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Going above and beyond for your health

By by Katie Sciba, LBSW
May 7, 2013 at 12:07 a.m.


Top 10 Ways to Prevent Strokes

Stop smoking. Just stop it. Seriously.

Know your cholesterol levels. You don't want to be a solid. Check it out.

Control and be aware of your blood pressure.

See your doctor for a check-up. Find one you like and go.

Reduce your salt intake. Put the shaker down.

Stay physically active: Sit & Fit, anyone?

Eat your fruit and vegetables. I mean it.

If you are a diabetic, manage your disease. No one else cares as much. It's not their body.

Take care of your heart. You only get one ticker.

Maintain a healthy weight. Put down the donuts. Pick up the carrots. Don't whine.

Tears formed as the laughter took hold of me. Michelle Jackson, our director of nursing and Rita Williams, director of community relations (AKA: Sit and Fit Queen), were doing a birthday dance for Jessica and I.

I'll never forget that birthday dance for the rest of my life. It went above and beyond my expectations. We work hard at AARN Health Services, so a little laughter goes a long way. The AARN staff here is filled with very unique people who are caring and involved in the community.

Our nurses are on the go constantly, and Jackson directs all this to run smoothly. I will never forget the morning when Jackson, a registered nurse, came into the office with her hair dripping. It wasn't raining, so I said, "What happened to you?" "Oh, there was a patient that needed a home health aide visit, and no one else was available so. ..."

The patient she had cared for is always cold, and he always has the heat on. I love to see people go above and beyond in their work. Michelle takes on responsibilities as needed in order to serve the people in this community. In her free time, she volunteers as the vice president of the Jaycees.

I asked Michelle the other day why she enjoys nursing. She said, "There is nothing more meaningful for me than when a patient responds with gratitude for how I've helped them."

Our nurses diligently teach patients about disease processes and prevention. May is National Stroke Prevention month. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States. One stroke can kill you, incapacitate you to lose your independence, and make you a higher risk for aspiration and developing pneumonia.

It's time for you to boldly go above and beyond with your own health care. As you get older, you may be tempted to let others manage your health.

Doctors do the best they can. Social Workers are helpful. Nurses can be very caring. But, in the end, this is your life and no one else's. You are in charge. Take the lead and go above and beyond with your health care.

SOURCES: Brinsden, H. C., & Farrand, C. E. (2012). Reducing salt; preventing stroke. Nutrition Bulletin, 37(1), 57-63. doi:10.1111/j.1467-3010.2011.01947.x

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). How to prevent a stroke. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/what_you_can_do.htmrovascular_accident/en/

World Health Organization. (2013). Health topics: Stroke, a cerebrovascular accident. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/cerebrovascular_accident/en/

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

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