Back to my roots: Why health matters to me

My eyes were opened wide at a young age to health and the gravity of its inner-workings. I learned about acute health matters, emergencies, chronic illness, diagnostics, assisted living facilities, and day-to-day management of disease before many do. I’ve seen the impact health can have on quality of life – both extremes. 

As I was raised, I was encouraged to help others by lending a hand, dedicating time to visiting the elderly, and prioritizing volunteerism in my community.  This perspective has carried with me.  Fortunately nowadays – pitching in to our “community” comes in various forms; distance is no longer a factor.  My community includes where I live, through THM, and via social groups on the Internet. 

I was fortunate enough to have several years of time and experiences with my grandparents. I could gladly go on and on about the memories, the advice doled out, the educational lessons…

They taught me so much. They helped shape me. I witnessed first-hand how quickly the status of one’s health can shift. It’s easy to observe and then dismiss things from our minds. We have so much going on!  But for me, observing, listening, learning and taking steps forward reigns. 

Back when cell phones weren’t common, when our house phone line rang at night, we would jolt out of bed, everyone in the house surely thinking the same thing.  I hoped that whatever was going on, the grandparent the phone call pertained to was going to be okay. Who is it? What’s wrong? Where do we need to be?

Late night drives to a VA Hospital, spending time waiting outside of the ICU, raiding vending machines, sleeping in the backseat of the car and visiting my grandparents in senior living centers filled me with so much love, compassion, and awareness of just how paramount health is. I realized early on how precious our lives are and how much your health impacts the lives of those around you. I have experienced those gut-wrenching, ready to fall to my knees, please don’t let this be “it” times.

The uncertainty of the future is real. But being proactive about your health is something that can be made certain. 

It fuels me. My ancestors made their mark.  So, I certainly raise a glass in celebration to those that are no longer with us – that molded us into who we are today because when we can push through the tough periods of time that follow, an inner strength unfolds and has the ability to be impactful.

My grandparents believed and proved through their actions that the community – whether it be the one you live in, the one you belong to virtually or the one you seek out as a collective on a global scale – that investing, putting time in and doing what you can as an individual is a great accomplishment and makes a difference. In any way that you, I and the rest of our community members can help one another is something to be proud of.

I guess I can say that I am the next generation in my family that focuses on action and stepping forward to help others that need help. Because in all reality, we all can use a hand. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. 

I encourage you to plant a seed in your community. One that could serve as a building block, an inspiration, or just one with pure good intentions. It could be one that sprouts in the coming season or flourishes for the next generation. What lesson do you want to provide the next generation? 

So, that’s a little back history of me which I feel has led me to where I am today, embarking on The Honest Migraine. I’ve always felt a pull toward the medical realm and it all makes sense to me.

Coming next: The evolution of COPD