Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Many people want to know why they need or should hire a Health & Wellness Coach. "If I have a doctor, why do I need one?" they ask. Good question. Let's break it down. Let's say you go to your primary care MD for an annual physical. He does his exam, you have blood drawn, you have a short chat. In all you spend about 30 minutes in his presence. You try to remember to ask questions about what he tells you, however, sometimes you don't know the right things to ask. In a week or two he calls you with your test results and he tells you that your cholesterol is high, and your blood sugars are borderline high. "You're going to have to cut back on food and get some exercise," he mandates. You say, "OK," and the conversation ends.
Now what do you do? You mull his words over in your mind, and decide he's right. You haven't been exercising regularly, and you should be cutting out the desserts, frequent fast food, etc. "I'm going to get it together and push myself to lose weight, and get this done." You try to guess your way through what foods to eliminate and to figure out what kind of exercise to do. You try it for a week or two, but the balancing act and effort to accomplish these things in addition to everything else you have to do is daunting. Throwing your hands up in frustration, you yell at the ceiling, "I can't do this!"
Enter the Health & Wellness Coach
Health and wellness coaching is not a new concept or occupation. It is, in fact, the fastest growing sector of health care in the United States, according to an article on acclaimed health website "WebMD." Doctors can no longer keep up with the demands of running a medical practice and the education and mentoring that many of their patients require. Additionally, the role of a physician is to treat, whereas the role of a health and wellness coach is prevention and intervention in collaboration with a client's MD. While physicians are trained to advise patients about traditional treatment modalities for illness and disease, a health and wellness coach can offer education about alternative therapies and give a client choices outside a physicians normal scope of advice. Most importantly, a coach sets up plans and creates a consistent framework for healing. If a client needs daily or weekly mentoring and education, the coach can give the client an hour that a physician doesn't have to give due to the time constraints of his practice.
Do You Need A Health and Wellness Coach?
Most of us believe that we have the ability to self-educate and train ourselves to follow through with health and wellness goals. The real truth is that only 1-2% of us really follow through with our resolutions and goals to get and stay healthy. A Health and Wellness Coach can be the person you need to help you get on track and stay on track. While the services of a coach are still considered an "out of pocket" medical expense, some companies are allowing people to use their flexible medical spending accounts to cover the costs. There are also companies that employers hire to help their employees lose weight, quit smoking or keep their blood pressure and diabetes under control, often offering those services for free, with various incentives for adhering to the coach's recommendations.
Whatever your reasons and choices for hiring a health and wellness coach, you can be assured that with your consistent cooperation to the plan, you will be a much healthier you!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Unfortunately, we have been cultured by the medical community to depend solely upon them to make our healthcare decisions. However, our bodies each have their own unique "voice": while medical research has advanced the practice and innovation of medicine to our benefit, historically the medical community has not significantly addressed the individuals own unique makeup and state of health. This is changing, but slowly.
As owners of these wonderful bodies that God has entrusted us with, we need to be pro-active in learning how they operate, how to take care of our bodies properly, and really listen to what our bodies are telling us. The more you get to know the inner workings of YOU-and understand the mind-body-spirit man connections that affect the state of your health, the more fascinated you will become with getting to know this master machine known as the human body.
You have dominion over all things as a child and resident of the Kingdom of God: exercise your right to LIVE LONG AND STRONG!
Yours in Divine Health....Your911Lady
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Have you ever just shoved feelings down, cast them aside, or ignored situations because you felt like you didn't have time to deal with them? We all have been there, I believe. But we have to consider the effects that doing so will have on our future, and our health.
Psalm 38 is a revealing monologue. David is describing the physical effects of his life stressors to God. He says, "My back is filled with searing pain: there is no health in my body...my heart pounds, my strength fails me: even the light has gone from my eyes." Wow! He is so accurately describing the physical effects of stress on his health. Pounding heart, no energy, constantly tired, inability to concentrate. He goes on to say that people avoid him because they can see his heaviness, and that he can no longer see the light of day, so to speak. Everything is dark.
How long can the body take that kind of pressure without faulting out in some area? We need to understand that there is a physiological, or internal body response to stress and disappointment that extends far beyond the feelings of failure that accompany it.
This is the beginning of this series, and as we go further, we will look at the effects, both short and long term, on the body to what is going on in our hearts and minds. God cares about our physical health. Let's explore together, so we can give ourselves the greater gift of divine health.
Talk to you next time!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Why You May Not Need To Donate Blood Prior To Having Surgery
Donating your own blood before surgery was started in response to the initial AIDs epidemic. This practice was seen as early as the 1980’s. However, great strides have been made and accomplished in making the
Donating Blood Is A Process Through Which You Experience A Blood LOSS
While the body normally carries a blood volume of 8-12 pints (units) and can easily afford to give up one of those units, there are other considerations when making the decision to self-donate your blood. Those things include age, other co-morbities (other health problems, i.e. heart disease), the type of surgery that you are having, and your general state of health. Giving blood depletes your hematologic (blood making) system. The marrow (inside the bone), which manufactures red blood cells, suffers a shock of sorts when blood is removed from the body. As a result, it rushes to respond to the loss. Along with the marrow, the other systems of the body react to blood loss. (Yes, it is a blood loss of one full unit each time you donate!) When the body experiences a blood loss, the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and brain-your major and essential organs, as well as your metabolic function are affected. They must work over-time to accommodate the blood loss. (Ever fainted or felt like fainting after donating blood? Your body has issued a statement to you that something just happened to it!) The body experiences shock in mild or major ways in response to a shift in its normal equilibrium (homeostasis is the medical term for this). Therefore, your whole body is going to rush to make sure that equilibrium is restored.
