Starting over again
"Doc, the year flew so quickly! Remember just last year January you
did my blood tests and my Pap smear and you asked me to see the
dietitian because my cholesterol was high? I had started to watch my
eating and did a bit of walking. I can't believe that I am 11 pounds
Last year was very rough. My son was doing CXC and my
dad was admitted to Public for three weeks. He's still recovering. I was
just plain stressed. Couldn't keep up. Now I don't know about this
weight. You know what? Just give me the appointment to the dietitian.
Let me try again."
Being 50 and over, you might have spent a lot
of time last year thinking or dealing with your health. Have
disappointment and discouragement set in? What do you do now? Here's my
first prescription for you for the New Year!
Your New Year prescription
One of the many hits of Daryl Hall and John Oates in the '80s was Starting All Over Again.
A nostalgic love song with a breath of encouragement. I have chosen a
few lines to help guide your approach to the health challenges as you
love yourself for the New Year. Come, sing with me!
Gonna be slow ...
"Starting all over again, it's gonna be slow, so slow but we both know that we're gonna make it." It may take a little time to get off the ground again and to get that programme going. However, there is value in baby steps. Show someone what you have done, and no matter how small a change, applaud yourself with excitement. It's not a 100-metre dash!
Gonna be rough ...
"Starting all over again, it's gonna be rough, so rough but I think we can make it." Indeed, it can be rough, but as doctors, we see many patients every year achieving their goals of weight loss, excellent blood sugar and pressure control, and even regaining control of their lives after a cancer diagnosis. Believe that you can also make it. Think of the times you have been successful against challenges. Now say out loud: "I think I can!" Even better, say, "I know I can!"
Gotta face it ...
"Starting all over as friends, it's gonna be tough, but we gotta face it." It's tough to think that you could really be diagnosed with some chronic disease. I know you were on the run last year looking for all kinds of other explanations and reasons but not really dealing with the condition. Say to yourself this year: "I have made up my mind. I am really going to address this problem!" Now get moving to seek some real help.
Take Hall and Oates' love song to be about "you and you"! The key is that you have a new and exciting chance to seek success and to see a difference. As you have that little chat with yourself this year about your health, sing it out loud and commit to "starting all over again!"
Dr Tomlin Paul is a family physician at Health Plus Associates in Kingston; email: firstname.lastname@example.org