions in check. Be honest with your doctors about whether or not things are improving. Remember to be honest even if it’s a little embarrassing. Chances are they’ve probably heard it before. And, when you get to be certain ages some of the tests (like a colonoscopy) can be time-consuming, inconvenient and a little gross—but so worth the screening to possibly save your life.
Be your own medical advocate—Ask questions and keep asking them until you understand the answers. Know about the medications that you are prescribed—their possible side effects, interactions, and the proper way to take them. Understand the reason for tests or procedures. Allow your doctors to share information with each other. (My primary care doctor, for example, likes to receive the test results from my specialists.) Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion or fire a doctor. That’s not to say that you jump ship when the doctor suggests that you lose twenty pound because you’re bordering on pre-diabetes just because you don’t want to hear that or do the work. However, if something isn’t making sense or you just don’t get along personally with the doctor, by all means find another one.
So—let me leave you with this…As 2018 quickly comes to a close and you start to fill in birthdays, vacations, and anniversaries on your 2019 calendar, take a few minutes and make some phone calls and fill in a doctor’s appointment or two for yourself.
All the best to you and your family this holiday season. I look forward to continue being on your family’s healthy-living team in the New Year.