Just once, once in my life, I would like to go to the doctor and have the following discussion:
Doctor: Well we’ve gotten your labs back. All good, except for one thing. Have you been feeling a little woozy in the mid-afternoon?
Bekah: Come to think of it…yes! Nothing debilitating, but a little dizzy.
Doctor: That’s because you’re lacking a certain enzyme. Nothing dangerous at all, you just need to eat more salt and vinegar chips. A Coke every now and then wouldn’t hurt either.
They won’t say that. Ever.
On the other hand, there are some things that, no matter what the diagnosis, will be part of the prescription. They are universally accepted as good ideas for every single human being.
There’s been some concern lately about over-prescribed antibiotics. Yesterday’s wonderdrug is now prepping the world for the coming of the great Plague, from what I understand. Well, my theory is that people turned to antibiotics because they were tired of good, clean living as a way to ward off illness.
I get it, I do. But I have to admit there are times when I go to the dentist thinking, “Man, I have been so dutiful!” The hygeanist frowns as she looks in my mouth, “How often do you brush?”
“Twice a day.”
“Really could be three. How often do you floss?”
“Two or three times a week.”
“Needs to be every day. Do you use mouthwash?”
“Go to morning and night.”
I just want to jump out of the chair and cry, “What do you want from me? What do I have to do to make you happy? When will you love me for who I am? Maybe I like a little tartar around the edges! What about that, huh? Did you ever think of that?”
And if you’ve ever tried to get out of exercise via sickness, good luck. “So should I lay off the gym for a while?” I ask as I feel like a 777 is lodged in my bronchial tubes.
“No, no. Moderate exercise will help as soon as your fever goes down.”
And as far as injury goes…two words: physical therapy. The worse you are hurt, the more you’re going to sweat.
Here are my list of things that seem to be beyond reproach when it comes to good, clean living. Cheers to your health!
Flossing– We have an endodontist friend, and one night over dinner we were all joking about things that we know we should do, but don’t. Everyone was laughing and joking until I said, “And sometimes it’s just so hard to floss each of those back bottom molars.” The endodontist went completely straightfaced and said, “No, seriously. You have to do that.”
Sunscreen– I’ve always been on board the sunscreen wagon, but now that 28 years of tans from swimming and working at camps have consolidated into two age spots on my right cheek, I’m driving it. Too little too late, but the dermatologist said there is exactly a 0% chance of them connecting and taking over my face to give me an olive complexion.
Walking– The pros and cons of various kinds of exercises are continuously debated. My favorite was the article explaining the dangers of yoga. But walking, the original mode of human transportation, is universally accepted as a gentle, sustainable form of cardiovascular exercise.
Sleep– I’ve never had a doctor recommend that I get some sleep, but my husband does. Usually right when I’ve just made a super-logical point, or when I’ve finally reached the tearful conclusion of my theory on how I’ve disappointed everyone. I’m perfectly rational at 1am. I have no idea what his problem is.
Prayer– Long treated as the panacea for all that ails Christians, it seems to be gaining steam outside the walls of the church as well as meditation, centering, etc. Whether you believe that the efficacy of prayer is primarily internal (achieving balance and “chi,” if you will) or external (beseeching God to participate in your life and converse with you) more than likely if your condition falls somewhere near “agitation” or “melancholy,” then prayer is going to be part of the treatment plan.
Keeping a food diary– why is this not something mandatory in schools? I went to public elementary school. They taught us how to balance checkbooks, follow the stock market, use a map, brush our teeth properly, and calculate our resting heart rate…where was this discipline? I’m too old to start new habits.
Drinking plenty of fluids– and then they go on to tell you to avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. So what they really mean is that you need to drink water. Man, are you in for a wild evening.