The alarm went off with plenty of time for a snooze yet I didn’t want to get up. It is so nice to not hurt! My back, which has been cranky for the last five years, is feeling great. My neck is still having issues – but that is a pillow problem not a mattress problem. I feel great when I get up… I just don’t like getting up.
This is all because after 10 years I finally purchased a new bed. I’ve decided that is my excuse for sleeping in this morning not a lack of discipline. I’ve always loved bed. Not necessarily sleep – I just like lying in bed. When I lay there my mind wanders I come up with ideas and work through problems and issues. For me my bed is a second office.
Yet – how many of us feel inferior to those souls who need only a few hours a night? The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours. I’m more of a 9 hour girl myself, yet every once in a while I dream of only needing 4 hours so that I can be more productive during the day.
But sleep is important!
But I digress – what amazes me most is that after multiple doctor visits about my back I don’t remember anyone telling me I needed to get a new bed. Now they may have – and I may have ignored them. But the bed is magic! And I’m wondering if pressure from the medical profession might have tipped me over into getting one sooner.
We seem to be in a transition between “here’s a pill” to “let’s look at your lifestyle”.
One of my doctors recommend, and threatened to prescribe, having someone clean my house. I’m allergic to dust mites and mold. I am also allergic to cleaning products. My reliance on drugs and the number of days I felt sub-par because of allergies has decreased. I truly believe that when we are having health issues we need to look at all the factors – and not reach for the medicine cabinet.
Changing behaviors takes effort, taking a pill only means remembering to take the pill.
It’s funny because it is a matter of degree. I once dated a guy who dealt with his allergies and asthma though drugs. His house was filled with dust and mold but no matter what was causing it he found it easier to mask it with drugs then deal with the root cause. Being with him was causing me to go back to using medications to keep me healthy – that didn’t last long. I left preferring my health over his company.
This leads me to wonder about the medical profession.
How many of us are willing to change our behavior if a doctor tells us to? Most of us still feel a reverence for the profession and put a lot of weight in what they tell us. But so much of what I’ve read about healthcare talks about doctor’s unwillingness to look at behavior – often because they don’t believe it will work.
Maybe it is just the people that I hang out with – but I was surprised to learn how many of them responded to their doctor’s request to alter their life style. A couple I know are the most religious of gym goers – three times a week without fail. No whining, no complaints. All because a doctor told them to.
Another friend has altered her diet multiple times as she tries to sort out what might be affecting her migraines. A co-worker, who had multiple serious injuries in the last year, is recovering faster than average because she does the physical therapy prescribed by her therapist at home. Oh, and then there was the couple who one of them was having insomnia and the other discovered he had sleep apnea – the hope is once the sleep apnea is resolved his wife will be getting better sleep.
Now there are also folks I know who aren’t doing quite so well… but they are at least beginning to understand that they are their own worst enemy. Having chronic insomnia and heading up to play computer games at 11 at night with a two liter bottle of regular Coke is a recipe for another sleepless night. But most of us are taking our health more seriously and understanding that our environment and habits could be responsible.
Now there are plenty of times when I reach for medication – my allergies are only under control with daily drugs but I’ve cut down on the need for Benadryl. I have severe migraines but have successfully moved off of daily meds to Imitrex as needed. My back was fixed by my bed and regular exercise, however my insomnia would be much better if I didn’t drink – but we all need a vice.
I hope that I always start with the root of them problem and then work out – leaving medications as my last course of action. And think more of us would if we were given the information to make that choice.
So where do you sit on this spectrum? The pill or the behavior or someplace in-between?