Friday, June 6, 2014

Should I Fire My Doctor

A few weeks ago at my recent Admin retreat we had two speakers that were excellent, to help us in our daily duties as administrators and of course in every day life,

Both speakers were selling books and Dr. Steele provide us each with a copy,  The Progress Challenge:  Working and Winning in a world of Change. is one of the books.   A quote from its author, Dean Lindsay was “Change is inevitable, progress is optional.”  We certainly are seeing change in Extension and more to come. Change will happen, but how we deal with it will prove how well we progress.

Another session we had related to wellness and our speaker was Patsy Sulak, M.D.  She’s with Scott &  White  and among physicians who believe that by the time people need a doctor to help them with their health, we’re too late in providing the type of support and assistance that will truly make a lasting difference in their health and quality of life.  Her book is Should I Fire My Doctor? but the context of that question relates to the role your doctor plays in helping patients makes the changes necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Her book begins with a testimonial from an attorney who was one of her patients and tells her story about health issues she had that required frequent medical attention and care.  However, the “treatment” that changed her life wasn’t medical but educational and occurred as a result of a seminar and subsequent visits with her NEW doctor that helped her make the lifestyle changes that have significantly improved her health and wellness, lowered her weight, blood pressure, stress, etc.   

 Dr. Sulak promotes “eleven essential elements to living WELL aware.”  Some are medical in nature but most as just common sense things we all know but just don’t practice. @LivingWELLAware  ,her twitter username

I made reference to the book , last week at our region 4-H meeting,  I have started reading the book, but her program was so interesting I wrote down her 11 essential elements as she explained them , here they are :

1.  Normal Numbers Now.  This was one of the most important to me and includes blood pressure, weight, BMI, cholesterol, and a multitude of other “numbers” that need to be normalized.  She covered a range of statistics on disease and death along with research, science, and facts that were sobering.  Most things that happen to us medically are the result of choices we make. 

2. Critique Caloric Consumption.  We put way too much in our mouths and of the wrong kinds of things too.  Very little food to us, in some places could feed 4 people.  Unhealthy intake and their relationship to diseases and disorders are well documented.

3. Make Movement Mandatory.  EXERCISE!  There’s obviously more to it than that, but it’s important to move…walking, gardening, anything that keeps us moving and active 

4. Address Adverse Addictions/Halt Harmful Habits.  These include the obvious, such as tobacco, alcohol, and related substances but could also include food, social media, and television. 

5.Meticulously Manage Money & Minutes.  When it comes to health, the two most common excuses are the lack of time and money.  Yet, Dr. Sulak says, we spend enormous amounts of time and money on two things – superficial appearance and seeking entertainment.  We spent lots of time and money trying to grow hair where it doesn’t grow and removing hair from where it does grow, pedicures, manicures, massages, coloring, styling, removing wrinkles, applying makeup, piercing & tattooing, excessive clothing and jewelry, hours of tv and movies, houses, cars, and pets that exceed our income, and of course facebooking and twittering.  We have time and money for these things, but not for things that promote wellness and health.

6. Graciously Give Our Gifts.  “When you cease to make a contribution, you die.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

7. FORGIVE:  Family, Friends, Foes, and Ourselves.  Dr. Sulak points out that there are typically two things that make us angry…when someone DOES something to us and when someone THINKS about something differently than we do.  How we manage and handle these things affects our wellness.

8.Passionately Pursue Purpose and Priorities.  Live your passion.

9. Stifle Stress/Sever Suffering.  Stress is mental strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.  Sulak suggests that stress is inevitable but suffering is optional.


10. Periodically PAUSE/PONDER/PLAY/PRAY.  “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”  Albert Einstein.  This element deals with thoughtful meditation, prayer, or whatever you can do to remove yourself from the everyday grind long enough to clear your mind and reset. 

11. Seek and Secure Support.  In this chapter, Sulak visits a variety of strategies that support the positive behaviors and choices that she shares in previous chapters.  It’s a great book but the presentation is what adds color and meaning to the written word. 

Our jobs are not easy jobs and provide a good share of stress that contribute to our well being.  Please take time to reflex on these 11 points that Dr. Sulak provides and try to make a positive change to even just one of these elements.  Remember every one can be at least 1% better at something.

Wellness Begins Here     doc

As part of the Chancellor’s Wellness Initiative, The Texas A&M University System is taking a more active role in the health of its employees.  If you have not done so, you will need to have your physical/wellness exam by June 30th to receive the lower wellness premium for Plan Year 2014-15.  This will be an annual requirement and applies to you and your spouse, if he/she is covered under your health plan.
Schedule your exam NOW if you have not done so.
Good luck to those of you going to State 4-H Round Up!!! next week and congratulations to all our scholarship recipients for such a great accomplishment and a terrific way to finish your 4-H Careers.  Agents take pride in your 4-H members scholarships this great opportunity was provided to them due to your capacity to lead.

Personnel news
Welcome to Ms. Rachel Berry , our new 4-H agent in Wharton County, she just completed her first week on the job.