I suppose there are millions of people out there, who never get a physical exam and blood test, and they don't know where they stand, as far as their health is concerned. I suppose, when they get the bad news from their doctor...the news could be too late...the finger-pointing will start, and they'll blame everyone but themselves, etc.
In 2005, I was declared disabled by the VA (Dept. of Veterans Affairs) and by Social Security. In 2010, I now live in a Senior Center in the one-horse town in Albuquerque, New Mexico where the population is about 500,000 including the horse, etc. And yes...we do have electricity; running water and indoor facitities here.
Prevention and early detection is not just about getting a flu shot; a blood test; and a physical exam every year. It's much more than that. Prevention comes in several different flavors and colors.
Social activities; In 2010, I live in a Senior Center (subsidized housing) and they have activities for the resident all the time. Because of this awful flu that's been going around...I have not attended any functions, that were not required, etc. And, I don't plan to attend any functions for the next few months until this flu has gone away. The less I get around people...the better. During the flu season, I don't even want to be in the same elevator with someone else!
Community college; I've gone here to do my work for a couple of years, and the computer lab has about 60 computers...and when it's full of people...it is wall to wall people! You can always hear somebody coughing and sneezing! People don't stay home when they're sick, and they go out and contaminate everyone! That's the way inconserderate people are, etc.
If I do have to go to the community colleg for anything during this flu season...I go on a Friday or Saturday...when there are few classes or no classes at all. This way, I don't come in contact with many people at all. I usually stay the minimum to get my work done...and quickly head for the exits.
Limiting travel; At 65, I don't drive anymore...and after 48 years of driving...I don't miss driving at all. Why would I want to stay out there with all those inconsiderate people blabbing on the phone, and not paying attention to what they're doing? It's a relief to have someone else drive for a change.
I don't do very many errands during the month, that require me to ride a bus. But, is does get irritating, during this flu season, when the buses are full...or even half full. I am always conscious of the flu...and I try to stay away from people.
The other day, I was in the Post Office waiting in line (as usual), when the woman in front of me started coughing and sneezing! I quickly got out of line, and went home. I could do the Post Office stuff some other time, etc.
Singles Club; Although I love to dance...I have not gone to the Singles Club in over a year. It's all because of this unusual flu season. I'm not interested in dancing with someone who may...or may not have the flu, etc. The dancing can wait for a few more months! I just don't want to be around people for awhile because of the flu season, etc.
Homelessness; I think one of American's greatest worries, is being homeless and having to sleep out in the streets! I know I dodged a bullet in 2005, when I was homeless for a few months. At the time, I was a patient at the VA hospital for over three months...and when I was discharged, I lived in a homeless shelter for over six weeks. I'm glad that was in 2005 and not now, with all this flu going around.
Subsidized housing: None of us know what's around the corner in our lives...it could be good news...or bad news. If you apply for subsidized housing in the future...one thing you'll need, is a good background record, which will take many years to compile, etc. If you don't have a good background record, you'll never get in.
We're talking about prevention here...preventing you from living in the streets...and you'll need a good background record to do it...free from traffic tickets; good rental/mortgage and credit card payments. etc/ This is just like a little insurance policy, just in case something goes wrong in your llife...just like what happened to me.
Moving from the VA Medical Center to a private health plan: As a veteran, I've been getting my health care at the VA Medical Center since 1992. While at the VA, I've been screwed so many times, that I've wanted to get out for a long time, before I get murdered...or WORSE! The disability happened at the VA, and despite the fight for over four years, nobody at the VA has ever been accountable.
After a two-year waiting period on a disability, I became eligible for Medicare, and I couldn't get out of the VA fast enough! I have to pay for Medicare and all my doctor visits and medication, but as long as everything is affordable, I don't mind. You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for!" I get everything free at the VA, but I've been screwed too many times, including the disability...all free! No thanks! I transferred to my new healthcare plan in the summer of 2008, and I couldn't be happier. This is one of those prevenative measures...stay at the VA Medical Center and take your chances...or leave and pay your own way and get quality healthcare. I chose to leave the VA, and it's one of the best decisions I've made! (knock on wood) We've gotten a lot done during the last year, and I'm quite pleased.
Washing hands: Over the last year or so (2009/10), I've gotten in the habit of washing my hands with soap several times a day...just another preventative measure.
Blood tests; I got the results of my last blood test in January, 2010, and almost everything was over to the left, and within range. Except the glucose, which was a little high and over the line. But, we've made a lot of progress over the last 18 months, and I'm hoping to be under the line in July, 2010. I've pricked my finger hundreds of times during this period, to get the data necessary for my doctor...and it's been worth it. I am so close to reaching my goal.
So, as far as the diabetes is concerned...I am 95% of the way there. As far as the sleep problems I have had for the last three years, which has added to the cause of the diabetes...I am about 90% of the way there. That's why I've gotten better numbers all year long...because the sleep problems have improved as well.
Like millions of Americans across the nation...I am not a pill-popper! I don't like taking chemicals...except when absoluetely necessary! I won't be standing in line at the Betty Ford Center any time soon. I'm trying to do everything as naturally as I can, to try to improve my diet and my medical needs, etc.
And no, I'm not a vegetarian...but I do eat more bunny food than I used to. I now drink more prune juice to stay regular; garlic oil; cinnamon for the diabetes; fish oil (omega 3); vitamin D (sunshine vitamin); I will be outdoors less now that I've given up jogging outdoors, etc. 90% of red meat is out of my life (lean only); I eat more fish and poultry; I cook with olive oil; I wash my face with olive oil soap and cocoa butter; I am applying sun screen to fend off those awful sun or age spots, along with applying lemon juice and washing my face with alcohol pads to keep the oil off my face. As we all age...we all get uglier! (I used to be a cutie...now I'm just kind-of-a-cutie...ha-ha-ha,,,age has taken its toll)
I continue to ride my bike (that goes nowhere) and lift weights; there is no candy or ice cream around me anymore; after losing 40 pounds in 2001, I've kept the weight steady at 170 pounds with a lifestyle adjustment by just eating two meals a day...humans don't need three meals a day to survive. By doing this, my weight has been steady at 170...and I feel stronger at this weight.
Prevention and early detection are the name of the game for me...I don't know about you.
Because of this...I have less worry to deal with and more relief that I'm doing something about the problems at hand. A worry-free life adds relief to the quality of life that we all pursue and try to enjoy!
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