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Only You Know What Is Right For You

Sometimes you have to take charge of your health problem.

For example, I was once diagnosed with a rotator cuff problem and the orthopedic surgeon wanted to operate. I decided not to have the operation. Instead, I started a series of shoulder exercises in my home and within three months I was — and still am — pain-free.

That taught me a good lesson. There’s often more than one way to control a health condition, and you can choose which way to go.

A case in point: I went for my yearly physical and was told I had high blood pressure. My doctor wanted to prescribe a high blood pressure medication but I didn’t want to take that route. Instead, I told my doctor to give me a month, then recheck my blood pressure. If it was still too high after a month, I’d take the medication. During that month, I started a running program and carefully watched my diet. I have never had to take medication and my blood pressure has been perfectly normal for the last 20 years.

In Florida where I live, so many seniors are on medication, yet there are so many exercises (like water exercises) and healthy lifestyle options that could potentially, depending on the condition, replace the drugs they’re on.

The views and opinions expressed by Perspectives contributors are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. These are opinion pieces and are not peer reviewed.

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