Ok, so October being breast cancer awareness month, I decided to stop procrastinating and get several appointments done and over with – a mammogram (not exactly an annual visit on my part), my semi-annual-at-best physical exam, and a colonoscopy. The last one isn’t considered “normal” for my age, but several years ago after finding small, harmless polyps, they said I should be on the five-year plan from here on out. Suffice it to say, it’s been more than five years.
At the timing of this post, I’m likely recovering from the anesthesia of my relatively quick colonoscopy procedure. I feel confident enough to pre-print that everything turned out fine, and now I can relax for another five or so years.
The hardest part for me in all of the above appointments is actually making the appointments. I have a bit of white-coat syndrome, so my blood pressure is generally elevated when I go see the doctor. I don’t know what I’m afraid of – that they’ll find something wrong, I suppose, even though they usually don’t. Just taking that step and setting up the appointments is a huge hurdle to overcome; the rest is usually a piece of cake.
That’s why I decided to get them all over with. Not a single one of these appointments is pleasant, and I don’t think I need to explain why. But they are necessary. As you have children, they become even more necessary. Putting off what you know is ultimately good for you is selfish, really, especially if something bad is discovered – these days, I have to think about being around for my kids. I also have to teach them that regular appointments are a necessary part of life.
It shouldn’t take an awareness month to make you do what you need to do. Nor should you allow procrastination or busyness put these appointments further down the priority list. So here’s my gentle reminder for you to sit down with a calendar and schedule whatever health appointments you’re putting off, even if it’s dental work. We don’t get those nice little post cards or phone calls like we might back at home, prompting us to do what’s right. That’s why a year passes before you realize you’re overdue for an exam. Before the holidays and vacation planning takes precedence, make sure you’re healthy for yourself and for your family.
As I come out of the anesthesia and feel kind of blah for the rest of the day, I know I’ll ultimately be glad I finally got it all over with.