Fund Your Health by Reducing Your Health Risk by Dr. Lisa Williams

HEALTH PORTFOLIO (H-Portfolio)

Health = Wealth

H-Asset: Family Wealth 

H-Investment: Advocacy

Advocacy is another very wise H-Investment that improves your overall health and wealth. Building an H-Portfolio that includes this H-Investment (Advocacy) is very affordable (and in most cases it is FREE). I began advocating for myself more than 30 years ago, after my illness, and this led me to understand other areas of medicine and health care. I take pride in advocating. My own H-Portfolio has improved significantly because of it, and as a result, it has improved my own healthcare and healthcare trajectory.

Here is my H=W (Health = Wealth) formula: In order to be a successful advocate, you need the time, the energy, knowledge, and help. I believe that it is very important to teach others how to be an advocate. This is what your own H-Investment (Advocacy) could include:

  • Buy a journal that you use for documenting any of your signs and symptoms and bring the journal with you to your next doctor’s appointment. Review it with your doctor.
  • Take your spouse or friend with you to your child’s next doctor’s appointment, so you can both be there and can “compare” the information given.
  • Request your CD and medical records after you have a spine X-ray, so that you don’t need the X-ray repeated at another doctor’s visit and can limit radiation exposure.
  • Get a second (or third) opinion if you are not given any other options.
  • Prepare ahead of time for medical appointments with questions.

If you are fortunate, you may not have experienced the need to make this H-Investment. However, one crisis can wipe out your entire H-Portfolio! We are all in the same boat and require advocacy, so be a mentor and help your family get started early. Advocacy can reduce and prevent your long-term costs and improve your health. According to the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, preventive services not only save lives, but also save money. Such measures could save nearly two million lives and nearly $4 billion dollars a year! 

I cannot express the importance of building an H-Portfolio that includes this important H-Investment. This is just one more way to pay your health forward by adding H-Investments to your and your family’s H-Portfolio that could fund your health. It is never too early or too late to invest in your health.

 

References

American Optometric Association (AOA). (2016). Retrieved from https://www.aoa.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Extreme heat and your health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html

Gambichler, T., Rotterdam, S., Altmeyer, P., & Hoffmann, K. (2001). Protection against ultraviolet radiation by commercial summer clothing: need for standardised testing and labelling. BMC Dermatol, 1, 6. 9.

Murase, J. E. (2015). Understanding the importance of dermatology training in undergraduate medical education. Dermatol Pract Concept, 5(2), 95-96. doi:10.5826/dpc.0502a18

Romey, K. (2016, Aug 18). National Geographic. Here’s what the iceman was wearing when he died 5,300 Years ago. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/otzi-iceman-european-alps-mummy-clothing-dna-leather-fur-archaeology/

Suregon General. (2014). The surgeon general’s call to action to prevent skin cancer. Retrieved from https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/prevent-skin-cancer/call-to-action-prevent-skin-cancer.pdf

The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD). (2014). Retrieved from https://www.aad.org

The New York Times. (2010, June 23). History of sunscreen. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/fashion/24skinside.html

The Skin Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.skincancer.org

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2015). The sun and your medicine. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/specialfeatures/ucm464195.htm

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2016). Tips to stay safe in the sun: from sunscreen to sunglasses. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm049090.htm

Photo credit: Lisa Williams

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information on this site is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Doing anything recommended or suggested on this website/blog must be done at your own risk. 

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