dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, January 5, 2013

~* Healthy New Year 2013! *~

Welcome to 2013! I can hardly believe how fast 2012 went by... I think my brain is stuck somewhere back in July. Getting through the holidays when you have chronic pain is a big achievement, and I hope that instead of merely surviving you were able to enjoy your loved ones and have as much pleasure in celebrating as I did.

I’ve never been one to make new year’s resolutions. I find it more useful after all the craziness of November and December to stop and reflect upon the past year with regard to chronic pain & medical issues. Just to name a few reflections: I can see the obstacles that tripped me up and how I got passed them, I notice the issues which knocked me down and made it hard for me to recover, and I acknowledge how some of my negative reactions hindered me. On the positive side, my plan to organize definitely improved my medical care, I followed through on issues which required my commitment, and I was able to continue this blog with the goal of helping others avoid the mistakes and pitfalls I’ve made in the past. Looking back to last January, I’m surprised at how much I accomplished and how far I came through the year. Reflecting  really helps me get my head together so I can face the future and be ready to move forward. 

We posed my old Abyssinian cat, Rush, in a New Year themed
 photo back in the 90's which we submitted to a cat calendar.
He was chosen as their New Year's Day cat!
He sure looked daper wearing my husband's bow tie.

Now it’s time to get back into our regular routines and catch up with things where we left off. With regard to keeping current with our chronic pain management and medical issues, start off the new year by checking off these five items:

1.) Be certain all appointments are scheduled and in your datebook.

2.) Make sure that any referrals made at the end of the year haven’t been lost in the holiday paper-pile up at the doctor’s office (I haven’t heard anything on my PT referral from mid-December so I need to follow-up myself).

3.) If you keep copies of your Medical Records (which I recommend), check that all your records are up to date, and all tests and appointment paperwork from 2012 are in your possession.

4.) If you are supposed to be doing exercises, physical therapy, or other treatment which is entirely in your control - but you let it slide during the holidays - call yourself out and get back on schedule.

5.) Look at your health insurance preventative care policies and see if this year you are due for any tests or screenings like mammogram, pap smear, vaccines, dexa scan, diabetes, colonscopy, etc. (I missed the fact that a doctor had been recommended I get a dexa scan eight years ago, and when the lost note was finally discovered and I got the scan, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my lumbar spine. I wrote about that fiasco HERE.)

With these items crossed off, your pain management & health plan is back in place and are ready to head into 2013 with renewed spirit to live as well as you can.

Healthy New Year to all!

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