Knowing Your Numbers:
What is your average blood pressure each day?
How much do you weigh? And in turn, what is your BMI?
What’s your resting heart rate?
How about your fasting or daily blood sugar?
When was the last time you had your cholesterol checked?
Most importantly, are you prescribed important medication or a recommended vitamin supplement that you are forgetting to take?
Self care is health care, plain and simple. For those who are caregiving or parenting, basic personal health care is often ignored when facing all the things that need to be done for someone else. In fact, having a yearly check-up often gets put off until an acute or chronic illness results.
Or we just get busy, distracted and forget to refill a prescription, incorporate exercise or check blood sugar.
Knowing these numbers are in the normal range is important. If they are out of range, it’s important to incorporate changes in diet, exercise and medication as prescribed.
Self care reduces stress, as we have seen. However, there are times when we feel stressed or anxious because something else is going on in the body.
Sometimes we put off that check-up because we are afraid of the outcome. If that’s the case, ask yourself if the fear of learning that your numbers are high is greater than the fear of not knowing and facing a substantial medical event? Physicals and preventative tests like mammograms, colonoscopies and even eye-care exams are examples of self-care at its best. It’s better to know or to catch something early than it is to live with a chronic disease for so long that resulting complications become life changing.
The ultimate acts of self care are often those that have to do with your overall health– today’s self care plan includes:
- Run a check of the numbers you can check yourself.
- Schedule any appointments you know you need to take care of.
- Evaluate areas where changes in health care are needed.
- Follow up on any appointments you’ve had that can give you insight into your numbers or your overall health.
- Fill those prescriptions you know you need to fill. Or pick up those vitamins by the end of the day. And while you’re at the pharmacy, pick up a daily pill box.
- Take your pills at the same time you brush your teeth, drink your morning coffee or tea, or eat breakfast. (If twice daily is required, take the second dose at dinner or when you brush your teeth in the evening.)
If you REALLY want to make changes, start a health care journal and track your numbers, goals and changes in your overall numbers. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it will provide valuable information to your medical professionals during your visits.
Too scared? Ask a friend or family member to go with you or hold you accountable in making your appointments. Ask for help. Again, don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from taking action.