Get well, stay well

I stress here, you must assume the responsibility for your own well-being and good health. This is not to say you must, as I did, tell the doctors to take a flying leap. I do not recommend you do that. Mine was  a long, interesting journey and it worked for me. You will have to find out what works for you.

One of the first things you must do is take stock. How do you feel? Are you healthy? Got aches and pains and too many ailments to mention? Most people actually don’t even know what it’s like to feel good. They become accustomed to their aches and pains.

They become what one is. If this is so, I strongly suggest you do what I do, which is to respond quickly to every ache or pain or ailment.

If you feel the need to see a doctor, do so. But, today, most of us can’t afford to run to the doctor every time we sneeze or skin our knee. Still, if you have a headache, you can certainly take a moment to wonder why. Maybe too many glasses of wine? Too many beers? That’s a simple one to solve. If that’s it, suffer.

Don’t even think about the hair of the dog. That’s the road to alcoholism and it’s a nasty, dangerous road that you don’t want to travel on. Suffer your way through it, live with the damn thing, and if  you suffer too long and too often, hopefully your good sense will kick in and you’ll decide not to drink so much. Makes sense, no?

As a voracious reader, I have many shelves of books dedicated to good health — how to get there, what to do if you’re not there — and many of them have indexes that describe symptoms, what they mean and what one can do to relieve them. For me, I run to LET’S GET WELL by Adelle Davis. Old fashioned? You betcha. But it got me here. For years, I’ve lived by her number one rule: try nutrition first.

I think proper nutrition is first and foremost on the list of things to do when things go wrong. I also have a string of red flags. Dehydration is one. Who wants to die of that? If it lasts, see a doctor. A broken bone is another. But, for years now — after I learned not to die of every misprint I read — if I have a symptom, I go on a health food kick to end all health food kicks. If the symptoms last longer than two weeks, I’m off to a doctor’s office. Its happened once.

Remember: What keeps me healthy isn’t going be what keeps you healthy and what keeps me healthy can change in the wink of an eye.  

You must discover what it is that keeps you healthy and no one can do that for you. Good health is a complicated discipline. Read. Study. Learn and practice what you read. Get well. Stay well.

• Bettejo Dux is a Kehalo resident and author of “The Scam: A madcap romp through North Shore Kauai.”

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