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Straight, No Chaser: Your Mother Said….

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 19, 2018

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In honor of Mother’s Day, we invite you to think of all the wonderful advice given to you by your Moms. You may recall that much of it involves your health.

“Wash your hands”

“Keep your hands out your mouth”

“Eat your vegetables”

“Don’t drink so much soda/pop”

“Look both ways before you cross the street”

“Hanging out with that crowd will be the death of you”

“Don’t smoke”

“You’re too young to be having sex”

And on and on…

Whether it’s prevention of infection, avoidance of trauma or health promotion, Dr. Mom is almost always Joanie on the spot. Mothers provide so much love and affection to us. Most of the protections our parents provide to us involve delivering us into adulthood as healthy as possible. What she tells you is very similar to the approach we take at 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com. In so many ways, prevention is the key to health. When you’re armed with good information and advice, you’ll do better.
That said, Dr. Mom’s skill set doesn’t stop there.
I recently saw a patient whose child had an ingrown toenail, and instead of coming to be seen earlier, her mother played Dr. Mom first (and I’m such there are a bunch of you out there). She spent about three days soaking the foot in Epsom Salt, trying to “draw out the infection.” When she finally came to the emergency room, instead of sharing with her the error of her ways (because they said things actually had gotten a little better), I just gave her a hug, thanked her and told her “Great job.” It’s no coincidence that when giving instructions to families to care for each other, doctors instinctively begin talking to the mothers.
Of course the way the cycle of life works, in addition to appreciating all that’s been given to us, now’s the time when most of you reading this are charged with taking care of your parents. As you return the love, keep in mind that you’re not alone. The best job you can do for your Mother and all of your loved ones is to provide them with prompt, accurate medical information, advice and treatment. When seconds matter, and when your family matters, don’t just do the right thing. Do the best thing. I’m sure that what our Moms have always tried to do for us.
Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers, and thanks for your continued love and support.

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