I hate water

I hate water

Yeah, yeah… I know.

I know water is pretty much…. life. I know. But I still hate drinking it.

I’ve always hated drinking water. There’s just no excitement in it. I mean… it’s water.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of its benefits. I know how vitally important it is.  Here’s what I know (and read) about water:

  • 60% of the human body is made up of water
    • the brain and heart are over 70% water
    • lungs > 80% water
    • skin > 60% water
    • muscles and kidneys > 79%
    • even our bones are > 30% water

I also know that we need water for a variety of functions in our body. We need between 2-3L of water for the following:

  • building material for virtually every cell in our body
  • temperature regulation (sweating & respiration)
  • needed to process and metabolize the food we eat (digest and transport)
  • flushes wastes out of our system
  • shock absorber for vital organs (brain & spinal cord)
  • lubricates our joints

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I’m a healthcare provider… yep.. I know how important water is to the human body. But I still hate drinking it.

I hate drinking it, but I do it anyway. I admittedly don’t do it enough, but I’m working on it.

I recognize its importance to my health. You see, health has ALWAYS been important to me. Even though my health has not always been optimal, it’s always been important to me.

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You see, my overall happiness in my life has always had a direct correlation with my health. Quite simply, when I’m healthy.. I’m happy.

And my health doesn’t live in a vacuum. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. A LOT. I’ve had intermittent weight gain, bouts of illness, injury and tons of unhealthy habits over the years.

I’ve fought hard with impulsive eating, mindless snacking and borderline depression.

My whole life has been a constant fight to improve my health:

  • I was the fat kid growing up
  • I gained over 65 pounds when I was a Nursing student
  • I remember struggling to walk up a flight of stairs
  • I remember eating McDonald’s McGriddles for breakfast three times a week
  • I remember drinking Mountain Dew like it was water (yes, pun intended)
  • I remember the first time I was told I had borderline Hypertension
  • I was depressed after I injured my knee and had surgery
  • I’ve had to relearn fitness throughout my life

It’s not that I can’t be happy without being healthy… but it sure makes life a lot easier to live doesn’t it?

Being able to participate in the fun recreational activities with family and friends, having enduring energy and of course who doesn’t want to look better in their bathing suit?

I’ve spent most of my life looking for an opportunity to learn to help people find better health. I want others to know the feeling of being healthy. I want others to share the joy of optimal health.

It’s why I became an Athletic Trainer years ago. It’s why I did Personal Training, became a CrossFit trainer, Olympic Weightlifting coach, and of course stepping into my role as a Nurse Practitioner. I wanted to impact lives.

I’ve always been passionate about health and wellbeing, but I haven’t always been perfect at it. But learning and living a health lifestyle is something I’ve always been interested in.

[When I first started my blogging journey a decade ago, I blogged about health]


I’ve always been looking for an opportunity to learn to help people find better health

As fate would have it, I recently ran into a colleague (and fellow NP) of mine that I respect.

She introduced & shared with me a Critical Care Physician-led health coaching program ( I never knew such a thing existed).

She works with people that are her peers, friends, family and others to help  them improve their health and she invited me to take a look at it. She’s impacting lives and helping others find their optimal health!

 

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MINDBLOWN*

This program is it. This is one of those things. Something that actually excites me! Something that can help me help others achieve better health.

It’s got the goods. All the things I struggled with, it helps solve.

I’m taking a leap. A leap of faith. It’s that good.

So, I’m now training to become a certified health coach!

I’m launching my health coaching practice.

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You can call this my “Coming Out Party”.

I’ve already had a handful of conversations with close friends to start getting the word out. I want to help them, their friends and family members improve their health.

I know what improved health and adopting habits of health have done for me. I want to help others find it!

I hope you’ll join me.

 


If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on Snapchat @seanpdent:

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I hope to hear from you soon.

 

-Sean

Put Your Own Mask On First

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My wife is what you would call a novice flyer, I myself have been riding in Airplanes since I was teenager. I never gave much thought to the pre-flight instructions until I became a Nurse. More specifically, I never thought much of those infamously boring and popularly ignored (yeah, you know you do) instructions until I graduated from my Diploma Nursing School (over ten years ago). In fact, the night of graduation to be exact.

You know what instructions I’m talking about. The flight attendant ( You notice the word Stewardess was NOT used! ~ Ah-hem! Hello! Male Nurse here!) gives you the safety speech involving the layout of the plane, the exits, the emergency lights, whether or not you sitting by and exit door, etc. Then comes the part where the cabin pressure may change in the event of an emergency and oxygen mask may deploy from the overhead bulkhead.

