In yesterday’s post, I mentioned a mom blogger who spoke about her son’s drug addiction. Acknowledging that you don’t get a “parenting do-over,” she shared some reflections that she hoped would help other mothers help their children.
That got me thinking about the concept of a “do-over” in the wellness context. As I approach forty, I have a pretty long list of things that I would go back and change if I had a magic time machine.
Of course, I don’t have such a time machine, but I thought if we all shared the things we would tell our younger selves, maybe we can help others think through choices that they are making with regard to health, wellness and longevity.
So, to kick us off, here are some of mine. If I had it to do all over again …
I never would have consented to taking contraception for my acne.
It didn’t cure the acne. I exposed my body to artificial hormones at a young age and was on the Pill for a long time before I actually needed contraception. When I ultimately got off artificial hormones, my body suffered from a “rebound” and my skin was even worse than it had been before the Pill. (Check out this post for a study about disruptions to women’s cycles after coming off the Pill.) Nothing good came from that choice.
I would not have taken antibiotic after antibiotic for my skin and would have been much more discerning about them when it came to everyday illnesses.
I’ve never had a “happy gut.” My life has been marked by tummy troubles. I can only imagine how much more damage I did to my already icky GI system by flooding it with antibiotics for years. Again, the antibiotics didn’t clear my skin. And they led to all sorts of secondary issues like yeast and more gastrointestinal distress.
Truthfully, as I look back, there are a lot of medications that I wish I had never taken. Very few of them offered lasting, fundamental relief and mostly they just caused other negative effects.
I would never have taken Accutane.
I could write a blog series about my regrets on this one. Accutane gave me maybe six months relief from acne, although my face never fully cleared. I suffered side effects that I believe were associated with the drug for nearly a decade.
I apologize to my liver regularly for this one.
I would have gotten off gluten sooner.
After my endoscopy, when the doc said I didn’t have celiac but my symptoms persisted, I should have given gluten free living a trial run. But, I was afraid of jumping on a bandwagon without sufficient basis – after all, the doc said I was fine to eat wheat.
I think what gets me the most about this one is that I persisted with test after test after invasive test trying to find my answer when the resolution to my problem was simple.
I would have gone to bed earlier.
I think back to my pre-kid days when my bedtime and wake-up times were fully under my control and I really wish I had honored my body’s natural rhythms better. I stayed up later than I should have too many times. The really fun times? They were worth it. But really, did I need to watch every single episode of Law & Order more than once?
You turn, now! What would your wellness do-overs be?
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