Monday, January 25, 2010

Medical Self Reliance Part Two

By Susan Frances Bonner
Author of: Opening a Registered Nurse's Eyes: A Life-Altering Journey Across North America

As a Home Health Nurse off and on since 1995, my main goal and all Home Health Nurses’ as well; was to keep my chronically ill patients out of the hospital, out of the doctor’s office and relatively healthy.

In case no one knows what a Home Health Nurse is, I have provided a definition from, mondofacto.com. “Home Health Nurse: A nurse who is responsible for a group of clients in the home setting. Visits clients on a routine basis to assist client and family with care as needed and to teach family the care needed so that the client may remain in his/her home.”

It was a daunting task, but achievable. Most of my patients suffered from Diabetes, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, ect. Diseases, that could easily go from chronic to acute and require professional medical attention. I was also dealing with an aging population, another obstacle to keeping these folks out of the hospital. In order to do that, one has to distinguish between what you can and cannot do when it comes to the health of an individual. That includes yourself and your loved ones.

My husband is chronically ill. He has Ankoyolsing Spondialitis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. We live an hour away from the nearest medical facility and during the winter the only way to get to town is to snowmobile to our vehicle down the mountain. So, we are very conscious of what we consider a “medical emergency”.

With that disclosed; let’s explore what we can and cannot due when it comes to our health. And this will include people with chronic diseases. One; when it comes to trauma, meaning catastrophic bodily injury, there is very little one can do without a medical facility. Even if you know first aide and CPR, the person that you performed that on will still need additional medical attention. Conversely, a diabetic has complete control over their blood sugar, just as someone with high blood pressure does.

Ok, I can hear everyone now. The diagnosed diabetic and the rest of the chronic disease crowd are already in the medical system. Yes, they are; but now what? Now, you use the tools given you to become self-reliant. Nutrition, exercise and knowledge of your disease process are key. Believe you me, my husband and I find that out everyday. It’s all an experiment when it comes to our health. Medical professionals do not have all the answers. That’s why it’s called “practicing medicine”. So don’t be so hard on yourself, you can take control of your health and your loved ones as well.

Two; keep records, such as; what caused your disease? What medications, mainstream or holistic will help you control your disease? What types of foods and exercise regimens make your disease better or worse? How much stress do you have in your life and how does it affect your body? Knowledge is the key and without questions and answers there is no knowledge.

Now, common illnesses you can cure are: one the Common Cold. Antibiotics in no way shape or form help the Common Cold. The Common Cold is produced by a certain bacteria, which does not respond to antibiotics. So, the best way to cure it is to strive to keep healthy so your immune system is strong enough to battle all ills. Again, proper nutrition, (meaning, eat what you want, just in moderation), exercise and rest. Oh and laugh a lot. Laughter is the best medicine.

Two: the Flu. Three: Ear, eye and sinus infections. I am not going to elaborate on each because I want you to find out for yourselves how to prevent and cure the above. Again, knowledge is our best weapon.
And there are many different sources that you can access to gain said knowledge. Health care is very personal and it is up to you to taylor it to you and your loved ones individual needs. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

In conclusion I want to emphasize that all the above measures sound superficial but they are not. They are the basics. They are common sense approaches to keeping you and your loved ones out of the health care system, as much as possible.

Stay tuned for Part Three of this series coming to you next week!
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