We all have concerns about our health from time to time. Sometimes they’re based on very little – a small pain that we build up to mean more than it is. Other times, as much as we try to ignore something, it becomes impossible and we have to confront it.
The mood we are in at the time has a lot to do with how we handle things, too. As well as this, the suddenness with which something comes on can be a factor.
The longer you live, the more it becomes inevitable that here and there you will have a health crisis to deal with. It becomes all the more sure if you have kids. We all know how often we were in and out of doctors’ offices when we were little. And because kids aren’t that well educated in how to self-diagnose, you end up treating every tummy ache like it’s an emergency. Even if it’s really just too much chocolate!
Being ready to deal with a crisis is always important. We always hear about how vital it is to “stay calm in a crisis.” As a statement, this is sometimes misleading. The word “calm” implies you’re relaxed and dispassionate. But with a health crisis, it’s important to be just the opposite of that. You care, you’re involved, and you want prompt action. You just don’t want to rush things too much or make an error.
So, when it comes to dealing with a health crisis, you need to be very focused on getting things dealt with. Whether or not you can call yourself calm is another matter. Inside, you may be panicking – especially if it is your child who is experiencing the crisis. But on the surface, you need to remember the key points of dealing with a health crisis.
#1. Get All The Information You Can
Whether it is you or someone else who is having the issue, it is essential to know as much about the symptoms as you can find out. If you are suddenly gripped by chest pain, you may have the same reaction a lot of people do in the circumstances. It’s easy to assume it is a heart attack. The vast majority of the time, it won’t be.
So think of how you would describe that pain to a medical professional. Try to notice if there is anything else amiss.
Similarly, if your child reports feeling unwell there are some questions you need to ask them. Are they in pain? If so, where? If they say that they are feeling sick, ask them about that. Do they feel nauseous? Do they feel hot? Check them for a temperature, and note if there is anything different about their appearance. If you need to source medical intervention, the more information you have, the better.
#2. Try To Resist Dr. Google!
The internet is an invaluable source of information on just about every topic under the sun. Medicine is no exception, but it comes with heavy caveats. You may be tempted to put your symptoms into a search engine and see what comes out. Any doctor would advise against this. There are so many symptoms around which can be a sign of something serious, or something almost entirely benign.
Because of the way that search engine algorithms work, you can all too easily find that the most shocking results are the ones that get to the top. Mistaking something minor like a throat infection for cancer is common. The simple truth is that it’s always more likely to be something benign – and a few questions from a doctor can be enough to confirm this.
This is doubly important when you’re looking for the right information when a child is unwell. It’s important to ask them questions, but remember that they’re not familiar with most symptoms. They may answer “yes” to a question because they think they should. The combination of their inaccurate answer and the perils of online searching can lead you down a dangerous road. Always get professional medical advice.
#3. If Pain Isn’t Going Away, Don’t Delay
While most sudden health issues will go away as quickly as they began, it’s not a good idea to count on this being the case. If you or a loved one is in pain, and you can’t be sure why then treat it seriously.
Sometimes, it’s a recurring health issue, in which case you can adopt the usual strategy and ride it out. But if it’s a new pain, or is getting worse when it would usually go away, you need to see a doctor.
If you are experiencing a problem with your teeth, for example, wait for an hour or so for the pain to subside. If it keeps getting worse, then don’t try to sleep on it. When there are emergency services such as dentist.24hourly.com to call upon, be ready to make use of them. Problems such as gum infections can spread and cause you or a loved one to become ill in a short space of time. It’s always better to know.
#4. You Can Treat Symptoms, But Doctors Treat Illnesses
Having a well-stocked first aid kit is always important because from time to time we’re all going to feel a bit below par.
Sometimes you will have a headache for no apparent reason. It could be because you haven’t drunk enough water, or you have been somewhere with a higher than usual level of air pollution. If this happens, then a couple of over the counter painkillers can be all you need.
The same applies to any kind of occasional pain. But you can only ever treat the symptom of a condition. If you find that the symptoms are recurring and don’t go away after home medication and a night’s sleep, then there may be a deeper cause. There could be any one of many reasons for the symptoms you are experiencing. But to make the problem go away, you need to know what it is – and that will usually need a qualified doctor.
#5. Resist The Urge To Self-Diagnose Everything
Although medical science has been a wondrous development in so many ways, it is fair to say that it has had some adverse effects. One of these is the impulse to need to have a name for everything. Conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome are often referred to as “trashcan diagnosis.” Fibromyalgia is another condition in the same group. These are sets of symptoms that may have no clear, definable cause. Because it is troubling to hear that a doctor can’t find a reason for your symptoms, an overall general diagnosis is given.
It’s worth keeping this in mind because so many of us will zone in on certain symptoms and try to diagnose ourselves. Sometimes, we have an issue that doesn’t have an apparent cause. This doesn’t stop us from wanting a name for it; if we know what it is we know what to do about it.
Rest assured that if you have something serious, it will have a name and a treatment plan already designed. If it’s something less defined, it may make life difficult, but it can be managed.
Take some time to think about the points above, if you find yourself dealing with a medical issue for yourself or a close one. We’re all guilty from time to time of letting the uncertainty of a situation be filled with thoughts of the worst. The only way truly to avoid this is to get some certainty. While waiting for this might be testing for you, it’s better than letting your imagination run wild.