Friday, December 7, 2012


Oh come on, surely you have learned, by now, that you have to look out for yourself.

No doctor can really do that for you. If you have a medical pal, (nurse or doc) you like, and can chat with freely, hang on -- maybe do something pally-nice for them -- give them a memento -- a wood-carved horse, a blown-glass elephant, or a camel -- something which symbolizes that you know that you're riding on that person's back.

Even if the person is your roommate, spouse, or dearest best friend, YOU need to know all the stuff in the list that follows:

Your Blood Pressure and Diet -- learn the words systolic, diastolic and know the numbers -- are you high, low, or in the normal range,  and are you getting the necessary nutrients, vitamins, calories, carbohydrates, and minerals? 

Your Elimination -- urination and bowel habits -- be aware of quantity, color, quality, frequency, discomfort -- all the aspects of your body's output -- the sphincter and peristaltic feelings.  Are you having to work hard to empty bladder or bowel?  Are you losing control?

Your Symptoms -- anything that's weird, odd, different that you're feeling, you need to know when it occurs, how often, and does it keep you from functioning normally.  Include moodiness -- depressive, or suicidal thoughts, and your worries -- the events, the things you do that get you flushed, get your  heart-racing.  Are you ever dizzy, ever feel faint? Do you get enough sleep? Are you often exhausted?
.....Also keep track of sneezing, itching, rashes; also twinges, or dull aches when you bite or chew. Do you sweat a lot, or never sweat? What about your eyes, your ears -- are you seeing and hearing normally?

Your Exercise -- do you know what exercises you ought to do every day, or every other day, or once a week?  You need to be in charge, and realistic.
.....Be aware of your arms, legs, shoulders, back -- do you wake with a backache,  or aches in neck, elbows, hips, knees, or wrists?  Whatever, where ever -- pay attention!  And include feet, toes, hands, fingers, and thumbs, in your exercise.

Your weight and height -- are you gaining, losing?  If you're shorter than you were a couple of years ago, you are shrinking as you age, so pay attention to sitting  and standing taller.

B-bp/diet  E-limination, S-ymptoms E-xercise W-eight/height.  
B E S E W --  that's Dr. Em's,  the camel's acronym

Golly, a body, your body, is a priceless gift that you own. Keep track of it. It's fascinating to know, to be aware of it, to maintain awareness. If it's difficult for you -- aha -- that means you've been ignoring you.

Get a tiny special note book. (Yes, I'm big on notebooks -- I've got too many things I have to be sure I do every single day.)

Carry your notebook with you, and put down any thought that occurs to you, and investigate it further -- by yourself, and then, if it's worrisome -- consult a trusted, highly recommended MD. 

It's a fact -- the biggest most important fact of life -- you-yourself, YOU are the boss of your own life and death.


Out-Racism said...

Em, dearest, I am a journalist. Therefore, I always have my notebook; thus always know that I am in charge of me and everything to do with me. Please convey some sweetness and light to young John(boy). :-)!

Anonymous said...

Love the drawing today! Yes, this is a very important issue and topic. I believe in being in control of one's life and what goes into staying positive and as healthy as you can be. Having a good doctor or friend is priceless but being in charge of yourself is necessary too. Thanks for sharing this interesting topic with your tips Em. kam

Anonymous said...

You've covered it all, Em. Everything from soup to nuts.
I can't add anything
Except maybe, watch out for that bus when you cross the street!
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Linda Phillips said...

I would have to carry around a notebook the size of an encyclopedia! ;-)

Gus said...

Em, I'm in charge of me. Me an me an meeeee! :)

Maureen Jacobs said...

In today's society, information is readily available. I cannot go one day without seeing an ad for the magic blue pill, or the pill that helps you control your urine, and even the pill to make your happiness come. With our zillion channels of info on the TV, print, internet, etc, we should be able to be responsible for our own health. Sometimes, unfortunately, people tend to ignore the symptoms. Too many times I see people defer responsibility to someone else. They play the blame game. Well, my doctor should have known, they say. But being a responsible patient means telling the doc EVERYTHING. Not, I smoke 10 cigarettes a day when you smoke 2 packs or I only drink occasionally when you have a seat at the local bar. Grow up and take responsibility for yourself. Own it. Be honest with yourself and your healthcare professional. You have only one life, do the best with it.