Like almost everyone, I have a facebook account. I may get on it several times one day, then go for days without giving it any attention. I’m not sure who got me this time while I was not online, but spam was posted on my page. If you’ve had this happen lately, you know facebook has gotten better with handling this, and sends you through a cycle of questions before they let you log back into your account.
I sometimes get other ‘spam’ in my life. Spam for my medical conditions. Spam for how to raise my children. Spam for how to spend money. Let me explain:
- Spam for raising my children ~ unsolicited comments on what I allow them to wear, how long they can wear their hair, why they aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. No wonder they face peer pressure ~ so do I!
- Spam on how to spend money ~ dare I admit I love garage sales? Not to everyone. Comments on what we pay for or don’t ~ to explain, we do all of our own yardwork, housework, and most remodeling. We are pretty proud of how cheap we are, actually!
- Spam on my medical conditions. Oh, here we go!
When I was diagnosed with MS, a very popular treatment had come out ~ bee stings. I have several friends who do this, and I wish everyone success with what works for them. I am very thankful for CAM options (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). However, I am highly allergic to bee stings. I have ended up in the ER because of my reaction a few times. So a simple explanation of this allergy should explain why I would not pursue this ~ but not for a few people.
Kidney Stones? Everybody has an explanation for why I have kidney stones so frequently. Some people are correct! I have also been ‘shamed’ by suggestions from some people ~ enough that I am left wondering what they would like me to eat or drink!
Asthma? I had to do a lot of research to find out some of the ‘spam’ I received on what caused it. I found out through my physician that my family history has a lot to do with it. I didn’t ‘do’ things to cause it.
Does any of this sound familiar? Spam of this type is similar to electronic spam. Wikipedia defines electronic spam as ‘the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.’
On the opposite side, I have received some great suggestions for managing each of these things. I am so thankful for some tips on each of these issues.
When it comes to raising my children, I knew I could use all the help I could get! I have had mentors all along the way, who have walked that road ahead of me.
Finances? We have taken classes, listened to radio shows, and have some family members who make their living managing money. A lot more money than we will ever have!
Medical conditions? I would be remiss if I didn’t start out with stating how much advice I take from my physicians.
- For my MS, I have gotten advice that positively impacted my life from all types of sources , also. The NMSS. From that alone, I have made many friends. We share medications that we have tried, the side effects, pros & cons. Neighbors with relatives who also share this diagnosis. My home is 100% accessible, and I owe thanks to friends for ever finding the house for us. Tips on managing the heat (literally), sources for information, new medication that has been released. This list could be endless!
- Kidney Stones? When I was passing my last stone about 6 weeks ago, a friend came by with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. . . along with some Gatorade. I am not here to make medical recommendations, maybe it was a placebo effect, but I passed that stone without surgery ~ yea!
- Asthma? I have been in the dark completely about this despite my family history. I have found so much information from friends with tips on how to treat it, how to lessen the symptoms. I am newly diagnosed, but just asking for help on information, then doing some common sense research has proved invaluable!
I discovered over the years that there are two great factors for determining great advice from others. First, those who are the least likely to offer advice. . . often have the best advice. If I reach the point where I am asking for any help whatsoever and they hesitate even then, they are my go-to guy! It is almost calculated, thought-provoking, and encouraging advice when I seek wisdom in this manner.
My second criteria is quite different. For lack of a better term, I call them ‘medical telemarketers’. Not like the calls I receive that solicit funds for a political party or a donation to a cause I support. This is the group that, bluntly, wants to profit financially from my situation. I had someone about a year ago that said the best thing I could do was to stop all medication, start on his vitamins and energy drinks, and visit the specialist for his company monthly. I would be cured in record time! The cost? About $2000 monthly. And you think your health insurance costs a lot! I respond to those whose sole purpose is to profit from me financially without real interest in my physical improvement with one simple question: Do you mind if I run this past my physician first? That one question weeds out the fact from the fiction better than anything I have found yet.
I can’t state strongly enough how much I do appreciate the wisdom and advice from so many positive, informative, and encouraging sources. There are just a few that need to be weeded out, just like my yard needs to be weeded ~ it keeps out weeds so the healthy grass can grow. The most important question to me is a person’s intent. I want to be in the best health I can possibly achieve, and that can come from a lot of sources. I don’t want to be so desperate that I will fall for anything. That is when I am most vulnerable.
We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don’t follow when it damages those who take us at our word.~ Adlai Stevenson
How do you weed out the good advice and recommendations from the advice that is choking out real help? And yes, I really AM asking for your advice!