The West Orange Chamber of Commerce president shares how the birth of her first grandchild made her realize the importance of staying healthy, and how taking advantage of our community’s top medical and health resources can help you be your best self – for you and your family.
Back in 2020, while the world was in chaos and there was little good news, I learned that I was going to become a grandmother. In my mind, the world righted itself. Those of you who are mothers know that it is something many of us hope for our children. This past February, my son Paul and his wife Kristen welcomed Brennan Elliott into the world.
I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to meet him, hold him and start spoiling him. The only problem was that they live in Cincinnati. There were a few obstacles in the way of meeting my first grandchild, especially COVID. Before I could see him, my kids told me that I had to get the flu shot and Tdap shot, then quarantine and get a negative COVID test. I was happy to comply and would have jumped through hoops of fire to hold him.
Once I held him, I knew that my trips to Cincinnati would be more frequent and longer. There is just something about a grandchild that rejuvenates a soul and encourages doing the same for the body. I knew that in order to enjoy him for many years to come, I had to take my health more seriously. I want to live to not only see him grow up, but to see him take his first steps, call me “Nonna,” ride a bike, enjoy his favorite hobbies, graduate high school, determine his career path, find his soul mate and so much more in between.
To live long enough to see these milestones and more, I made lots of doctor’s appointments. I scheduled my routine annual mammogram and Pap smear, my ten-year follow-up colonoscopy, bi-annual dental exam, dermatology exam, and routine health exams. Of course, this led to blood tests and suggestions on improving my diet and more exercise. I even had my eyes checked out. I am fortunate to have good insurance coverage that allowed me to make all these appointments so that I can do my best to be around to see Brennan grow up.
I know that during the past year-and-a-half of a pandemic, making and keeping doctors appointments has been difficult. However, it is important that we do. We are fortunate in the West Orange area to have two wonderful award-winning, state of the art hospital systems; Orlando Health and AdventHealth. Regardless of which system you choose and what doctors you visit, take your health seriously so that you can be around to enjoy the blessings in your life!