Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Senior Living

Published on July 07, 2021 with No Comments

Take responsibility for your own health

As retirees, most of us have medical or health issues — or soon will have.  I personally have a total of six doctors for various medical issues I am dealing with at age 80.  

It is frustrating to resolve one medical issue and then have another one crop up.  Some issues can be healed or cured; others will never go away.  The trick is to be able to tell the difference. 

For example, I have a couple muscle injuries that with care and patience will clear up through rehab.  Others, like a severely torn rotator cuff and a hernia, can only be dealt with through continuous rehab or surgery.  Taking responsibility for your own health means you must get in tune with your body.  When something starts to go wrong, make a judgment about whether or not you can handle it yourself.

A sore muscle or mild sprain may be healed by rehabbing at home.  Exercising it by starting light and gradually increasing the exercise can improve it until the problem is gone. Other issues, such as recurring headaches, or stomach aches, may be eliminated or minimized by lifestyle changes, such as diet, sleep habits, relieving stress. 

Of course, as your primary medical advocate, you have to make sure that your judgments are sound.  If a problem continues for too long with little or no improvement, then you must then decide to see a medical professional. 

I have experienced many ailments that I was able to deal with myself.  For instance, I have some crushed disks in my back and that sometimes result in back pain and/or sciatic nerve pain in my leg. After several attempts to improve it, I started using a cane to go up and down the 13 stairs between levels of my home.  In just a few days the pain went away, teaching me how to take it easy to avoid the pain. 

However, there is a narrow area between trying to deal with a medical or health issue yourself and going to the doctor.  Don’t ignore medical issues, and don’t spend too much time trying to resolve them yourself.  Responsibility for your own health requires you to use good judgment between when home remedies are the right solution and when a medical professional is the right option.

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About Bill Leavitt

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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