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Adventures in Retirement- Heal thyself, but use good judgement based on sound medical advice

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Featured

Published on December 06, 2017 with No Comments

Sometimes we are a little too quick in deciding to go to the doctor.  Some medical problems go away on their own.  Others can be treated using home remedies or by using over-the-counter medications.  A lot of expense, effort and time may be saved by making good judgements about when professional help is needed and when it isn’t.

I have always been a believer that my body can cure most ailments though rest and diet.  When I feel like I am coming down with something, I try to get more rest, including naps, to give me the strength to heal or cure the illness.  Also, soup or broth can help the body fight off illness.  Muscle irritation and minor sprains can heal on their own if you rest the muscle or avoid using the injured area for an appropriate length of time.

Most minor cuts and contusions should be cleaned and disinfected and then covered with a bandage or similar protective covering.  A family medical book or online websites will help you determine how to treat minor injuries and how long to treat them.

I had two recent medical issues that could have required a doctor, but I was able to handle them through using experience, knowledge and luck.  During the summer I got two bee stings while working in the yard.  In the past, I have sometimes seen a doctor and gotten a shot that reduced the swelling from the stings.  This time, I went to a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist for an over-the-counter treatment that would control the swelling.  I took what she recommended, and although it took a little longer for the swelling to disappear, it eventually cleared up completely.

More recently, I had a sharp pain in my lower back.  It gradually became more and more painful until it was nearly unbearable.  Just as I was planning to go to the doctor, I played water volleyball in a warm swimming pool.  The pain miraculously disappeared.  Later, when I spoke to the doctor, he said that it was probably a disc in my spinal column that had shifted.  The stretching from playing water volleyball and the soothing warm water allowed the disc to return to its normal position.

Other medical problems that I have successfully treated myself are hamstring injuries, sprains, planter fasciitis (heel pain), constipation and common illnesses.

Experience is a good teacher, but if you run into something new, or something you don’t understand, the advice of a pharmacist may help you find a solution.  But don’t wait too long to see your doctor.  The family medical book I have shows how to determine when and with which symptoms it is recommended to see a doctor.  Attempting to treat a medical problem before seeing a doctor can also help you describe the problem to the doctor so that he or she can better determine what the problem is.

“Heal thyself” is good advice, but using good judgement and information from medical resources (internet, local pharmacist, medical books, etc.) can help you make the right decisions on how to treat your health or medical issue.

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About Bill Leavitt

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit RetirementLifesGreatestAdventure.com for more information.

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