Preventative medicine

Yesterday, I went to the dentist (I was originally supposed to go for sushi, but there was an appointment free so I went, although the dentist was kind of a downgrade).  This isn’t really news in and of itself, but every time I go, as I’m sitting in the waiting room, I make myself a promise that this year, I will be better about doing all the things that you’re supposed to do to prevent health problems.  Unfortunately, this is a promise that I’m kind of lousy at keeping.  I don’t floss enough, I don’t always eat as well as I could, and really, there are all kinds of things that I know I could do more or better to make sure I stay healthier longer.  I’d really like that promise to myself to stick a bit more.

I’ve long favoured preventative medicine before things get bad over reactive medicine to deal with issues that have already cropped up (often not wholly effectively or without serious side effects).  I’d rather eat well, exercise, and take care of myself now than have to deal with any of a multitude of scary medical issues and procedures down the road.  Plus, as of next month I’ll be on a much more restrictive and much more costly extended health plan, so I’d like to do as much as possible to prevent any health issues before they start.  And, as a bonus, many good health practices wind up being a lot less expensive than drugs and other medical treatment, although they may cost a little bit of money up front.

I don’t want to overburden myself, so the plan is to work on and add in a few things at a time and try to keep at them until they become healthy habits.  Up first: flossing, dry brushing, five servings of veggies, and eight glasses of water per day.  There are already a lot of veggies in the fridge.  Today, I bought a brush to dry brush my skin (supposedly good for the circulation) and a new, Canadian-made, natural ingredient, low-toxicity cleanser. Tomorrow, I’ll pick up more dental floss and mouthwash so we have a supply at home.

In some ways, I think I’m doing okay for myself.  I get a lot of exercise from walking, biking, and gardening.  I eat pretty well, with a fair amount of veggies and not a lot of highly processed food.  I sleep okay, and I’m working on more meditation and yoga to try to relax a bit more.  I rarely go to the doctor, don’t take any health-related medication, and don’t even get sick all that often.  I’m even growing some different plants with medicinal properties that I’m looking forward to figuring out how to use for good health.  But things could be better, and I’d really like to work on getting there.  I have a vision in my head of health that is is more vibrant, energetic, and happy than I currently am.  And that alone is worth putting in a bit of extra work to develop some healthier long-term habits.

2 thoughts on “Preventative medicine

  1. All in favour, but one can do all the right things and still get hit. I am a health nut from way back when, though I will admit to lacking exercise in winter. And this spring I found out I had colon cancer. I have opted for surgery yes, chemo no.

    • I’m really sorry to hear about the cancer, and hope the surgery goes (or has gone) well. You’re right that we still run the risk of getting all manner of unpleasant things, and it’s a shame that there’s only so much we can do. Not that I think they’re not worth doing, but a healthy dose of understanding that we’re not always as in control as we’d like is probably also a good thing to have.

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