A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.
An Old Spanish Proverb
Stop and think about the steps you take when deciding to buy a set of golf clubs, which mall has the best weekend sales, buying a car, or searching for that one in a million hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Now compare the time and effort you spend when making health decisions. Unfortunately, many of us don’t take the time to learn about the “who, what, and when’s” about health care.
“Make It Your Business” to Learn and to Ask Questions
The single, most useful thing you can do to improve your health is to get involved in your health. You don’t need to know everything about health care but you should certainly know basic information and medicine, such as:
- Know what to ask your physician. (Click here)
- Know your disease: the name of your condition, how your disease affects your health, signs and symptoms of flare-ups, and when to call your doctor.
- Be aware about “normal” health conditions as it can be useful in identifying flare-ups.
- Learn about your medications: the name of the drug, what the drug is suppose to do, the amount you are to take, proper way to take your medications, side-effects of the drug, and what to do if you do not think your medications are working.
- Choose your health care provider (i.e., doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses, physical therapists, etc.) carefully; and if you are not satisfied with the treatment and/or care, speak up and voice concerns and, if need be, search for someone you can trust and talk to.
- Keep informed about health facilities in your community.
- Consider your options when choosing your child’s care facilities and schools for children with asthma and other breathing problems.
Where do you start?
The Internet has many good resources for learning about your lung disease, but be sure that they are reputable and that the information they provide is factual. Beware of “things that sound too good to be true.”