We all have busy lives. This is a fast paced world in which we live. Even in retirement there is much to be done!
Think about this for a moment. Is your car, van, or truck getting more attention than you give your own body, mind and spirit?
I have been pondering this question during the last few days, because of a conversation that I had with one of my neighbors. He told me that he had not visited the doctor in 25 years.
I was shocked!
He then said that he was forced to go recently because he had some scary symptoms.He rushed to the doctor for help.
Of course, I was very empathetic toward him when he described the serious condition that he had.
He told me that his truck had been in the shop for repairs, and that he had paid a large sum of money to have it repaired.
He also shared that he had the truck for over fifteen years.
I thought to myself that his truck must have received on time maintenance, and much of his attention, to have lasted for this length of time.
In my mind, I complemented him for such diligence!
However, I felt that he had not made a wise decision in ignoring his own health.
I reflected on the cars that I have owned throughout the years.
I am sure that I did not shower them with such love and attention!
I can recall my son telling me, that in order to work well,my cars would need maintenance at regular intervals. He said that without scheduled oil changes, they would not last as long as they could.
I must confess, that as far as I was concerned, if the engine started when I put they key in the ignition, then all was well!
I had the hardest time remembering about those oil changes!
I am happy to say that things got better over the years, as I became more educated.
Today, I am happy to report that I am generally on time for regular maintenance, including oil changes!!
What brought about this important switch?
Well, I learned some basic facts about how engines work, and what contributes to their longevity.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN A CAR, AND YOUR BODY
Just as you maintain your car, you also need to maintain your body.
Getting regularly scheduled health checks is one of the keys to a healthy retirement!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC), encourages us to schedule health checkups as one method of taking charge of our health. They state that when problems are identified early, there is a better chance for treatment, and a cure, if one is available.
WHY DO WE WAIT?
I think that many of us procrastinate due to lack of knowledge.
I also believe, that we would schedule our medical appointments if we realized that an early diagnosis could lead to a better outcome.
I did not maintain my cars because I did not understand the relevance of oil changes, and how my car would function in the future.
On the other hand, there is so much information available about healthcare that I wonder whether there are other reasons why we hesitate?
Could it be that we are afraid to know?
I can honestly say, that in the past, I have been guilty of waiting too long to schedule a medical appointment.
Thankfully, I am much more diligent which my medical check ups.
Today, I practice what I preach. I believe that I am much better at seeking medical advice in a timely manner.
In fact, since I retired, I see at least one of my health care providers every three months.
Let me caution,that each individual needs to set up their own schedule with their healthcare provider.
Each year I have a complete physical exam which includes an EKG ( electrocardiogram)- to check how my heart is functioning.
The physical exam also includes blood work. Included is a check for cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, among other things.
I also receive a PAP test ( Papanicolaou)- to check for cervical cancer, and a Mammogram-to check for breast cancer.
My yearly schedule also includes the flu vaccine.
I do have Blood Pressure checks done at each visit, and I also do my own checks at home. I encourage everyone to buy a Blood Pressure machine for your home.
In addition, I get periodic Bone density tests to rule out Osteoporosis or thin, brittle bones.
Dental checkups are a must. We now know that the health of our teeth affects our entire bodies.
Vision testing should be on the list for all retirees. Glaucoma is a disorder that has no symptoms yet if untreated can lead to blindness.
Hearing tests are highly recommended.
Colon cancer screening should be on your list ( discuss with your doctor).
HIV testing and Hepatitis C screening is recommended at least once in adulthood.
These are the routine tests that I receive each year. As I mentioned earlier, each person needs to be tested according to their own health status, and their doctor’s recommendation.
IS ALL THIS TESTING TOO MUCH?
Personally, I do not think it is, because as was stated earlier, we lavish many hours and much attention on our cars, boats, trucks, and other equipment.
Sometimes we neglect our most treasured gift-our God given health.
Only you can decide whether you prefer to wait ( as my neighbor did) for 25 years to check on your health.
I hope that you will not wait.
Your health is one of your most valuable assets.
Do you agree or disagree? Please share your comments.