How do opinions affect your health?

Getting a second opinion, not wanting others’ opinion, or feeling secure in our own opinion is something that should resonate with all of us in regards to our individual health.

I agree with the saying that “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well-supported in logic and argument than others,” by Douglas Adams. 

Opinions are widely defined as “a thought or belief.”

What prompted me to write this? A few things.

1 – Seeing an individual offer support and guidance to a friend regarding how or if they decide to expand their family. (There will always be supporters and critics/naysayers.)

2 – The very realness (and mental anguish that can accompany) fearing another’s opinion on a decision made in one’s personal life.

3 – The dissipating concern of a good friend when moving forward to get a second opinion on an important surgery.

Opinions are a part of life. We can’t escape them, but we can find healthy ways to navigate in their presence. Our social-media driven, comparative modern society has a lot of opinions. Do you feel that way?

In anything we have to make a decision on – from what to order for breakfast at a cafe, what doctor we choose to treat us, what medication we opt for over another, or who we decide to cut ties with in life or join alliances with, we never quite feel alone in our decision making. We often feel others’ eyes speaking to us in non-verbal ways. 

I think what’s become crystal clear to me in the past year alone is that our own peace of mind is more vital and should be placed first in the pecking order.

It is the decisions we make that hopefully are in our best interest, not swayed by others’ decisions or opinions, that will allow us to feel better, be healthier, become more relaxed, and build confidence. 

They always say “If I knew then, what I know now…”

I find that to be true. If I knew 10 years ago what I know now, after trial and error, things would look different. The silver lining is that by analyzing that, if you haven’t already, you can start making changes, if needed, today. Looking back 5 years from now will certainly put a smile on your face.  

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

I find it pretty spot on that the toughest times we experience result in the most profound change. Without these hurdles, many would stay in a stagnant position. When things are “10’s” across the board – humans continue the status quo. It’s when the “10’s” drop to “5’s,” “2’s” and “7’s” then we are filled with inspiration to find a solution and change things up. 

The flip side of the coin is I can acknowledge how far I’ve come in 10 years. I’m glad I’ve continued to evolve, become stronger, and more educated in the everydayness of life. From health decisions to friendships, downtime, foods I consume, the list goes on. 

I’ve been through substantial medical experience myself, witnessed tremendous health matters in those I have loved and love most, and am eager and willing to put in the work to provide support and guidance to our next generation.

Continue to water the seeds. 

Give more than you receive.

If you are not satisfied with the approach your current doctor is setting out for you – request another opinion.

Did you know that you are entitled to a second opinion if you or your doctor request one through your medical insurance provider? It is vital to realize that a different doctor may very well come up with a different diagnosis of your condition, based on the technology available to that doctor, where the doctor was educated and trained, and the level of experience they have with the particular condition.

On the flip side, depending on the matter, you may also get an opinion or some advice from a community member that can be beneficial for you, your wallet and your health.  For example…

If you are told that your co-pay for a medication you have been prescribed is hundreds of dollars at your pharmacy, contact other pharmacies in your town (including superstore pharmacies), ask about the GoodRx price, or look online to see if you qualify for savings based on income for the medication.

A family member of mine was recently prescribed a medication that (after insurance) required a co-pay of $800. By checking the GoodRx option (free enrollment), the co-pay dropped into the $300’s at that same pharmacy. However, then she called a competing nationwide pharmacy less than a mile away who also processed GoodRx discounts, said her copay would be $115. A huge savings. Share this info with a friend or family member – it’d be a shame to have them miss an opportunity to take a helpful medication due to one pharmacy’s exorbitant price. The time spent by my family member identifying this savings was less than one hour!

The more tips we share amongst ourselves, the more it benefits!

If you are letting a friend or family member limit you and impede your health because of their opinions, try and separate the power they are trying to hold over you.

It’s your body, health, and decision. In a positive manner, share that you really find it important to seek out a certain treatment or get a referral to the specialist. You want to live longer, experience more, and share more memories with them.

If you simply don’t know where to turn or what to do next (or what is available to you within your health insurance or medical practice), call or write your medical insurance company to receive a full booklet on your coverage – item by item. If you need more one on one, see if the doctor’s office has a medical assistant, insurance coordinator, or other knowledgeable individual that can walk you through the steps. 

Opinions by others can be inspiring, limiting, and confusing. Opinions by doctors can aid our health, offer encouragement, and inspire those in our social network. 

No matter what ‘opinion’ resonates most with you after reading this, I hope it influences you in a positive, healthy way. 

Coming next: Naturopathic insight with food antibody testing, more