If you know me, and if you’ve read these little missives since the beginning you probably do to some extent. Because guess what? As of next week, I’ve been churning out these bits of knowledge and opinion for an entire year. 52 weeks of advice, observations and factoids on a wide range of subjects, all somewhat related to wellness, however tenuously.
But I digress..
If you know me even a little bit, you know that I fight a regular battle to “adult”. I don’t know if you like the idea of using the word adult as a verb, but it is the best way for me to describe my situation. I’m 59, never been married, no kids and have led the sort of life that I believe inspires some folks to use the term “Peter Pan”. They usually don’t mean it as a compliment, but it’s not the worst I’ve been called.
But with age comes some need for responsibility. You actually have to think about keeping healthy, keeping yourself under a roof and fed, even after retirement and infirmity start taking their toll. Which brings me to my subject.
Like, medical check ups. Going to a doctor, taking off your clothes and such stuff.
I resisted this for a while.
Like 50 years.
But now I have a medical plan. I have time and opportunity. I just had to work on inclination.
Why? What’s so important? And actually there is a belief that is becoming more prevalent that annual check ups aren’t really necessary. So what’s the big deal?
An ounce of prevention. That’s the big deal. Ever have a car, ignore the recommended maintenance and the “check engine” light and end up with a huge repair bill, or have to buy a new car?
It’s the same thing with your body, except the repair bill is exponentially larger, and you don’t have the option of buying a new one. (unless you embrace the Buddhist belief system. But in that case you may come back as a dung beetle). So, what are some of the benefits of regular check ups?
- Reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place
- Detect potentially life-threatening health conditions or diseases early. Early treatment equals a much better chance of shorter and cheaper rehab.
- Increase chances for treatment and cure
- Limit risk of complications by closely monitoring existing conditions
- Increase lifespan and improve health. Live longer and feel better.
- Reduce healthcare costs over time by avoiding costly medical services
- Form a good partnership with the doctor so treatment can be more efficient. In other words, he / she knows you, knows the bull you try to pull and can call you on it. They know and have a record of your medical history.
- Get updated on new medical information or technologies that are available. They can counsel you on their opinion of what’s real medicine & what’s a passing fad.
- Get them to review whatever meds that you are taking on a regular basis, whether prescription or over the counter. You & Web M.D. don’t always know what’s best.
So that’s my point this week.
It’s worth it.
It’s worth the time, the expense, the way that you just a little violated from time to time.
Now, working on the colonoscopy thing…..
….one step at a time.