Happy Tuesday! The busy weekend kind of got away from me, and then I had to be at work at 7:25 yesterday morning, so a blog post just wasn’t happening on Monday. I’m glad to be back :).
As most of you know, I’m participating in Elf for Health this season. While it’s a great program that focuses on healthy eating and exercise, it doesn’t encourage one thing that might be just as important to our health — doctor’s visits.
The truth is, I’m probably the one weirdo who actually enjoys going to the doctor and dentist (it might have something to do with the fact that I’m a bit of a hypochondriac…). It always surprises me when people say they haven’t had a physical in five years, or a dental exam in three years, etc. The only way to keep diseases away, in my opinion, is to make an effort to prevent them. These days, thanks to the internet, it seems that we refer to Web MD more often than we do an actual MD.
Going to the doctor can be a little scary and uncomfortable, but it’s important to remember than the exam itself is usually over in minutes. In the past month, I got three appointments out of the way — my annual exam, a cleaning at the dentist, and a skin check at the dermatologist. Let’s start with the dentist.
I think that the trick to loving going to the dentist’s office, is finding a dentist that you love — and I love my dentist and my hygienists. They ask about my life, they ask about my family, and this past visit, they even asked to look at my wedding photos. I realize that not all patients have this relationship with the people at their dentist’s office, but when you get to know who’s working on your mouth, it makes the experience much less scary. While I was sitting in the chair waiting for the dentist to check my teeth, I heard him talking to the patient next to me. He said, “If you’d come visit me more often, I wouldn’t have to hurt you so much” (making a joke about fillings). It’s really that simple. Most dentists really do want to help you — they’re not out to hurt you. I go every six months, and I’m usually in and out in 45 minutes.
Then, there’s the important, but oh-so-awkward doctor’s visit — the annual exam. Girls, you know what I’m talking about. I had mine at the end of November, and now I don’t have to worry about it for another year. I think it’s a topic that no wants to talk about, but it’s so important when it comes to prevention. This is another situation where it’s important to love your doctor — otherwise, you’ll never go. When I went this time, my doctor even mentioned the importance of getting my cholesterol checked. I was impressed that she let me know it’s good to start those types of tests young, because I had no idea. It can be awkward, but it’s over in less than 1o minutes. No big deal.
I love this infographic
Finally, last week, I went and got a full body skin check at the dermatologist. I felt encouraged to go after reading a couple of the blog posts that I mentioned above, and I’m glad that I did. I was actually really scared going into this one. I’ve had the same dermatologist for years, so she wasn’t my concern, but I was afraid of what they might find. She asked for my family history, asked about my history in the sun (I had a couple of bad sunburns when I was a teenager), and then she did the check. It only took a few minutes, and everything looked fine, thankfully. I promised her that I would continue to wear SPF 30 and be safe in the sun. The thing is, if she would’ve found anything, I would feel better knowing that it was caught sooner rather than later. This isn’t something that I plan to get checked out every year, but I think it’ll be good to do every few years. Oh — and while I was at the dermatologist, she asked me if I was up to date on my annual (lady doctor) exams. It was nice knowing that she looks out for her patients, even when it comes to things that don’t relate to skin health.
And that’s that — my proof that going to the doctor does not have to be uncomfortable or intimdiating. I know that I’m not immune to getting sick because I go to the doctor, but I do know that it’s better to prevent things than to pretend like nothing could ever happen. We’re fortunate enough to have access to modern medicine, so we should take care of our health :).
Do you schedule routine doctor’s/dentist appointments every year?
Do you think that prevention is important?
**I am not a physician. These are simply my own thoughts and opinions.**