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Which conversation do you want to have?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The conversation with your doctor, I mean. Some of the comments back from Spark friends to yesterday's blog got me thinking about how the dialog went. And what popped into my mind was an image of evolving roles in the dialog with my health care providers.

The "critical thinking question" (as Steve Siebold, Mr. Mental Toughness himself, calls it) about health care is: "What is your role in your own health care?" And "How do you view your doctor's role?"

Does your part in the dialog with your doctor read something like this? "I know I should... (fill in the blank with nutrition or exercise advice he gave you last year)... but (fill in the excuse)." Are you a confessing school child? Is he your task-master?

Or does it go more like this: "I backed off on the vitamin D once I was out in the sun a lot, because I didn't want to OVER do it." Dr.: "That's true, you can go over on Vitamin D." Or: "I felt these symptoms but couldn't get in until today, so in between I backed off on the workouts and took some extra rest." Dr.: "You did the right thing... we'll do these tests now."

The bottom line: are you a full partner in your own health care? Are you doing all you can to be a caretaker of the body you've been given? There really is no cheating in this game, and you and I know it.

Another revealing snippet of an evolving relationship. Dr. asks, like a friend: "Look at all you're doing! When you were 30, and someone told you you'd be doing this as 60, would you have believed them?"

Me, after only a second's hesitation: "Yes, I might have. I've really always wanted to."

Sometimes, stepping up to the plate, accepting your own role in your own life... reveals dreams you had buried very deeply! Have you gone on a treasure hunt for your dreams lately?

Now, to the gadget comparison. Yesterday included a treadmill run/walk before the doctor visit, and was shorted on break walks because of the disruption in the work day, but that's the way life is.

OMRON: 13,341
Fitbit Flex: 11,976
Spark Activity Tracker: 12772

The Spark tracker correctly identified the 41 minute walk/run event.

And to illustrate what I said about the shape of the curves? Here are comparison graphs from the Omron versus the Fitbit, since I've had them both for about three weeks. I'll bring in the Spark Tracker in a couple of weeks when there's enough data to give a nice curve.

LIFE is good! Take good care of YOURS today, because YOU are worth it. Spark on! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog. Thank you for sharing.
    1672 days ago

    Did Lynda really call your Fitbit a "fitbut" ? I know that I miss my BodyMedia since it went swimming with me last month. BOGUS ANNIE says she is going to giving me her daughters to use until the new one is released at Christmas.....I found it was very much like your FITBIT except more indepth graphs but the walk/run was very close to the mark.
    1672 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I LOVE your blogs! And you made me think...and YES I am a partner in my health and my doc knows it too. He knows I will do ANYTHING, well, NOT have to go on medications...He also knows I am a ROCK-head when it comes to such!

    You are SO right, life IS good! And we ARE worth it! emoticon emoticon
    1672 days ago
    Interesting blog, and interesting comments. I confess, my conversations with the doctor are not as deep as they sometimes ought to be. I tend to leave things out that don't seem significant, then they look more important to me a couple weeks later.

    Two appointments ago, I started taking notes on the iPhone for what occurred to me between visits. Last visit I pulled out the phone and went over all those minor questions. It worked once, and I'll try to keep it up; but I'm still struggling with what is and is not significant enough to mention.
    1672 days ago
    We each are definitely responsible for our own health - and it is up to us to know what is going on with our bodies, to do our best to take care of it, and to relay that information and attitude to our doctors.

