What IF Wednesday: What If I Promised To Take Care of My Health?

June 17, 2010

Now I know that this isn’t a true What If Wednesday, because DUH it’s Thursday. But, I was planning this post for yesterday, when I was too zonked out and weepy from actually taking care of my health that I was carted away in a little whambulance whenever I sat up and actually attempted to do anything productive.

So, this is the back story: I hate the doctors. Not the way that other people who hate the doctors do, with a total fear of impending doom, but more just a mild dislike. Ever since my favorite doctor quit working in my town, things haven’t been quite the same. And of course, my health insurance is always a mess, which is neither here nor there, but it makes going to the doctors yet even more complicated.

But I go. Faithfully. At least once a year for a check-up.

I get my eyes looked at – mostly because they won’t give me contacts if I don’t. Remember when I tried to pretend I was pregnant so that they would give me contacts without an exam? Yeah, that didn’t work. Shocker.

I get my teeth cleaned, at least once a year, if not every six months, and I got all of my ten zillion fourteen fillings.

But then once day my mouth started to hurt really, kind of badly. And I let it go, because all of my wisdom teeth KILLED when they were growing in, but this one just wouldn’t cut. So, I called my dentist, after a couple month grace period just to make sure I wasn’t making a mountain out of a molehill, and the receptionist was like “no no no, it says here in your file that your wisdom teeth are going to grow in perfectly and there is plenty of room in your mouth, yammer yammer yammer,” to which I replied, “thank you for that but things are NOT alright and I need to be seen ASAP.”

Now, who the heck wants to go to the dentist on their day off? Days off around here are PRECIOUS and few and far between, and the LAST THING IN THE WORLD that I wanted to do on my day off was car myself over to hear that my poor little number 16 wisdom tooth absolutely must be removed. Also the nurse gagged me with a magnet to take the picture of the tooth and I was crying and looked at her with all the authority I could muster and said, “if you shove that down my throat ONE more time, I guarantee that I will vomit on you.” Awesome.

And what I did next was really out of character for me: I did not delay/whine (too much)/try to get around it. There was no getting around it. I do not have dental insurance. The tooth needs to come out. It will be expensive. I am broke, but I’m in pain so it is a priority.

So I called and made an appointment and – voila! One week later I sit here toothless. And $710 poorer.

When I was a teenager, and sexually active, I would tell myself that if I was mature enough to be having sex [I wasn’t] then at the VERY least I was mature enough to be going to the doctor regularly and getting the gamut of tests. Going to the doctor is never going to be fun. It is always going to suck at least 40%, but it is just a necessity.

The mentality is this: I could have bought tons of awesome shoes with that $710 dollars, but if you don’t take care of your health and neglect your body’s cues, sooner rather than later, you may not have feet to wear them. It’s can be expensive. It can be terrifying. It can make you feel small and ignorant. BUT you are only given one body in this life, and taking care of if needs to be an absolute priority.

How about you – do you avoid taking care of healthcare related tasks? Why? What step could you take today that would make you feel better?