CK walked into my office yesterday. I’ve never met her before. CK is a mother of 4 in her mid 30s who wanted to figure out why she’s gaining weight, tired and stressed. She is a high school teacher and drill team coach who remains fairly active everyday. Her husband works on an off-shore oil rig so he’s not there very often. She says “there’s definitely something wrong with me, can you take some blood and find out?”
I look at her for a second and ask her what she eats on a daily basis. There are big pauses, then she proceeds to tell me what she eats. She eats cereal in the morning, a sandwich for lunch, and salmon with asparagus for dinner. I wrote down the estimated caloric values of what she told me. But then I got into more details. The cereal that she ate was Fruit Loops, the sandwich is pastrami on ciabatta with three slices of melted cheese, and that salmon for dinner is on a bed of white rice with cream sauce. I scratched out my initial calories I wrote down and revised it based on my new information. She was taking in about 4900 calories for that day. When I showed her this information, she teared up.
Then I told her that she has “caregiver stress syndrome” She neglects herself on a daily basis because she has to take care of her kids, her home, her finances, and keep everything running smoothly. She didn’t have time to take care of herself. Then I told her to do what I told yall to do: Use the word “neglectful” in place of “busy.” She teared up some more and thanked me for pointing all this out.
This whole encounter lasted only 5 minutes (she had to leave to pick up her twins from daycare). In 5 minutes I was able to influence a TOTAL stranger to really examine herself. I have more than 5 minutes with y’all. Take advantage of this group and the power of influence. Pay it forward by spending 5 minutes with someone in your life today. Do this and share with us your experiences.
Dr. Cheng Ruan