Posts tagged with : colds flu get well health sick staying healthy
How to Get Well Soon
We all know people who head to the doctor (or the ER, even) at the first hint of the sniffles—and we all know the sort that never go to the doctor or even pop the occasional aspirin. Most of us live somewhere between those two extremes, and it can be a frightening place sometimes. This week we have some advice on what to do when you get sick: when to self-diagnose, when to go to a doctor, and how to avoid common medical pitfalls.
- Only self-diagnose when you are familiar with your symptoms. A cough with congestion is probably something you’ve experienced before, but a cough with lung pain is probably a good reason to call the doctor.
- If over-the-counter medicine doesn’t work, it’s time to call the doctor. You may be having what seems like a normal cold or flu, but if the basic medicines you’re using don’t have any effect, or if your symptoms get worse, you need to contact a professional. Generally you can give your illness three or four days before calling the doctor.
- Do your homework before going to the doctor. Make sure you know the names of the medications you’re already on—write them down if you have to—before you go to the doctor’s office. State your symptoms and your expectations clearly at the beginning of the visit.
- Follow the doctor’s orders. If you get advice from a medical professional that you don’t think you can follow, be upfront about it. That will allow the doctor to give you other advice that might be better suited to your situation and prevent misunderstandings in follow-up visits.
- Pay attention. Being on your cell phone or distracted with other things is a terrible way to start a visit. It wastes the doctor’s time and yours, and may lead to misunderstandings and unclear communication.
- Tell the truth. Occasionally, doctors will ask about uncomfortable parts of people’s lives: sexual habits, drinking, and other aspects of our lifestyles we might want to keep private. Doctors are prohibited from revealing personal details of your life unless medically necessary (with minor exceptions), so go ahead and divulge that info. It will only help the doctor diagnose you.
And the most important tip of all:
- Rest. Get more sleep than you usually do. Drink more water. Don’t push yourself, and don’t stress yourself. In most cases, you’ll want to stop exercising until you get better. (The commonly-held rule is that you should stop working out if your illness affects any part of your body below your neck.)
There you have it—you can’t really stay healthy until you get healthy first. Take care of yourself and you’ll be back on track in no time.