How Long Does It Take For Blood Volume To Replenish Itself?
The National Kidney and Transplant Foundation states that the PLASMA portion (about 80% water, but NOT 80% of your total blood loss volume-big difference) is replaced in 24-48 hours. However, it takes 3-5 WEEKS to replace the red blood cell (RBC’s or packed cells) portion of the loss. When considering surgeries, especially moderate-to-high blood loss surgeries, it is important to understand that autologous blood expires after 28 days and cannot be used. (It also cannot be given to someone else other than yourself because it has not gone through the special preparation require to enter the pool of general blood donations offered to the public.)
So, if you donate your own blood and 2 weeks later have a moderate-to-high blood loss surgery (i.e. joint or back surgery, some types of abdominal surgery, or cardiovascular surgery) you will be going into the procedure somewhat compromised. Additionally, you will experience a blood loss of minimal to large proportions, depending on the procedure and any unforeseen complications within or after surgery. Now, certainly you have your “auto-unit” available, if needed, but why deplete yourself only to get it back? Did you really need it in the first place? If you had not given it would you have needed transfusion? And if there is further blood loss during or after surgery (i.e. via post-operative drains from your incision), consider that you may need not only your auto-unit, but also a donor unit or units of blood. If so, the purpose of auto-donation is somewhat defeated. There is clinical evidence that has been sited that states that auto-donation increases the likelihood of peri-operative (the time during and after surgery) blood transfusion in surgeries such as hysterectomy. Additionally, there is some evidence that patients are at risk of ischemic (decreased blood flow) events to organs like the heart, causing myocardial infarction (heart attack).
There are other considerations when thinking about whether to donate your own blood for surgery. Your age, the sate of your health, your level of physical fitness, recent health history, and number of surgeries within short time spans are just some of the considerations. If you are of advanced age, have other health problems that will affect your surgical outcomes and recovery, have a “heart history” (heart attack, chest pain/angina, artificial valves, etc.) you may want to think twice about auto-donating. While the standard of care for orthopedic surgeries such as joint replacement is for a patient to auto-donate before surgery, it is NOT for everyone. Ask questions, and expect answers before doing so. You can also research for yourself, as there are many internet sites that provide lots of good information to help you with making your decision. Always remember that the last word is with YOU. If you don’t feel comfortable about things, wait, ask more questions, and make the decision that’s best for you.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Look At the Big Picture and Think Long Term
Monday, October 13, 2008
When a person is ill, especially with chronic, debilitating or critical and complex conditions, an advocate is a welcome intermediary who can help a patient and/or their family make complex medical decisions or sort through the complexities of health insurance coverage issues. Also, because an advocate is most likely going to be a medical professional who is familiar with the medical community, he or she can make unbiased recommendations for care in a variety of settings, with a variety of providers. An advocate should possess "insider information," and be able to, without conflict of interest, help a person or family choose quality care providers/organizations/facilities, and get assistance from insurance companies when insurance issues arise.
Why would you need a health care advocate? Aside from the aforementioned, the biggest reason I can think of is that a person who is not well indoctrinated in the workings of the human body, and doesn't understand diagnostics, treatments, and current standards of care may have difficulty negotiating through even the simplest of medical problems. So when a person has more complex health issues, in order to arrive at totally informed consent, and receive a balanced and unbiased opinion about how to proceed, an advocate may be useful.
Remember-during times of illness emotions can run high and out of control. Decision-making skills and capacities are compromised. An advocates job is to present facts and truth without emotion, giving you a balanced, hopeful approach, so that decisions are made that are in the patients best interest.
Do you, or someone you know need a health care advocate? If you're not sure, here are some things that may help you decide:
1.) You believe the physician responsible for your care is not responsive to your needs and concerns, or you believe that you need other treatment and he/she will not refer you to a specialist.
2.) You wonder whether you are on too many medications.
3.) People who care about you are telling you to seek out another opinion, but you don't know where to go.
4.) You have a loved one in the hospital and you aren't getting answers to your questions about their condition or their medical care, or you need help understanding what is happening or is going to happen in the days ahead.
5.) You need help mapping out long term care plans for yourself or a loved one.
6.) Your insurance company is denying care, and you need to know what to do, or what alternatives that you have.
7.) You need help because you cannot afford to pay for your medications.
These are just a few reasons to hire a health care advocate. While any one of the aforementioned reasons, standing alone, could be handled by yourself, just imagine what it would be like to have to manage several of these things at once without having expert knowledge.
While there is a cost to retaining a health care advocate, the savings realized in time, energy exerted and frustration are all well worth the expenditure. The realization that you or your loved one have access to privileged information and help negotiating specialized care are priceless. Don't hesitate to use an advocate: you'll be glad that you made the call.