Wednesday, September 04, 2013

While At The Doctor's Office

I often joke about how my health was very good up until I turned 40 years old.  For the next several years, every time I went for checkups, doctors would discover I had inherited something else from my family's medical history.  After awhile, I dreaded going for checkups because I was always steeling myself for more bad news.

It's tempting to tell doctors, "I'm fine" to avoid being prescribed more medicine, to avoid being told to make diet and exercise changes, and to just the get the heck out of the doctor's office because the wait was too long to see them in the first place.  But people should never hold back on telling medical personnel about health concerns.  This is even more true if patients are actively participating in sports.

Boxing is a tough sport that the whole body is engaged in.  Whether having a regular checkup or going to the hospital to have an injury looked at, here are some general tips:

1) Tell the doctor the truth.  The doctor may not figure out right away that a patient is boxing, but ones who have been practicing for a long time are going to figure out quickly that some bruises and bumps aren't the result of accidentally walking into a wall.  There's a possibility that the doctor will suggest that the patient stop boxing and take up another sport.  There's also a possibility that depending on what is found during the exam, the boxer will have to seriously take that advice.  Boxing is great, but one's health is more important.

2) Please see a doctor after any knockout.  Concussions are no joke.  The USA Boxing rule book states that no one should take a fight or even spar for 30 days after being rocked like that, so it's a serious matter.

3)  Lights flashing in the eyes means run, don't walk, to the eye doctor.  That situation happened to me, and luckily, I learned that I did not have a detached retina.  The lights went away, and I was told that my eyes were experiencing normal aging.  It was a relief to know that I would not have to go through laser surgery to repair my right eye, nor be faced with the possibility of losing sight in that eye.

4)  Find out what effect, if any, will existing health conditions will have on boxing.  Once again, I offer myself up as an example.  I have to take care of cuts with a quickness.  I'm diabetic, and cuts do not heal as fast as they used to do.  It's also a good idea for me to keep glucose tablets in my locker, just in case my blood sugar drops.  Please get the facts about effects of medicines, what to do in case warning signs occur during workouts, making adjustments in the workout routine, etc.

5)  Protect the teeth.  I was not happy, when I had to miss my aunts' good Thanksgiving cooking last year because a back tooth broke in half that morning.  I had taken a hit to my jaw during sparring a few days before.  That could have hastened the break.  It also could have been the result of me not having been to see a dentist in a long, long time, and not catching that something was wrong a long time ago with that tooth.  Who knows?  I used to never have a problem with going to the dentist, but now I do.  Some people have been nervous about seeing a dentist from day one.  But that exam has to be done because if teeth and gums aren't taken care of, that can affect overall health.  Fortunately, there are dentists these days who know how to deal with anxious patients.

6) Chiropractors are beautiful.  Currently, I can't afford to see the one I used to have, but being put in alignment cannot be beat.  Initially, I went to see them because of a couple of incidents that did a number on my back.  I would feel excellent all over after every appointment.  Having an alignment does the whole body good.

Have any tips regarding how to take care of health while boxing?  Feel free to leave a comment.

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