Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}

Preventive Maintenance

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So, this past week brought a bit of extra (unwanted) excited in regards to my mode of transportation.

I drive a 1999 Ford Escort- a basic, run-of-the-mill, get-me-from-point-A-to-point-B type of deal. I try to take good care of it, and regularly check the oil before long trips, get my oil changed every 3000 miles or so, keep plenty of windshield washing fluid inside, wash the outside whenever I’m at my parent’s house and have easy access to a hose, and vacuum it out with moderate frequency.

When I went to get my oil changed this past week, the mechanic called me in to the shop to look at my tires. Much to my chagrin, the inner part of my front tires was worn completely bare. I was aghast, and he informed me that I should probably have my alignment checked. Alignment?! I didn’t know that was part of car maintenance. But alas, apparently it is. So I promptly purchased new tires, and had my tires aligned. The front tires were so badly aligned that it was off the charts. If  the alignment had been checked earlier, I could have saved myself the expense of buying new tires. As an added note, I’m going to make certain to take a quick look at my tires from time to time. Because even I can easily do that, and it would have clued me in to the issue before I went for an oil change.

I felt so, well, STUPID, because I didn’t know that alignment should be checked (every 6,000 miles according to one dealership site, 20-30,000 miles according to another site) with moderate frequency. Obviously, I don’t know much about the world of mechanics and automobiles, so I’m thankful when others can teach me things that I do not know.

I was thinking about how there are likely many people who don’t know about preventive health maintenance. Things that seem obvious to me may not be so obvious to others. As I proceed in the field of dietetics, I need to remember that what seems common sense for health may not be for other people.

This analogy was taken even further in a hospital room at my internship on Friday, when there was a newly diagnosed diabetic who already had several diabetic ulcers on his leg. Ironically, this patient was an auto mechanic.

If he had spoken with a health care professional earlier, regarding his symptoms of increased thirst, increased urination, and blurry vision that accompany hyperglycemia, he may have been diagnosed earlier. At that point, he could have begun to control his blood sugars through diet, exercise, and perhaps medication if necessary. With this preventive care, much like my tire alignment, he could have saved himself the complication of the diabetic ulcers in the same way that I could have saved myself a pair of tires!

Maintaining good health is the best kind of preventive maintenance.

Here are 5 lifestyle habits for health maintenance:

  • Adequate physical activity
  • Good nutrition
  • Decreased tobacco use and exposure
  • Decreased alcohol use
  • Positive thinking

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Author: roannamartinwvudietetics12

A dietetic intern with a love of learning, an enjoyment of food, and a passion for people.

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