This is where you are instructed to “Put your own mask on first, before helping others in need”. “This includes small children”

The night of my Diploma Nursing school graduation ceremonies (over a decade??), we had a local Physician as our guest speaker (My class actually chose this physician from the hospital system where we did our clinicals – he was awesome).

He had a knack for the vernacular, as well as an amazing bedside manner. He was the nursing staff’s favorite, and we students were great fans as well. He was THAT physician you wanted to work with, be around, take orders from, and care for his patients. He was THE nurse’s physician. He treated you with respect, kindness, and valued your opinion, And above all he constantly recognized how difficult our job was. He never stopped thanking us when on the floor. (Sorry… I digress)

Back to graduation…

So for his guest speech his topic was self-preservation. He echoed his sentiments from the floor and conveyed how much he loved and appreciated all the nurses he’s ever met and worked with. Our tireless hours of work. The sacrifices we’ve made, the sacrifices we will make. His take home message was the selfless actions of nurses, and how we as a culture find every way in the world to care for everyone. Everyone but ourselves. We always go to great lengths to give the very best care and strive to be the very best patient advocate, but somehow we neglect ourselves.

…Physical exhaustion

…Mental anguish

…Emotional depletion

All of which we battle with an empty shell. How can we truly take care of others, if we haven’t taken care of ourselves?

Think of it this way.

In that airplane emergency. The cabin pressure changes. No oxygen available…

The oxygen masks deploy and you have two choices. Put your mask on first, or help the person next to you put theirs on first without a mask.

Put your mask on first:

  • You panic
  • The person next to you panics. And panics more.
  • The person next to you is flailing like a fish out of water
  • You blindly find your oxygen mask
  • You can’t see much through the debris.
  • It’s a little difficult, but you get your mask on.. And now your breathing well.
  • You reach over and search for the other’s mask
  • They’re still panicking. I don’t think they can hold their breath much longer.
  • As you find the mask the dust starts to settle ever so slightly
  • You can see the silhouette of the person next to you.. And you see and feel the oxygen mask
  • You now can safely apply the oxygen mask to the person next to you.
  • You’re both breathing well.

You turn to see more need your help…

Help the person next to you first without a mask:

  • As you hold your breath from a lack of oxygen you stumble to affix the mask
  • The person next to you is panicking
  • You’re beginning to feel light headed
  • It’s that initial blow with a lot of debris
  • Through all the debris, you can’t see much.
  • Little time left, so you feel your way through the task
  • As you use up the last bit of oxygen reserve you have…
  • You get that mask secured
  • Then you pass out

What about the others?

Take care of yourselves and each other and put your own mask on first.


 

Post-script: this blog post was based on a post I originally penned in 2009 for Scrubs Magazine. It still rings true seven years later.

 

Does the health of your healthcare provider matter?

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Have you ever been cared for by someone who smoked cigarettes? Have you ever been cared for by someone who was obviously not healthy? May be they were obese?

Now before you get your panties up in a bunch, I’m referring to those who are severely unhealthy. I’m talking about the healthcare providers who can’t take the stairs because they’re too unhealthy. Remember I said the word “can’t”, I didn’t say won’t.

How do you think a patient feels when their healthcare provider walks into the room and all they can smell  is a dirty ashtray?

How about when a healthcare provider gives the patient education on health maintenance, when they themselves are obese,  or have hypertension?

Once again, I’m referring to those healthcare providers who obviously don’t take care of themselves.

I throw these hot coals on the fire simply to bring the topic to light.  The cornerstone to great patient care is the relationship the patient has with their provider. And I’m talking about all healthcare providers. And I’m talking about all team members on the healthcare team. Not just the physicians. Not just the advanced practice providers. Not just the nurses. Not just the respiratory therapists.   This concept should extend to those who manage us.  This concept extends to anyone at the corporate level. I mean everyone.

Shouldn’t we all practice what we preach?

Check out the video below. Click the title, head on over to my Facebook page and leave me a comment.

Should health care providers practice what they preach?How do patients feel about their health care providers smelling like a dirty ash tray?Will our patients listen to our health education and heed our advice if we can’t do it ourselves?I’m probably hitting a nerve here, but it’s an important and real topic. Remember, I’m talking about the unhealthy, not the mildly overweight. I’m talking about severe obesity, not normal weight gain we all experience as we age.What are you thoughts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by Sean Dent on Tuesday, January 26, 2016


If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on snapchat @seanpdent:

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I hope to hear from you soon.

 

-Sean