Okay, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. But as a mom, I play one nearly every day in my home.
For starters, I am the keeper of my children’s health records, the one who decides when their aches warrant a trip to a real doctor, and the arbiter of how to treat a fever, bandage a wound or remove a sliver. I am the one who shops for the foods they’ll eat, encourages them to exercise, and chases them to bed at night, so they can log a reasonable amount of sleep. Toss in the fact we have a dog named Loki, and sometimes, I am a vet, too. I take Loki for checkups, track his medications and make sure he gets his shots.
But my work doesn’t stop there. There are days when I have to oversee the health of other adults in my life. I ferry my parents to doctor appointments and research information about hearing aids for my mom. I nudge my husband to go on routine checkups. I counsel friends and relatives about what to do for aching knees, underactive thyroids and weight loss struggles.
And then of course, there is me. Somewhere in the middle of all this caretaking, I have to exercise 30 minutes most days of the week, eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies a day, strength train twice a week, manage an ongoing battle with Raynaud’s, take my calcium and vitamin D, and slather on sunscreen to shield my aging skin from the sun.
Managing my family’s health is a daily job. Whether it’s tending to an injured foot, devising ways to slip more calcium into the diet or figuring out what to do about a recurring case of strep throat, there’s an endless barrage of events that demand my attention. Compounding the task is the fact I’m a health writer, so I am hyper alert to anything related to my family’s well-being. I’m also a human repository of endless tidbits of health information from the mundane to the fascinating.
That’s why I’m starting this blog, to share with you all the myriad health issues that families face. Consider it an intergenerational health blog, a real person’s compass to the giant wilderness of health, and a mom’s way of sharing her experiences.