(Snippets from the frontline)
The easy way out
“Take this pill.” Words patients like to hear from their doctor assuming it will solve all medical problems. Likewise, grabbing fast food is better than preparing healthy food at home, or exercise is too much sweat and work.
The easy way out is in.
Getting older though requires a higher level of maintenance, so patient participation is required.
Every day my elder seniors weigh themselves, take their blood pressure, pulse, oxygen level, and sometimes glucose reading. Plus, they keep this data in a personal diary for reference.
My patients maintain an up-to-date list of medication and know why they are on it, and watch for side effects especially when started on new drugs.
Body routine is monitored for change including bowel movements and urination, while sleep is tracked to assure adequacy. They are advised not to smoke or drink alcohol, and some have a schedule of “core” workouts, aerobics, range of motion calisthenics, and resistance training with weights.
When I ask my patients to exercise, they don’t ask me for a pill instead.
They know the easy way out won’t improve quality of life nor extend life expectancy.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.