A while back, before everyone was required to be under house arrest for this global pandemic, I was standing in line at my local burger joint, Whataburger. I will tell anyone upfront that I have been a fan of Whataburger for over 60 years. Their burgers are great, but their service sucks. I have been to Whataburger six times since I started this quarantine began, and my order has been delivered wrong. I am used to having an order wrong about 33% of the time. But, recently, service is terrible.
Getting back to my original story. As I moved forward towards the order point, the lady in front of me had a beautiful smile– very graceful, almost angelic. I noticed her for a couple of moments and decided to comment on her smile. I said something like, ‘You seem extremely happy today!’ She said she was happy and blessed to be standing here.
I asked another question and we ended up in an interesting conversation. She had been in a wheelchair a year ago. Seven years ago, her health started going downhill – stress, trauma, and more stress. She had undergone a terrible experience with her dentist that left the hinges of her jawbone on both sides of her face non-functional. The doctors told her that she would never have use of them again. She managed to find someone who did fix her mouth, and she can eat and talk and do everything anyone else can do.
But her health started in a downward spiral with that event and got worse over time. A year ago, she decided that enough was enough. She was taking charge of her own life. She started an internet search on what was causing her health problems so that she could take some action. She said that she studied neurotransmitters and began an adoptive therapy – not everything that was identified in her research, but what she had found and what she thought would work for her.
I asked her what neurotransmitter supplements she was taking, and she listed a half-dozen very quickly. I did not go into details of dosages or brands or anything like that. She offered me the name of a book and a website for my further information. I told her that I was thinking about writing a book about pain control and that I would check into some of the items that worked for her. She asked if I was a doctor, and I told her that I was not. I gave her my business card and told her that I had an interest in personal health and blogged about it often.
Most people in a wheelchair, racked with pain, do not take it upon themselves to take matters into their own hands. They sit back (so to speak) and take whatever pills and advice their doctors give them. They are passive to a point of near incapability. They will take what the doctor tells them, but they will not go any further. I applaud this lady for the initiative she took to take charge of her own health. Very few of us do it.
What is worse, we begin looking for health improvement options only when we enter that downward spiral. We choose to be corrective than preventive. We do choose preventive actions with our car, and a few other things in our lives, but very few. We wait till something happens and then react. Yet, every day our health is descending – one day at a time till we die. The change is so gradual that we do not see it. One day we cannot do what we used to do. We accept that we’re getting older, yet our brains tell us we have not changed.
I still think like a mid-20-year-old, yet I have passed that era a long time ago. Fortunately, I am taking no prescription medicines and never have except for short periods of time to address a temporary malady at that specific time in my life. I used to exercise daily, but not enough to work up a sweat, except during the summertime. I am more of a seasonal exerciser nowadays. I eat what I want, but it could be healthier. But I do take supplements with things that I know are not contained in the normal diet – usually vitamin K2, vitamin D3, and vitamin E (all eight components).
Health is a major part of our lives. It allows us to do the things we want to do. Our wealth may postpone doing those things, but if we have the money and the time, we want the ability to do them. Almost every prescription medicine came from some natural herb or plant. The natural product in the herb or plant worked well in conjunction with everything else that comprised the plant. When an active ingredient is extracted and synthesized it undergoes a transformation – many times with some degree of toxic side effects.
White willow bark was used for centuries as a pain killer. Salicin is the responsible pain killer compound. Salicylic acid was synthesized in 1838 from the wintergreen tree. It relieved pain but left people with gastric distress and vomiting. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) was synthesized in 1893 and reduced a lot of the gastric side effects. But it has side effects that salicin does not have. Salicin is still available today for us, but it cannot be prescribed for pain by physicians – it is not a drug.
Review the drugs you are taking. What are the side effects? Are they worth it? Is there something else that can be used that is just as effective without the side effects? Are you really in control of your health? Talk to your doctor about getting your off your prescription medicines.
Many times, a person is on prescription medicines for a symptom(s) they have. Doctors treat symptoms. They do not treat the cause of the problem. Take high blood pressure as an example. Could you increase your exercise to see if you need less medicine, or even get off your medicine completely? Maybe losing some weight would help you get off that medicine. Ask your doctor to monitor your progress with exercising and weight loss for three to six months and see if your meds could be reduced or eliminated. Get his or her permission before starting any alternative program to get off any prescription drug.
There are many things we can do, but most of us rely on our doctors to control our lives – health-wise. We should be in control of our own health. Especially now that everyone is home. We control our daily exercise and diet. What better time to start reassessing who is in control of your health?
Do not go out and buy salicin from the Internet! Talk to your physician first. Determine if it is appropriate for the pain you have.
F. M. ‘Red’ O’Laughlin, III, is a researcher, author, and public speaker. He speaks on health and wellness, aging, personal growth, and motivation. Red states often that, “If you treat symptoms, you will always treat symptoms. You must treat the cause of a problem to correct it.” I research what happens at the cellular level in the human body, biochemically speaking. I look for cause and effect relationships. I identify the causes of health problems. I write and speak about those causes and the potential options for correcting those problems.