For the month of March, we’ve been focusing in on personal health and wellness. This week, we’re going to discuss one of the most underrated components of maintaining our personal health and wellness: asking questions. In today’s episode, we’ll be asking the question: What are the next steps?
Typically, if you’re seeing a professional about any aspect of your overall health, you’re not going to get a quick fix. Whatever’s going on is going to take a bit of time. In navigating my experiences with panic attacks, this could not be more true. I was told that my shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and general feeling that I was going unconscious without ever going unconscious was a panic attack when I was 17. But knowing that label and being told to “just relax” didn’t exactly help the situation.
For years I struggled with these attacks at generally inopportune moments, grasping for whatever tools I could find. In a season of life where they were overwhelming, I started seeing a physician’s assistant who questioned the physical reasons behind my panic attacks and not only diagnosed them, but gave me actionable steps to manage them. But it took a while. And after my first consult with her, I left kind of fuzzy about the course of action. I knew I was going to be trying out a medication, but didn’t really know what that meant--for how long was I trying out this medication? What was the course of action if I started feeling better within that timeframe? What if I had side effects that freaked me out? By calling the office back after the appointment and asking, “What are the next steps?” I was able to see a path forward and have a stronger influence in my treatment. More importantly, I knew what to do when that prescription really didn’t work out. And we figured out other patterns to watch for and how to regulate these episodes mostly with diet and exercise, and a different prescription if I need to have something in hand. Moral of the story: ASK ABOUT NEXT STEPS. Ask about what to do if. Ask about timelines and expectations and what you can and can’t know for sure. Ask about next steps.
So are you ready? Let’s practice. Repeat after me. “What are the next steps?”
Well done. Let me know what you learn from asking “What are the next steps?” on Instagram @nowthatimnotyourteacher or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll meet you back here tomorrow for our next question.
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher by Taylor Vogel is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
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