Now Reading
Care for the Caregivers- Dr. James Raker, D.O.C

Care for the Caregivers- Dr. James Raker, D.O.C

How can I help caregivers?

As a physician, I see caregivers of children and caregivers of parents that are running themselves into the ground. They will do everything for the person they are caring for, sometimes at the expense of their own health.
Let me remind you of the rules of flying in an airplane. “In the case of an emergency, the oxygen masks will drop. Place yours on your face then help others.” Why is this rule important? Why do you put your mask on first? Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, “Here’s the rest of the story.”
If you try to help others first, you will pass out from lack of oxygen and not really help anyone. If you get your oxygen mask on first then you can continue to help many other people. So let’s apply this principle to your life and your children or older parents that you are caring for. What happens if you ‘go down’, and can’t take care of them? Who would step in to help you and them? If your answer is, “I have no one to help”, then you MUST take care of yourself. The lesson is learned like in the airplane scenario.
So how can you take better care of yourself? You need to get proper sleep and nutrition. In this day and age that means taking vitamins, exercising for at least 4 minutes in the morning and 4 minutes in the evening at a fast pace so that you get out of breath. JUST 4 MINUTES! Who doesn’t have that amount of time? Next, make sure you are getting your recommended checkups with the dentist, eye doctor, family doctor, and the one that everybody forgets- YOUR CHIROPRACTOR.
Remember your spine is like your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss all the time you get cavities, and the longer you let a cavity go, the worse it gets. It doesn’t magically go away with time or pain pills. Why would you think you can go for 50 years and NEVER get a back check up. I have patients that are 85 that are mentally sharp and can get around good and still drive. I have 65 year old disabled people that mentally and physically are a wreck.
We have advances in medicine that are almost miraculous. Take regenerative medicine for instance. The state of Arkansas passed a law in 2017 to use regenerative medicine shots on state employees to keep them from having knee or shoulder surgery. They estimated that they would save $100 Million. So, in 2017 we started doing regenerative shots for bad knees, shoulders, elbows, and ankles and it has been successful for many patients. Within a week to a month they could walk easier or use their shoulder again. I have been amazed at the results after 30 years in medicine. Even people that have no insurance and think they have to just sit and suffer, that’s not true. There are programs in Arkansas and Texas to help people with no insurance get financial funding for healthcare. In Arkansas, if you have no insurance or have super high deductible insurance, the state will pay for care to help you as long as you are trying to work and not disabled.

Pick which one you want to be and live true to the airplane rules of “take care of yourself first”.

© 2022 Texarkana Parent Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top