See your doctor.

posted in: happiness 2

Organize your attitude #36

My youngest child just turned 4.

For the last 13 years, the primary medical attention I have received has been from a midwife. 

Sure, there’s been an occasional urgent care visit, but besides a midwife, I’ve not seen a primary care physician.

As I was making routine well-child visits (all overdue) for my children, my husband encouraged me to make one for myself as well. I’m not unwell. I’m not even low-energy. But preventative care is a good idea, especially if it’s covered by insurance. We know women who have not known they had cancer until it was late in the game. A short exam is worth early detection.

After answering all the doctor’s health history and lifestyle questions, she ordered blood work. Everything came back clear, but that blood work would have shown immune issues, thyroid issues, pre-diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiencies – a number of issues that I might not catch but that might needlessly slow me down.

With all results in the clear, my doctor put me on the “three-year plan” – I’ll go in for another routine preventative physical in three years.

Of course there are considerations like cost and distance and finding a doctor you trust, but if you don’t have a family doctor, it’s worth the effort to find one – by friends’ recommendation if possible.

If you don’t have a doctor, don’t pick one at random from the phone book or choose based on who is closest to you. Ask your friends for recommendations. Look at reviews online.

If you don’t like being treated according to the lowest common denominator at the ER or urgent care, get thee a primary care physician and a physical – let their records show you’re responsible, reasonable, and healthy. If something does go wrong, you’ll be glad you have an established relationship with a doctor you trust.

Seeing a real eye doctor (after the optometrist in Costco’s optical department told me I had 20/20 vision) and getting glasses two years ago cured my afternoon headaches (a side effect of my eyes & brain overworking for that 20/20 vision). Likewise, you might find a simple fix for what you’ve come to accept as your normal.

It’s possible that what looks like an attitude problem is being caused (or amplified) by an underlying health issue that a physical or blood test can uncover.

It’s worth the time and effort to locate and establish care with a family doctor, even if your family is healthy.

2 Responses

  1. Lisa V in BC
    | Reply

    Ugh. So true, but oh so inconvenient!
    One of these days I will do what needs to be done. Probably in summer :)

  2. Lori
    | Reply

    Just a quick real life example of this in my family. My son complained of a swollen knee, of course he is a 9 year old boy who rides a razer scooter INside the house so I was positive he hurt himself. Sure enough a trip to the Dr warranted a blood test for Lyme disease and he was positive! He had shown no other signs, or so I thought. Two weeks into the long antibiotic regimen and out popped my happy, joking, giggling, nine year old that I didn’t even realize was missing! His subtle sickness had changed his attitude and we had no idea. I’m praising God that we found the Lyme disease early and hopeful it will be eradicated!

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