In September, I had a health crisis. I hadn’t been taking care of myself and it caught up to me. I ended up needing to spend four days in the hospital. I knew something was wrong with me. I hadn’t felt like myself in months, but I kept ignoring it and hoping it would eventually go away on its own. I didn’t have time to be sick, as I was taking care of my mother, who was also ill. The sickness didn’t care. I got to the point in late August where I couldn’t even eat. Anytime I would eat or even drink, I would vomit. I saw a doctor via telemedicine, but their diagnosis was probably wrong, and the medicine didn’t help. The limitations of telemedicine were exposed.
I hadn’t been to the doctor in a while (even when a person could easily walk into a doctor’s office). I also completely forgot to see a specialist that was recommended the last time I saw a doctor. I’m not good at taking vitamins or supplements. All of that neglect (plus, I’m sure that the stress I was under was not helping) piled up very dramatically leading to a call to 911, an ambulance ride and the aforementioned hospital stay. This was likely preventable if I had just taken care of myself. A candle and a bath might soothe my nerves, but I still have to take care of my physical health.
So, here’s some tips on what I learned.
- Don’t neglect going to the doctor. If you’re healthy, maintain that with check-ups. If you have chronic health issues, be sure to schedule appointments as frequently as recommended.
- Take notes during doctor’s appointments, so that you will not forget any important information.
- Remember to take all pills, vitamins and supplements that are needed, even if you have to set an alarm on your phone or tablet to remind you.
- If you’re feeling sick and not getting better, please see a health professional as soon as possible.
I really want to prevent everyone from going through what I went through, which was awful. Self-care is more than what you would see in a pretty Instagram post. It is taking care of both mental and physical health.
Question: Do you practice self-care and what do you think the definition of self-care is?