I have been a nurse for 26 years. I did not really become interested in taking care of myself until after I had my second child. This is when I decided to pick up running again. When I was in the military, I ran because I was told to. Now I was running for me. As a working mom and wife, this was my time to myself and a way to release stress.
As a nurse, I have been afforded the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. I currently work in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit. Working at the bedside of critically ill patients has allowed me to witness first-hand the impact of not taking care of one’s self. As a clinician, I have a direct impact on educating my patients about lifestyle changes to help assist them in their recovery after open heart surgery.
Unfortunately, within my family, diabetes and hypertension are common developments. I too had developed pre-diabetes and allowed my weight to creep up despite what I thought were healthy behaviors on my part. I realized that I was taking my health for granted and needed to make a change. In January of 2019, I decided that I needed to change my ideas of healthy behaviors while promoting a healthy lifestyle amongst my family and friends. I started a monthly meetup where we exercise for one hour followed by a heart healthy lunch at my house. I can now encourage a healthy lifestyle while strengthening family and friend ties. And I can also report that my pre-diabetes is resolving.
Leslie Johnson, MSN, RN is a clinical ICU nurse at Fairfax Hospital.
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