Clearing a hurdle

One of the biggest hurdles for me, personally, in my quest to become a healthier person, is that I am actually quite fearful of the whole medical profession. Like, really fearful. I've gotten better around doctors over the years, because I've had to deal with them, though no one would ever say I'm "good" about it, and I tend to freak out for days before a new appointment and be a nervous wreck the whole time. My friends love dealing with me through this.

In the list of "scary" medical professionals, dentists rank pretty close to the top of the list. I don't know why, really. I don't have any especially horrid memories of my dentist as a child, though I remember hating having to go see her. But just picking up the phone to make an appointment can be enough to send me into a sweat. Plus, dentists are really expensive, and I don't carry health insurance. As a result, it's been a *long* time since I've seen a dentist. Like, more than a decade. Closer to sixteen years in fact. But, my teeth are a very big problem, have been becoming a major problem, and I know something has to be done, so this week, I decided to bite the bullet (so to speak) and actually contact a dentist.

I had met a few of the doctors from Victoria Court Dental at the health fair, and they have a very snazzy website which offers the option of emailing their New Patient Coordinator. Since I dislike phones almost as much as dentists (brief stint as a telemarketer), email seemed like a nice, non-threatening option where I could think out all the questions I wanted to ask and still run away and hide at any time if it got too scary (people think you're strange when you do that mid-phone conversation).

Angela was very patient and answered my hundred and one questions, and on February 11, I have my first appointment with Dr. Rix. I'm only freaking out a little. Don't worry, it'll get worse.

Step on a crack...

...break your mother's back.

Children's rhymes are really morbid. And only tangentially relevant, since I just thought it would be a nice way to segue into saying that after doing some more research into chiropractic care, I decided to make an appointment with Well Within Chiropractic from last week's health fair. I actually got this promotional thing where I can get a wellness assessment and chiropractic assessment for $47, when it would normally be like, $250. So, yeah. Sounded good to me. The whole thing sounds rather interesting. Chiropractic that is. I'm less intrigued by the wellness assessment. That's the same stuff I've known for years. But I've had ongoing problems with my back, neck, and shoulders since a car accident in 2007, and I'm curious to see what "Dr. Mike" thinks can be done.

So, we wait for the appointment and see what happens...

The Path to Wellness

I have a new title for my blog and a new destination for my journey: The Path to Wellness.

My quest for proactiveness with regards to my health has been stalled a bit by the realization that I have no freaking clue *how* to be more proactive about my health. That, and I know a lot of it takes money. Well, the latter was resolved by my getting a job this week (finally) after several months of unemployment. Yay! I'm a "Health Awareness Facilitator." How's that for irony?

My quest, and my job, took me to the Well Within Health Expo, this HUGE health fair being hosted by a local chiropractic clinic. Honestly, I had *no idea* health was this popular. Apparently a lot of people made the same resolution I did.

It's also where I was introduced to the concept of "wellness" rather than health, a concept which I admit I rather like. It blurs that dichotomy of "sick" and "healthy" that I spoke about last time. So yes, my goal now is to be "well."

It was amazing. I can't believe how much I learned. Some of the exhibitors I already knew of, or had no real interest in learning about, but for most of them, it was very educational, and a great chacne to see what's available. For me, it was also a great introduction to some of the people behind these places. I tend to be painfully shy, and so taking the first step to reach out to a business knowing nothing about it scares the living daylights out of me (my deep-seated fear of all things medical does that as well, but I digress). Dr. Mike at Well Within Chiropractic was so personable and knowledgeable that even for someone like me, who is instinctively on edge around medical professionals, it was hard not to seriously consider making an appointment just to have a chance to chat with him a little longer about some nagging issues with my back and neck. Likewise with Dr. Daya from Victoria Court Dental, who spent a very long time talking about the possibility of my cluster headaches (which I've had since I was 19) being linked to "temparomandibular joint disorder" (which I know I've misspelled). Needless to say I got cards from both. I also got a free five-day pass to Nubodys Fitness, which is great, since I've wanted to try it out.

I was actually hosting a booth at the fair as well, and spent most of the day educating people on diabetes and nutrition. Enjoyed myself thoroughly. Would have enjoyed myself more had I won one of the awesome door prizes, but oh well.

My New Year's Resolution....

I hate New Year's resolutions. It's always seemed like the most useless exercise in futility I've ever encountered. We all *know* we aren't going to actually keep those resolutions. Most of the time, they're ill-considered, poorly-conceived notions blurted out when some well-meaning, but ultimately "caught in the hype" friend asks, "So, what are your New Years resolutions?" And, like kids on a playground, we don't want to seem to be caught without an answer, so we stammer out something about spending more time with the family, getting a raise, doing homework.... oh, and of course, losing weight.

That's probably why I hate New Year's resolutions. Every year since I can remember, I resolved that *this year* I'd get to my ideal weight. And every year, I failed. Like millions of other women (well, people) out there, I struggle with my weight. But every New Year marked a new, optimistic, beginning. And I do well... until February, or March, or April. And each December, as the New Year loomed ever closer, I'd be faced with the inevitable reality of my failure. That's why, a few years ago, I just stopped making resolutions. I did finally start to conquer my weight demons - I started one August. But I swore that I would never again answer that inane question "What are your New Year's resolutions?"

Maybe old habits die a little too hard, because as the clock struck midnight this year, marking a new decade, I found myself mentally reviewing my life and looking for that infamous "to-do" list. What did I want to accomplish in the next year?

I've already come a long way, personally. In the past 16 months or so, I've lost nearly 8 dress sizes, I've gotten my life back in order enough to apply to and be accepted to law school, I'm starting to get my finances in order, I've gotten my eyes fixed and can actually see... so what now? Maybe I should just be happy and be done with it.

No, I know that's not quite right. Because as far as I've come, when I look in the mirror each morning, I know I'm not really a "healthy" person, per se. I'm not sick, really. We've set up this world where we live in a dichotomy, and if you're not sick, you must be healthy. But that's not really true, is it? Because I'm not "sick," but yet I'm hardly a poster girl for good health. I don't see a doctor unless I'm practically dying, I haven't seen a dentist since I was a child, I take painkillers far more often than is necessary, I am still overweight, and I struggle with a host of chronic problems.

So, I've set my number one New Year's resolution: to be more proactive with regards to my health. By the time this year ends, I want to be able to look in the mirror and know that the person looking back at me really is healthy - or, at least, that she has a fighting chance at it. And, since I live to write, I'm taking you all on the journey with me. Let's see how it goes.



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