With Mother’s Day coming up on May 14, I just finished a podcast for a healthcare client on â€œHonoring Our Mothers.” The focus of the conversation is based on my book, My Mother, My Friend: The 10 Most Important Things to Talk About With Your Mother, and why itâ€™s so important to honor your mother by talking to her about her health and yours.
A woman in one of my stress management seminars summed it up best:
“I never thought about my health until it was taken away. It wasnâ€™t until I had a heart attack that I realized I had so much control over my own health. I started fighting like hell to live and found a new woman inside me â€“ strong, brave, and determined to get well. When you lose your health, you lose everything. When you have your health you can do anything.â€
In interviews with over 400 mothers and daughters and talking to thousands of women in my stress management and positive communication seminars, as well as dealing with the crisis of my motherâ€™s diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer and my dance with cervical cancer (Iâ€™m a grateful, healthy 12 year survivor â€“ get your HPV Test), I discovered there are four reasons why itâ€™s so important for you to have the health conversation with your Mom, especially if she’s over 65 or currently has health problems:
- Unnecessary suffering and untimely death of Mom because no one knew there was a problem. Often in my interviews, I heard from a mother, â€œI donâ€™t want to be a burden to my children.â€ Better a burden than laying in a coma or dead for 2 days because adult children were out of touch or appeared too busy Mom didnâ€™t want to bother them.
- Prevention vs. Crisis Triage. Having a health conversation can often prevent the crisis and the additional negative stress that impacts not just Mom but you, your health, your family, work, and finances.
- Caregiving. Most adult children are not prepared to be caregivers to their Mom (or Dad) in the case of sudden illness or accident, yet it happens more than you think. Discussing health concerns and options before you need to isnâ€™t always easy, but it is always wise.
- Access. For your sake. Women whose mothers died before they talked about health no longer had access to their medical history, which influences screenings and lifestyle choices.
To get you started, here are four critical health questions to ask your Mom:
- What medications are you on and what are the dosages? Ask her to explain what the medications are for so that you both understand. If she canâ€™t tell you, itâ€™s time to help her be a better partner with her doctor and you. Someone besides her and her doctor need to know in the event of an emergency.
- Who is your doctor and what is their phone number?
- When was your last doctorâ€™s appointment and when is your next one? (Annual checkup at a minimum. You too!)
- May I go with you to your next appointment? Make the time. It could save both of your lives.
If youâ€™d like access to twenty more critical health questions, as well as over 200 other questions on other important topics, and how to make these conversations easy, painless, and informative, you can get a copy of My Mother, My Friend at:
My Mother My Friend ebook
As my Mom Grace said, “Life is short, life is precious. Don’t wait. Do it now.”
PS. If youâ€™d like a book label personally signed by me to you or to include as a gift, email me at mary (at) marymarcdante.com with your name and address and who to sign the book to and Iâ€™ll snail mail it to you.