Last week I was run down by the one-two punch of a weeklong stomach bug followed by a nagging cold! As I lay in bed feeling utterly helpless while I waited for my body's immune system to fight off the viruses and heal, I thought - wow, it is TERRIBLE to be sick.
You're probably thinking - duh! Nobody likes being sick! But it was more than that. I felt this overwhelming sense of paralysis where I just had no energy to do the things I normally do, no motivation to get out of bed, and little hope for what the next few days would bring. And all that - even knowing it was JUST temporary!
It made me realize how amazingly important my health is to me. I meet with patients everyday who say things like "I know I need to do this but..." - fill in the blank: my kids take my time, I'm busy at work, I have too much stress in my life, I don't have time.... You've heard them all and probably said them all at some point! But, as I lay there in bed last week I thought - enough is enough! Prevention is so key. Having a weeklong viral illness is one thing. Having a lifelong chronic disease is quite another.
So, if you too have been procrastinating on re-starting your fitness routine, changing your diet, or caring for yourself, I hope you'll join me in putting yourself FIRST. Don't wait until it's too late and chronic diseases have crept up on you. Take this opportunity to realize YOU matter. Your kids, your work, your partner, your animals - they can't do it without you. So take care of YOU and the rest will follow!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.