Actively manage your health to stay healthy

Proactively managing your health is critical to remaining healthy.  Without your health, you cannot participate in the game of life. Photo: ap

MISSOURI, 2013– Proactively managing your health is critical to remaining healthy.  Without it, you cannot participate in the game of life.

There are the basic, commons sense things you should do like eating right, exercising, scheduling medical checkups, eye care, dental checkups, sleeping proper amounts and avoiding stress in your daily living.

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The key word to practice is “moderation” in all things.

The biggest obstacle to health is the present day health care system. Years ago, patients had a personal relationship with a family doctor. The doctor was intimately familiar with the patient and knew patient, and often family, health history first hand.

The important words are first hand. Not what they had read on a page of lab results, but what they had learned over years of care.

Today, medical records travel through a multitude of doctor’s offices and our primary care physician changes regularly because of relocation or insurance plan changes.

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Patients frequently must start over in establishing relationships with doctors.  Each time a patient changes their doctor, they must provide details of their health history. This means it is important to get copies of lab reports and doctor notes with every visit.  Then keep them in a file.

Because patients rarely have a long-term relationship with a family doctor, it is critical for each individual to manage his own health and record keeping. Patients must take charge proactively providing the doctor with the information that will help him diagnose illnesses and provide the proper remedy

Keeping meticulous records of your daily health is important. If you are a diabetic, for example, keep detailed records of your sugar levels at various times of the day. Also track what you eat, exercise, current insulin dosage and other comments that may help the doctor understand your sugar levels and help manage your diabetes. 

When you visit the doctor, show him the diary. This is a living document as it relates to your daily diabetic condition and provides critical information to help in determining the proper care.

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Retain records not only for current use but to build a historical record you can provide to a new doctor if your insurance plan changes or you change doctors for another reason.

Maintaining a positive attitude about your health is also critical to living well. Avoid developing a “poor me” attitude.

For example, if your doctor recommends losing weight to help you achieve good health, listen to his advice. Instead of questioning why you have to make changes, recognize that adjusting will help you live a fuller, happier and healthier life.

As you lose weight, you will start to feel better. Soon you will be able to buy fashionable clothing, comfortably cross your legs and tie your shoes. A positive attitude will help you reach those goals.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization, 1948

However, that’s just from the time and place I am from—

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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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