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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Easy Way

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, because, truthfully, many of my thoughts have not been ready for prime time.  I've been working with Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance agents trying to figure out the best plan of action for my dad, who is in a nursing home and has very limited funds with which to purchase his medication. I'm still finding red tape in my hair.

Dad currently takes 17 different meds, interspersed with various other seasonal meds to help with allergies, cough, etc.  That's right, I said 17.  Big gun medications.  And expensive.  How did it come to this point?  This will not be a blog post about health insurance and how our entire insurance/medical system is broken (even though it is).  It's about something much closer to home than that.  Your body.

It started innocently enough.  My dad had a heart attack at a very young age (46) in a time when surgery, then long term meds were the method of the day.  Those meds led to side effects which required different meds to counteract.  He was of a generation who fully trusted the medical community to not only heal him, but to make his life easy & pain free.  I don't think he consciously thought that, but deep down, he believed that these miracle meds would allow him to be better than the man he was before.

Years ago, I had a wicked bout with depression.  It's part of my heritage, I remember my grandfather struggling with it when I was a young teen.  I got on an anti-depressant which was prescribed to me, and, sure enough, I felt better soon.  But, I hated the side effects and the way they made me feel.  So, I began to experiment with other, non-invasive, non-toxic ways to combat the depression.  That's when running became a part of my life.  It was SOOO much easier to take a pill every night than it was to work a run in, but running became my new anti-depressant anyway. So, I threw away the meds and embraced that natural high.   I LOVE the way running makes me feel, and it is a natural combatant to anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on.  It's still a struggle to find time to run, but ask my family (particularly my hubby) how much they like me when I'm not running.  Even the dog avoids me.

Don't shoot me just yet.  Is there a need for medication in our society? YES!  There is a definite need for anti-depressants.  There are many people who absolutely need them to function at times in their lives.  I think it is entirely appropriate to do that, but I also think there needs to be an active movement by the medical community to encourage people to also incorporate more natural remedies into their lives and step down dosages when they are able to do so.

I picked depression simply because it's something I've dealt with. The same principle applies to so many other illnesses as well.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.  All very serious illnesses, all of which can be treated with diet and exercise very effectively.

I'm not saying to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Medicine plays a very important role in our lives.  I take an antibiotic when I need one, and this time of year finds me reaching for Benadryl to get me through the day.   I'm saying be more diligent.  Don't just take the pill because it's the easy, fast way. Do your research.  Ask questions.  Don't take a life-time sentence of medication at face value.

God gave us one body to last throughout our lives.  What have you done with yours?  Is it glorifying Him?  He never told us it would be easy.  It's usually the opposite of that.  Being healthy is a full time job.  Easy? No.  Of kingdom importance?  Without doubt.

"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?"  1 Corinthians 3:16

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