Take Good Care of Yourself

ODs describe what they do to stay healthy—physically, mentally and financially

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You’ve taken the kids for their checkups and scheduled your parents’ doctor visits. You even went along to make sure they understand what was happening.

But what about you? Many ODs are comfortable talking about healthy lifestyles and decisions with their patients, but their own wellness and time for self-care takes a back seat to the demands of being an optometrist and all the other roles they play. In this collection of stories, several ODs describe what they do to stay healthy and how they seek to help others achieve the same.


Lynn Hellerstein, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, of Greenwood Village, Colorado, went in for a colonoscopy soon after her 50th birthday on a September day in 2002 and woke up and learned that she had a tumor in her colon.


Emily Kay Bjore, OD, and her future husband were in graduate schools in different states. “We were both on fixed incomes with undergraduate and graduate loans, paying two rents and trying to save for the occasional plane ticket to see each other,” she says.


Danielle Jackson, OD, says that being busy can block a person’s creative flow. “If I’m in a state of constant stimulation, I am unable to hear my own thoughts,” she says.


Samantha Sanders Hornberger, OD, has always been healthy, “but I had struggled with weight issues since the end of high school. I’m an emotional eater, and during times of stress, I gain weight.”


Being a mom always creates a challenge for women who want to spend quality time with kids. Louise Sclafani, OD, FAAO, of Chicago, Illinois, says during her son’s senior year in high school, she’s feeling a particular urgency to be at every hockey game, tournament, concert or dance.