OFFBEAT: Choose Health

I grew up in a health-oriented family. I'm not just talking about a cover your mouth when you cough; wash your hands
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

I grew up in a health-oriented family.

I'm not just talking about a cover your mouth when you cough; wash your hands before you eat family.

My dad has been the pharmacist in my home town's drug store since before I was born.

My mom will be at the grocery store and have women come up to her with teenagers and say you delivered my son or daughter.

My sister is now a doctor, married to yet you guessed it, a doctor.

In recent weeks I've noticed health has begun to monopolize conversations beyond my family's dinner table conversation.

Health and concern for it has been making headlines.

Maybe it's the time of the year since New Years is on its way, but over the last several months people seem to be catching on that health matters, well they matter.

A new year will start at Firelands Regional Medical Center with a smoke-free campus Jan. 1.

The news and the Register's support of their effort have caused controversy.

But it makes good sense for healthcare providers to not condone unhealthy behaviors on the very premises they treat patients who may themselves in need of medical care as a result of a poor health choice such as smoking.

The Hippocratic Oath doesn't talk about hypocrisy, but it does say first do no harm.

Allowing hospital patients, some of which are there because of smoking to be exposed to it wouldn't be responsible.

Moreover letting medical personnel who are in the business of dispensing life-altering and saving advice and care puff away in front of the very people they're dispensing their expertise puts them in a do as I say not as I do position --one far less believable than a do as I say, I have to do it too stance.

Before you get out your red ink and quill to take me to task for saying that I should tell you, I'm married to a pack a day smoker.

Doctor Stephen Prentice, a chiropractor whose office is on Columbus Avenue, in recent months has also realized the importance of the pot not calling the kettle back. Prentice is working hard to lose weight so it isn't hypocrisy when he tells a patient the pain or illness they are experiencing is directly correlated to their weight.

Agenda Bonner, a Sandusky elementary school teacher has also realized her role, not just in her own health, but just as importantly the health of her student. By leading as a role model Bonner has educated her students about healthy snacks and taught her class while being on her quest to be comfortable in her own skin and healthy.

The pay-off for Bonner was evident in the last issue of FIT. Bonner's sleep apnea is gone, she can safely drive a car, she feels good about herself and she has the pride of knowing she's had the willpower to loose more than 100 pounds without surgery or fads using the proven method of blood sweat and maybe a few tears.

It will be a decade or two before she can see firsthand what her impact on her students has been, but her exposure to healthy life habits is what children in a country where childhood obesity is a serious problem need.

FIT, Firelands In Training, will become a monthly feature in the Register in 2008 because even my employer has taken notice to the importance of being healthy.

If you haven't, it might be time for you to start to, too.

Molly Linn is a page designer for the Register