From the Director: Take Charge of Your Health!
Updated: Nov 28, 2021
This week marks one year since the pandemic shut us down and changed our lives. Now one year later, new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are down; and we have three approved vaccines. Spring is in the air, buds are on the trees and a sense of hope is growing.
By summer, we may be socializing in person with family and friends, shopping in stores and dining in restaurants. By fall, we may be attending large in-person meetings and events. By winter, the pandemic may no longer be on the front page of newspapers, home page of websites and the breaking news stories on TV. We may have weathered the storm and life will again gradually return to the way it was. However, it will be a missed opportunity if we don’t learn valuable lessons from COVID.
While the COVID pandemic may leave us, the pandemic of chronic disease, poor performance, and children with learning and behavioral problems will remain, continuing to ravage our society.
I believe the most important lesson of COVID is we must all “take charge of our health”. Most of us would not buy a car or a household appliance without research and asking far more questions than we do when we are presented with care for a health problem.
We have learned from COVID that those who are elderly, obese, diabetic, afflicted by heart disease and unmodulated immune systems have more severe symptoms and more frequently die.
These are the same groups who have had existing risk factors for years, possibly since childhood. Inadequate diets, lack of exercise, poor stress management and unrecognized airway / sleep problems start early in life and even before birth. These risks work separately and together to destroy health, interfere with growth and development and rob us of our potential.
The good news is that these risks can be identified, reduced and eliminated. The Foundation was created to help - to help you take charge of your health.
Are you a healthcare provider? Do you know the word doctor comes from the Latin verb, docēre, to teach. Now is the time to be a teacher to your patients and your community. Use the information from the Foundation as your teaching tools. There are screening forms and other information on the Foundation website (airwayhealth.org). Make patients aware of the Foundation. They will thank you. Be a teacher and a healer. Provide more and better care.
Are you a healthcare consumer? Use the information on the website to learn the risk factors of an airway problem, what you can do, and where you can go for care. Become more informed and know what questions to ask.
You might say, I am not a doctor, how can I screen for an airway problem? Think about this: if anyone can learn CPR to save a life, then anyone can learn to recognize the ever-present signs of an airway problem - even in the very young. If recognized in children, comprehensive care can treat the problem and change a negative outcome to a positive one.
The Foundation believes this is the moment for all of us to invest time and energy to change our health. We are changing to assist you. In the coming months we will be:
• Revamping our website
• Offering Town Hall meetings to provide the public with needed information and answer questions
• Adding more content to allow for better screening for all
• Starting a campaign to increase the number of airway advocate practitioners in the directory
• Planning our 2021 O2 Day for Global Airway Health
• And more
I can see the light at the end of the COVID pandemic tunnel. With the vaccines and case numbers falling, spring is bringing optimism and hope. Let’s use the messages and lessons from COVID to be healthier and be better prepared for future health challenges - for ourselves and our families.