My Healthy Dad Story

Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, who sponsored the campaign, for including dads in this important discussion about family health care. My views are based solely on my experience as a parent, and not as a medical professional.

I had a doctor cry at me. Literally. She took my blood pressure and teared up. She talked about a former patient who was in a similar spot that I was in. Since I said “former”, you can imagine what happened to him. He died. It was a sobering story – and experience.¬† She apologized for tearing up, as she really didn’t know me, but I am glad that she did. It made me realize just¬† how serious my situation was.

My grandfather had a stroke. I don’t want one. My grandfather was diabetic. I don’t have to be.

I guess my story is one of prevention. I wasn’t using the tools that I had at my disposal. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t being a Healthy Dad. And I need to be – for my family.

Her tears, along with the stern words of family members, were the wake up call that I needed. I left that appointment and went to a movie by myself. As I sat in the empty theater, I contemplated what I needed to do. And the answer was simple, yet complicated. I generally knew that I needed to do better. I generally knew that I needed to eat better. I generally knew that I needed to be more active. However, the plan to do all that, effectively, was complex.

Thankfully, I had a team of people to help me. I had options. And today? I’m still on that journey, but I am headed in the right direction. I won’t tell you that I am the fittest, or the most muscular, or the leanest, or anything close to that. What I have learned is that being a Healthy Dad isn’t so much about competing with others (though that can be fun), but instead competing against yourself to be the best you you can be. Sounds cheesy, but it is true.

I am grateful for the role that my health insurance played, and still is playing, in my Healthy Dad journey. A lot of times, our insurance card can get buried in our wallets and forgotten until we need it. Sometimes, we don’t realize the options available in our plans that can help prevent the urgent “need”, in some cases, that we could have otherwise avoided.

Anthem, and it’s sister plans, are trying make sure that Americans are aware of the options available in their health care plans, and also, how to make the most of them. Need examples? Anthem offers a service called Live Health Online it’s the old school house call meets the modern day technology. Instead of a doctor knocking on your door, you have access to certified doctors via live video chat – clinical facetime for when your doctor’s office may be closed. It’s as easy as downloading an app (where available) on your phone, tablet, or computer.

Another service available (with all services, you should check your plan to see if your coverage includes said service) is the 24/7 Nurseline. Health issues are not restricted to a neat 9-5 schedule, and this service offers you an opportunity to speak to a registered nurse outside of “working” hours. Not sure if your (or a family member’s) health issue can wait until the office opens again? Call the line. Speak to a professional. Make an informed decision.

Bottom line? An insurance company, like Anthem, can be a valuable partner in managing not only your health, but also the health of your entire family. Know your options, know your coverage, and use the tools included in your coverage.

Our friends over at XY Media are holding a fun contest. Are you a #HealthyDad? Make a short Vine, Instagram, or other style video and share it on the Healthy Dads Facebook page and you could win a $100 Amazon giftcard. Be sure to check out the official rules here.

Want to see the winning entry? Here’s mine. (Okay, maybe it isn’t the winning entry, but a fella can dream, right?)

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