Changing for Better Health BEFORE the Alarms Go Off

June 15, 2012 by  
Filed under blog

Sometimes it takes huge bells on a gigantic clock to wake us up enough to change our thoughts and our habits. But, sadly, too many times when the alarm goes off we hit the snooze button or even sleep right through the loud ringing. I had the opportunity to see quite a few wake-up alarms going off at the hospital in Boston where my wife underwent a difficult surgery and I hope to permanently learn from them.

One such alarm was seeing and talking to a patient who had half her lungs taken out 5 weeks before but was back in the hospital with blood clots. Her husband took me aside and told me how sad it was. His wife smoked but never a lot. Still, she couldn’t seem to give it up. He was really hoping that this was a loud enough wake up bell that she wouldn’t hit the snooze button this time.

Another thing that really hit me was seeing so many obese people in the halls. This wake-up call was more one of empathy for them, knowing many were there for obese related problems. I realized that even though the alarm was going off for them, food addiction is even harder to give up than smoking! Unlike cigarettes, you can’t totally stop eating food, so in a way a person who overeats is constantly teasing and tempting himself or herself every time they eat.

Being in a hospital environment, there are many instances where you are exposed to the problems people have with taking care of themselves. The big take away, at least for me, is knowing that we all need to be much more observant, to see our own selves clearly and see what we need to be doing to stay healthy. We need to figure out better paths to go down before we get the big wake up calls. Additionally, I would say–don’t hit the snooze button! Go out and make the necessary changes—now!

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