“Dig a well before you are thirsty.” ~ Chinese Proverb
For hundreds and thousands of years, women have retained the ability to multitask by taking care of the children, the house, a career, their significant other, and various other daily activities. But, somewhere in the midst of all this grandiose multitasking (we as women are so fabulous at), many of us fail to take care of our own health . We procrastinate and make excuses about scheduling regular appointments, check-ups, and even miss annual exams. Are you current on all your annual exams? Do you schedule yourself into your busy multitasking day?
For most of us, the only time we see a doctor is if we’re sick, at the emergency room, our annual is past due, or the insurance company has sent a letter stating you haven’t been seen by the doctor in a year and need to schedule an appointment. Preventative healthcare should be first on your daily list of multitasking responsibilities. If you’re 40 and older, have you had a mammogram exam? Have you had one annually since your first exam? If your answer is yes, fantastic! If you haven’t, why not? Sorry, no excuses here… not when it comes to your health . Have you had annual check-ups of your overall health ? When life comes to your health , excuses are unacceptable. We’re multitaskers, right? We must never become complacent and believe that a serious health issue will not happen us. If you are current, then your daily to-do list just got easier!
Our health must be taken seriously and it should never be put on the back burner. Nine years ago, on Mother’s Day, my best friend unexpectedly passed away at age 42 from a Coronary Embolism. Another dear friend, went through stage 4 breast cancer and radical mastectomy at age 43. She is now a breast cancer survivor. I have also known several women in my own family and other friends who have suffered from severe health issues after waiting too long for diagnosis and treatment. Procrastination, fear, and complacency were key factors in the immediate care these women needed. To witness my loved ones suffer, I know that they would now encourage me to advise and reassure women to take care of their health . It is vital that we support each other and encourage one another to take care of ourselves. It’s crucial that we take care of ourselves and not fear taking preventative measures, i.g. exams, check-ups, annuals, medications, etc. The process is minimal when something may be found in the early stages compared to the fear and complications of being told you waited too long to see a doctor.
Our health should be first and foremost on our list of priorities, because without our health … nothing else will follow. For those who have kids, do you put your children’s health before your own? Ask yourself, “If I become sick, who will take care of my children? If I pass away, who will take care of my family or be there for my significant other?” When my best friend passed away on Mother’s Day of the Coronary Embolism, she left behind two teenage sons who needed their mother. And, if you don’t have children, you’re still responsible for your own health as a grown adult. Your health must be a priority. Don’t ever think for one moment, “illness won’t happen to me.” Don’t be a fool or live in denial when it comes to the subject of health .
I am dedicating this article to breast cancer awareness and women’s health . I hope that you will please take into account your own health and well-being. If you do one thing this month for yourself- make an appointment for a mammogram exam if you’re 40 and over. Call and schedule a pelvic exam or regular check-up. And, if you want to do one thing positive for another woman you know (who’s 40 and over), encourage her to get a mammogram. One exam could save your life or hers. There are always local hospitals offering and designed to help women 40 and older get mammograms.
Stop procrastinating. Pick up the phone, and make the appointment today for your exam. Call your doctor or local hospital for mammogram locations available. Especially during the month of October. Many hospitals offer discounts on mammogram exams and extend their discounts into the month of November.
Keep yourself healthy and be accountable for your health . Stay one step ahead through preventative healthcare. How many times have you heard yourself say (concerning your children or every day happenings), “I want to nip this in the bud right now before this gets out of hand.” This is the same attitude we must keep concerning our health .
None of us are perfect… we’re all busy, we all have different daily priorities- but sometimes we all need a kick in the pants to get us to wake up. Set the pace- be an example to the other women in your life. This is the same reason for the many programs offered to partner women to have annual mammograms. They were designed to help women encourage and motivate each other. That is also what healthcare is about- CARE and motivation.
One person that comes to mind, who in my opinion is a great motivator, is Dr. Phil McGraw. Who better to think of when you need a little kick in the pants, I can hear Dr. Phil in the back of my mind saying, “Woman! What are you thinking?” I think this same phrase can also be applied to priorities with our health . Sometimes we all need to hear a “tell it like it is” philosophy to get us off our… you know what…
One thing we all have in common as women is our desire to live out a healthy life of longevity… to live with emotional, physical and spiritual health . But, this desire cannot unfold steadfast without action on our parts. Taking care of ourselves will be the best preventative medicine we can take- not only for ourselves, but for our families.
“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe