What does this mean for you? It means that you need to take charge of your health and find out everything you can about you and any illnesses or health traits that affect you. It’s so important and I want to tell you why.
We often answer the question “How are you?” with “Good,” “Ok, “Yeah, not bad.” Rarely do we respond with feeling “down and out” or react negatively. Instead, we often suppress how we feel.
Now, without suppressing anything, ask yourself.
“How do I feel now?”
Once you’ve answered this question, follow up with the question.
“How could you feel even better?”
These questions have no baseline. It just encourages you to seek more information from your inner self than what you currently have.
Why I know taking charge of your health is important
Almost two years ago, I had an unexpected illness with an unknown cause or trigger. After seeing numerous doctors in different countries I still received no hard answers.
The only way forward for me was hoping that my body would reset to my known equilibrium, however long it took.
And guess what? The waiting game worked – to a certain extent. I improved, but very slowly.
This slow improvement could be from a variety of reasons – perhaps my health issue was more challenging for my own body to resolve on its own? Or maybe I wasn’t tackling my health problem in the right way. I think the latter.
For this post, I don’t want to get into the specifics of my illness and recovery as everybody’s body is different and can react to the same things in a variety of ways. I, instead, want to focus on what you can do with your health going forward.
Who to listen to?
Doctors? The Mayor? Your mom? The quick answer to this question is, “Everyone and No One.”
During the early stages of my illness, I put high hopes in doctors finding what was wrong and fixing me. In hindsight, the assumption that doctors had all the answers was completely incorrect and possibly dangerous. Doctors are human after all. Who knew?
Knowing what I know now, I can count on two hands how many errors and bad judgment calls were made by these doctors – which isn’t to say it was their fault; instead, the healthcare system is not built to help doctors do their job to the best of their abilities.
I even had some scary and highly unnecessary propositions made to me (I’ll clear the air – nothing dirty) all because the doctor had exhausted all resources available to him. I knew the doctor just wanted to help, but unfortunately, his help came in the entirely wrong form.
Due to my illness, my brain foggy, fatigued, unfocused and was not working at 100% capacity. Had my mind in my healthy state and on top form, I would have reverted to my studious University days and researched as much as possible. Let me tell you; I found out a lot through research – as you do. But that’s for another post.
A major takeaway from this experience is to always err on the side of skepticism, at least until you’ve researched and understood your medical situation.
The moment will come
One of my “aha” moments came from a podcast. I’m not saying that that was the solution, by any means. But what this guest reported on the podcast got me thinking in an entirely different direction.
I took this new information and my new way of thinking and discovered a plethora of information about my specific health issues – which opened up my eyes to my previously unknown medical condition.
In retrospect, it may have taken years to discover this information if I insisted on focusing on western medicinal prognosis and remedies and relying on western doctor’s knowledge.
My advice to you is: do the research and read in-depth into your own health issues. Work as hard as you can to become a master in the field of “you.” Each situation is so unique and specific; it’s entirely possible to become a master in knowing yourself and your own body. Nobody knows you better than YOU!
If you take nothing else away from this post – at least consider this: We need to listen to everyone (including ourselves) and stay informed by a variety of sources. Don’t just take someone’s word or advice as gospel – even if they do have a few extra letters behind their name.
Don’t settle for OK
After six months of very gradual improvements, I concluded that I would never feel at 100% physically again. Since I couldn’t be in prime physical condition anymore, I settled for second best and started looking at other areas of my life which could satisfy me -like my software programming.
We need to squash this second best mentality! You can always improve even if it’s only 1%, 1% is better than 0%, my friends. You never know, by this time next year you may progress by another 1%. If you keep searching for answers, you will find new avenues of obtaining them.
I found some fantastic correlations between my health and information that stemmed from a concept now labeled as functional medicine.
Functional medicine is looking at your medical, environmental, and biological past and matching them with your current symptoms. They explore the effects of these symptoms through lab testing, subjective feelings, and numerous other tests.
I’d never investigated my health history more than I did at this point. We discovered some fantastic findings and links to possible historical medical and environmental mistakes.
This functional medicine took the focus off my “symptom of the day” (which is what all the other doctors focused on) and looked more at the bigger “health picture.” We delved into underlying problems and attempted to solve these issues with the assumption that this would push my body into balance.
What’s the next step?
Simple. Keep on searching. While I feel better a majority of the time, this doesn’t mean I don’t have “off” days. My health will always be able to improve further, and this fact will not change for the rest of my life.
My health experience has only pushed me into researching my medical history, genetics, and environment. I am continually uncovering intriguing results that are actionable now in my life, which will only contribute to a better life for myself going forward.
Unfortunately, this type of health information is not in mainstream medicine yet. Some would say it is a little experimental, but scientific papers and study groups are the best and only source information on which we can rely.
Additionally, the data I have found in my genetics has further backed up my lab tests and symptoms I’ve had throughout the last four years of my life. Between my research and lab results, I now have ample evidence to act upon both now and in my future.
Again, I urge you to keep searching and backup your health theories with evidence. Verify your understanding of your health situation before you act upon it.
Rationalize and do not take anyone and everyone’s opinion and information as gospel. Don’t just take medication because a doctor handed you a prescription. Research the medicine and how it works and what effect it will have on your body.
I set out to write this blog post about the specific information and data I’d found on my health issues. But after the first sentence, I decided to write a very different blog post.
What’s the use in knowing my specific problems, when everyone has slightly different health situations and issues? I want you to take control of your health and look beyond what is right in front of you.
I hope I have encouraged you to research the issues that are relevant to your health. You may be completely healthy, and that is GREAT! Just make sure to investigate ways in which you can improve your life.
These improvements can come in various forms including, mental, physical, or emotional health. It doesn’t matter. Anything you can do to learn more about yourself and your health will benefit you in the long run.
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