The Importance of Stress Free Health Care
Did you remember to take your medicine today? Did you attend your doctor’s appointment?
Maintaining good health practices is a frequent topic of discussion in society. From talking about certain diets such as Veganism, to exercising, all of these health practices require a sense of responsibility and discipline to maintain.
Maintaining good eating habits, attending annual checkups with your medical care providers, and having a steady regimen with your medications are many ways that you can keep staying healthy.
In medicine, the word compliance is also tied together with good health practices. There are multiple factors that contribute towards overall wellness.
However, if we’re honest with ourselves, there are moments in which we, as human beings, aren’t always one hundred percent meeting our wellness goals. It is hard to keep of the things we need to do to keep our body healthy-especially if you are someone who has a chronic condition like Turner Syndrome.
But don’t worry-this article will you out! You will learn the different ways that you can stay on top of your health as well as remind you why it is important to listen to your medical professionals-especially if you are transitioning between teenagehood and adulthood.
Why is it important to stay on top of my health?
Making sure to stay on top of your health takes a lot of discipline, especially if you have to take certain medications at a specific time of the day.
Because you’re human, the life’s challenges and stresses can sometimes get in the way. Therefore, they can cause you to become forgetful.
Maybe you were late in the morning and forgot to take your medication before leaving for school or work. Or, maybe you missed your doctor’s appointment due to bumper-to-bumper traffic.
These are all things that can cause imbalance in your availability and focus. With a fast-paced schedule, it’s difficult for you to remember anything that does not require immediate attention.
If you have a chronic condition like TS, this gets even harder to do, since you have more on your plate to keep track of. Therefore, you have more stress linked to taking care of your health.
Despite this, it is very important to stick to a schedule when maintaining your health. This goes for everything-from taking medications to visiting doctors.
When you stop making time for your health, the door opens for further complications. Your body will develop more diseases or worsen your symptoms. This is doubly so if you are someone who has TS or other chronic conditions.
Overall, wellness is a collaborative effort and communication with healthcare providers is at the forefront of it all.
Heart Disease and Why It's Crucial to Track Your Health
If you are someone with TS, heart disease is one of the most prevalent issues that you can develop.
According to pediatric guidelines for patients with TS, it is recommended that if you have a young one with TS, it is important that they get a cardiac MRI early. Specifically, at the age of 9.
This is since if you or a loved one is a person with TS, you have an almost 50% of getting heart disease.
Furthermore, many of its chronic symptoms, like the heart’s aorta thickening, worsen in adulthood and are often caused by the lack of care for one’s heart health. If left untreated, these symptoms can potentially be life threatening.
Therefore, for these reasons, it’s very important for you to:
- Understand how TS can affect certain aspects of your heart health. This is since it’s been shown that symptoms that develop through adulthood connect to other, undiagnosed health problems that those with TS may have.
- Closely monitor your heart and cardiovascular health as you age.
- Make sure you follow up with your cardiologist annually; and
- Follow your cardiologist’s recommendations on how to improve your heart health.
Stress-Free Ways to Take Care of Your Health
Building a sense of responsibility between pediatric care to adulthood starts with being organized. When you are disorganized and the life’s stresses get in the way, it becomes much harder to focus on the things that are important like keeping track of your health.
Here are three ways that you can decrease the amount of stress that you have while taking care of your health:
- Use a planner. With a planner, you can map out your day and remind yourself of certain things that are important to your health. These things can include exercising, taking your medication, going to a doctor’s appointment, and more.
- Utilize a list. Along with planners, lists can be a great strategy to track of your health without as much stress. Studies have shown that being able to visualize a task in an organized way, followed by crossing them off of your list after a task’s completed builds your feeling of being responsible and productive.
- Have alarms set up for your different health habits-and follow them. Setting alarms in the morning or at specific times of the day for taking medication will help your brain condition itself to do things that help you stay healthy. This will help you stay actively dedicated to a set schedule and decrease the amount of days you forgot your health habits. For example, if you set an alarm at certain times of the day to take your medications, the brain will associate the alarm with taking the medication. Thus, your body will naturally adjust its clock to take the medication at that set time.
Why is my transition into adulthood so important when it comes to medical care, and what's compliance?
When transitioning from being a teenager to an adult, one of the important things you will experience during this transition is moving from your caretakers taking care of your health to you taking care of your own health.
As a child, you listened to your caretakers and their reminders of keeping up your healthy habits, but as you grow older, this changes.
Yes, your caretakers are still important and still can help you with taking care of your health. However, this is when your relationship between only you and your doctor grows in importance.
Despite the changes of who’s taking care of your health, the urgency that is tied with being responsible for your own health does not go away.
This is why understanding compliance is crucial. According to USA Pharmacy, compliance is the process where a patient follows the prescribed and dispensed regimen as intended by the prescriber or dispenser.
In other words, compliance is when you, the patient, actively listens to your doctor’s recommendations and works to improve your health.
What are ways that I can not be compliant as a patient, and what are ways that I can change that?
If you are a patient, some reasons you can become not compliant are:
- Having forgetfulness
- Not having enough medication to continue your treatment
- Being unable to understand your medication’s directions
- Choosing not to call your doctor if you have any questions about your health.
- Struggling to understand your medication or treatment schedule
- Not being able to follow your treatment’s schedule
So, what is the best way to prevent this from happening?
Here are some tips:
- Choose medical professionals that you feel the most comfortable with.
- Make sure to ask the necessary questions in the office as well as following up with phone calls to prevent any confusion.
- If there are language barriers, make sure you speak to someone who can communicate your issues in a more understandable way.
Takeaway - What you can do now
- Maintaining your health routine is essential for good health and wellness. It’s important to continue following the directions from your medical providers and your caretakers.
- Additionally, it’s important to build a sense of responsibility for your health from a young age. It can change the amount of struggles you have that are related to TS or other chronic conditions.
- Of course, not everyone’s perfect with their regimen, but making small changes can go a long way. We hope that the tips that were provided in this article will help you with building and continuing healthy habits that can contribute towards a happier and better health regimen.
- If you want to learn more about this topic, download our free webinar recording of our past webinar, Building a Relationship with Your Pediatrician. With that, you can more tips on how to have a stress-free, positive relationship between you, your medical professionals, and your health.
- Don’t worry-the information needed in order to access the webinar recording is completely private and will only be shared with those within TSF. That way, we can help provide you the services that you need!
Acknowledgements: This article was written by Chioma, a TSF Blog Writer and edited by Liz Donner, a TSF Blog Editor. ©Turner Syndrome Foundation 2021.