Question: What do you need in your life?
February 18th marked the end of Health Coach Week. It's was founded for awareness and advocacy of what Health Coaches do and why you probably need one in your life. So with this being said, I want to provide you with a cautionary tale.
2017 provided me with many health advocacy opportunities. On a personal level, I spent the night at a long time friend's apartment while visiting Illinois. Besides the fact that I still enjoyed the company of this person, that night, I gathered that he needed to have a sleep study completed and probably needed to sleep with a C-pap. In the weeks and months to follow, the study was not done. It was issues with scheduling, a shady conversation with the doctor's nurse, and so on and so on. Granted, all those reason may have been legitimate, but from my Health Warrior mind, I was not trying to hear anything except the study was complete. So after several months, I got this message. "Baby, I want to thank you. Thank you for staying on my case about that test. I really did not know how important it was. I just got my results and the doctor said that had I not gotten the test done, I could have died, I mean, I have really bad sleep apnea and it could have killed me. So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you and will call you again tomorrow." When tomorrow came, I got that call and immediately went into Warrior mode again. I have a long mental list of questions about sleep studies and subsequent results. What did the test results show? How many times in an hour had he stop breathing? How long did it take from him to enter rim? And so on. Of course he did not have those answers, so I went to a question I though would be simpler. "When are you scheduled to get your C-pap set up? He said he was waiting for the nurse. I said to do what. Call him, he said. "Oh to tell you when and where to go get your mask fitted, and by the way, what type of mask is the doctor recommending". At the point, I think I heard crickets. He had no idea. Of course, I provided him with my mini, "you gotta advocate for yourself", speech.
In the end, after a month or so, I can't even remember how long it took, he got what he needed and directions of how to use it.
The next incidence was a bit more crucial. I will try to make this short. Last summer another friend called me from a hospital in Chicago. He wanted someone to know that he had been admitted due to high blood pressure. I gave him a list of question to ask the doctor or "just call me back when he/she come into the room". I was ready! I had to find out what was really going on with my friend. His HBP was higher than my stroke numbers. I had been telling him to make sure to take his medication. He had already lost weight, stopped smoking cigarettes, yet he had serious edema in his legs and something was terribly wrong. Fast forward to Christmas. He came to visit and with in a short time of being here, he had shortness of breath, headache, and sky high blood pressure. My pulse oximeter read low 80's, which is low even for the Mile High City. I determined that my friend was suffering from altitude sickness bought on by HBP. He'd travel here several times in the last 4 years, but never had he reacted like this. I wanted him to go to the hospital but he refused. By the third day, I made him leave. I told him I could not be responsible for him dying in my house. He had serious edema and a cough to add to the other issues. When he got home, he was better, but not good. He had an echocardiogram scheduled for January, although he did not know what type. Stress echo, doppler echo, something. He had no idea. By now I am screaming. WHAT ARE YOU MEN GOING? This was twice that tests were being done on my friends and they did not have the facts. I stressed a list of questions that needed to be asked. Fast forward to today. My friend calls to tell me that he was just in the ER and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. I can't say I was surprised. His symptoms were text book. So being "family", I went into question and advice mode. Since the hospital stay, the medication had not been tweaked, nor changes, and it was working. The eco result were not told to him. NOTHING WAS being done and he could die. He was given a new PCP and we are hopeful for a healing.
So, as we say...at the end of the day, my advice is that if you don't have a really good doctor to be your partner in health, it would be best to have a really informed Health Coach on speed dial. Next time, I will talk to you about how to know if you have a good Health Coach or not and what to expect from them.
Wishing you Hope, Healing and Happiness!
Having the stresses of caring for a child with health concerns and going through the termination of a failed marriage, I developed my own chronic health issues. and survived a stroke. My personal experience and research of stroke and autoimmune diseases, lead me to help myself and others.