Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Lafayette General.
Listen To Your Body – Mom, Take Care of Yourself
No one has to remind us twice — we know being a mother is hard work. It’s the daily to-do list that we all recognize: take care of the kids, go to work, clean the house, wash the clothes, bring the kids to practice, coordinate dinner, and maybe (just maybe) find a few spare minutes to spend on ourselves.
With so much on our plates constantly, us moms bear the brunt of keeping the entire family sailing along smoothly. Unfortunately, this also means we tend to neglect our own health and wellness. After all, it’s just easier to cancel that appointment or skip that checkup. When your weeks are already crammed full, another mark on the calendar just adds to the stress.
What we need to realize, though, is that busy schedules and lack of self-analysis can mask serious medical issues if we aren’t careful. Self-care, especially when it comes to our health, is one of the most important things a mother can do to be there for her family.
Understand Your Body’s Signals
For one mom, staying on top of her health really did make all the difference. Kate Rountree RDN, LDN is a wife, mother and registered dietician with the bariatric department at Ochsner Lafayette General. Like many of us, Kate leads a busy life: she’s an avid runner, has an active social life, works hard with a busy weekday schedule — and on top of it all, she has a family to care for.
As a child, Kate was diagnosed with a heart murmur. However, this issue has always been asymptomatic for her. Because of that diagnosis, though, Kate learned early on what signs and symptoms to look out for if it did become problematic. Her doctors told her she would be the first to know if something would change. As a result, she grew up to be a very health conscious person who pays special attention to any change in her body.
In the fall of 2019, after a typical weekend run, Kate began to feel extremely run down. Thinking it might be the flu, she took some aspirin to power through the remainder of her day. A few days later, though, she still didn’t feel any better, so she decided to go to her local urgent care to get tested for the flu. Those test results came back negative. But at this point, Kate had a fever and was feeling even worse. Something wasn’t right, and she knew it.
On October 26, 2019, after another week of no improvement, she finally contacted her primary care physician who analyzed her urgent care test results and began doing her own research. For Kate to be complaining, her doctor knew that things had to be bad. After a full body checkup, she discovered two things — a line on Kate’s fingernail and a dot on her finger. She believed these were signs that Kate’s heart was in trouble.
One Checkup Can Change Everything
Only a few days later on October 29th, Kate was admitted into Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center. The cardiology team there began testing for different issues that could explain what was going on with Kate. These tests revealed bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the lining of the heart and heart valves. This diagnosis quickly turned into preparation for a valve replacement surgery. Going from what she thought was a simple infection to needing heart surgery was a shock for Kate, but her team assured her that they caught the issue in time. By November 7th, Kate was being prepped for surgery.
Knowing her active lifestyle, Kate and her care team chose a mechanical valve replacement surgery so that she wouldn’t have to come back at any point in her life to have it replaced. She was discharged from the hospital on November 19th.
It’s been over one year since her surgery, and Kate is continuing to live the lifestyle she loves — caring for family, helping others and running to her heart’s content.
Make Annual Checkups Your Priority
For Kate, paying attention to what her body was telling her was vital to getting the care she needed. Small signs or issues that we dismiss could be trying to tell us something important about the condition of our body.
Whether your life is as busy as Kate’s or you have room to breathe, it’s still important for all of us to make time for our health by scheduling an annual wellness checkup. Knowing your numbers and waving the red flag to your doctor when something feels off is the key to catching problems early and leading a long, healthy life.
Would you like to learn more about Ochsner Lafayette General? Check them out using the links below.