Health And Family

Health watch

MOMMY TALK - Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -

I am happy to report that I passed my executive checkup with flying colors. Yup, my husband and I finally got ourselves checked at Medical City’s Wellness Center with a hotel ambiance for our yearly health check. It’s amazing how we had to move heaven and earth just to fit it into our schedule. I guess when you are not feeling any symptoms of disease, somehow having a wellness exam is not a priority.  I normally schedule my yearly exams on my birthday so I don’t forget to do it.  I also treat it as a birthday gift to myself. This year, because of all the so-called healthy stuff we’re doing and all the running and triathlon races we’re joining, somehow we got to thinking we are okay and perhaps healthy enough to go through a routine checkup.

After the series of tests, I realized it’s my way of loving myself and being able to love my family and others as well. If I am healthy, everybody is happy. We cannot give what we don’t have. As a mother, I believe that loving ourselves makes us better mothers who will also encourage our children to lead healthy lives. 

Losing not just one but several friends due to lingering illnesses or accidents in the past few months made me really think about what we are doing to prevent ourselves from getting sick. Prevention is key, but definitely just in case you do have to be treated for anything, early diagnosis leads to early intervention and then immediate cure. 

I have learned that it is very important to invest in medical insurance.  Five years ago, when my son was diagnosed with a heart disease that needed surgery, we did not have insurance.  We were blessed to have people to help us come up with the necessary resources needed to let him have the best care and treatment. Just this year, my shoulder injury cost so much money, not to mention what I had to let go of in terms of opportunities due to my inability to fully function for work and other things. Though I had delayed having to get myself insured for the longest time, I finally gave in after realizing the high cost of getting the best possible treatment at the time I need it the most. I procrastinated long enough because I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away the money I pay for my insurance premium if I don’t get to use it.  But then again, seeing how so many people have struggled to try to raise funds for so many loved ones in need of treatment made me really think.  Besides, if I do get diagnosed with anything before getting myself insured, I will not be covered for having a pre-existing condition.  That thought made me finally get medical insurance for my whole family. The least thing I would want to worry about when I or any of my family members get sick is the much-needed funds to make sure we have a high chance of cure and survival.  It’s not that way sometimes especially when funds are the issue.  If the funding situation is taken care of, then I would just have to cooperate with my doctors and then enjoy the perks of my investment.  But of course, I pray that I don’t get sick and at the same time, I will also have to love myself a little bit more now that I am into my 40s to make sure I am healthy for my family as well.

Our good friend and fitness guru Tina Juan once told me that our body is the vehicle that will bring me to my dreams. That really stuck with me all these years.  She said that if I forget my body, I can forget my dreams.  That is probably why my mom keeps stressing that I should take care of my health.  I exercise regularly and sign up for races to keep me motivated. Having been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 10 years now has simplified my food options and narrowed my choices down to a truly healthy eating lifestyle.  It’s a bit of a challenge to come up with interesting recipes, but it becomes an adventure worth looking into to find delectable veggie foods. 

There are certain things we have no control of, like our future, which lies in the hands of God. Our genetic predisposition is something we have inherited from our parents — it is a given, but there is one thing we can control and that is our lifestyle habits. What we eat, how we exercise and get the necessary yearly “tune-up” can definitely prevent certain illnesses.  If we will gladly do it for our cars and other appliances, we must make time to check our health. 

For indeed, our health is wealth.

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