Most people have heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” in relation to healing the environment and climate change, but I think it also applies to healthcare. April 7th is World Health Day and it’s a good time to reflect upon the state of “world health” as well as our own health.
In fact, being an empowered patient or “e-patient” is all about acting locally. What can you do right now to take charge of your own health? My guess is that each of us has at least one action we can take – even if it’s just flossing, taking a walk, or scheduling that check up we’ve been putting off.
Going through cancer treatment greatly altered my diet and health routine. I went from being a relatively healthy person to losing 40 pounds in a couple of months. Living in Los Angeles, an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a few months unscrupulously commented, “Girl, you look great, what diet are you on?!” I replied, “Cancer.”
After treatment, I didn’t crave the same foods I had craved before. I wanted organic vegetables and fruits; determining what went into my body was one of the few things I could control. The further I got from my treatment, the less rigid I became about my nutrition, but I do not take my health for granted any more.
An important part of being an e-patient, in my opinion, is acting locally: taking charge of your daily health regiment. More than anything else, e-patients “own their health” and do not take it for granted.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
~ Mother Teresa
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- World Health Day:“Think globally, act locally” - April 7, 2015