    My problem is the doctor(s) who don't believe me!
    1672 days ago
    1673 days ago
  • DALID414
    As a kid I would translate during my mother's Dr visits and it always embarrassed me to tell her to lose weight. I don't have kids, and they certainly wouldn't need to translate for me, but that stuff sticks with you.
    1673 days ago
    I am blessed because my doctor says she trusts me when I share symptoms or issues with her.
    1673 days ago
    But motives are different. I accompany my husband on his doctor's appointments now because he lies to his doctors. He thinks that if a doctor thinks he fine, then he really is. That attitude has caused 3 strokes already, but he doesn't see it that way. To him the perception of a medical person is the same as reality. You don't lie to a lawyer because you are paying him. Maybe the invisibility of medical cost because of insurance leads my hubby to think the advice is less valuable.
    1673 days ago
    Great blog. I talk to my Doc and he listens. He seems to be excited about my athletic pursuits and is encouraging. I listen to him, he's not a sports doc, but is in great shape himself. I have more respect for a doc who is in good shape him/herself.
    On the other hand, I know people who lie to their doctors. One who drinks alhohol to excess and tells the doc he's a moderate drinker. WTH? How can you get an accurate assessment if you lie, about how much you exercise, eat or drink?
    Thanks for a great blog.
    1673 days ago
    Here's to stepping up to the plate in all aspects of our lives (even dreaded exercise...)
    1673 days ago
    IMHO, the patient is in charge and controls their health. I am an educator and supplier of the tools.
    1673 days ago
    Thanks, Barb. You certainly are talking about an ideal. I'm a long way from a positive relationship with a doctor. Since I lost my employer-based health insurance in 2006, lost my hubby's insurance coverage in April 2008, then was denied health insurance for spurious reasons over and over, the focus of my medical visits has been not to get whatever awful insurance I have cancelled in order to have coverage in case of heart attack, cancer, or accident. So I simply don't get medical care for anything small because they use it against me. I had to change doctors this year because my doctor of 12 years quit taking the only insurance I could get. I've only seen my new doc twice and don't feel like I have any relationship with him at all. He can read lab reports. He doesn't know much about running and suggested I stretch before runs, which I know is outdated thinking. Luckily in 10 months I'll be Medicare eligible and able to choose from many supplemental insurance programs. Looking forward to it.

    Very glad you have such a positive supporter in the medical community!! -Marsha
    1673 days ago
    Excellent blog! I firmly am of the mind that my Dr. and I are partners -- equal partners -- in taking care of me. I have to accept thatresponsibility and definitely do. I am thankful that my Dr. has the same philosophy. She appreciates it. That's refreshing!

    1673 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Love that: "be a caretaker of the body you've been given"
    1673 days ago
    My doctor was quite surprised by my health the last time I was in.

    She had always encouraged a little weight loss and I always had her check my thyroid looking for an excuse to why I wasn't losing weight. That was over 2 years ago.

    I had coffee with friends last weekend. One I hadn't seen in years. She didn't recognize me. She kept saying, "You are so skinny!" She was always a very thin person, but had now gained weight. Of course, I didn't say that!

    I thought about how being healthy is a choice. My doctor had said that I would have to watch everything I put in my mouth to maintain 140 lbs. I am now eight pounds under that weight. Yes, I have to watch what I put into my mouth, but that isn't a bad thing!

    Good blog! Keep up your healthy choices!
    1673 days ago
    I was just thinking this morning about how much healthier I am since I got divorced. I eat better & exercise daily. He on the other hand, has developed diabetes and sleep apnea since we split. Just saying.
    1673 days ago
    Taking responsibility for your own life and health is so important. Don't wait until someone has to make the choices for you. HUGS!
    1673 days ago
    I absolutely agree that we have to take responsibility for our own health in partnership with health care providers-- for example, staying lean to give myself the best chance of avoiding estrogen positive cancer recurrence. My oncology clinic has told me: just about nobody does this . . . .
    1673 days ago
    Thanks for sharing
    1673 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    Over the last 28 months all I get from my doctor is "Keep doing what you're doing!" He knows my training and nutrition routines. He also knows my aim! It's all good!
    You own it, Barb! "Day by Day...Better and Better!"
    1673 days ago
    Glad you are taking care of yourself and have a supportive relationship with your doc...not all are like that. Yes, we need to take responsibility for our health and be involved and it's good to have a doctor one feels comfortable with. You ARE amazing at your age and current fitness level and are so inspiring! emoticon
    1673 days ago
    Because of my work FitBit tracks so much accurately than the Omron.

    As to the Dr/patient talks. I'm actively involved in my health care. So much so that my dr. is going vegan! LOL
    1673 days ago
    Wow!!!--I must invest in a FITBUT! emoticon
    1673 days ago
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