Taking time out for self care
I went to the doctor last week because I had a tick bite and wanted to have it checked out, since Lyme Disease is so scary and I know several people who suffer terribly from it. (But at the same time, the tick I pulled off of myself was one of those small brown ones that I grew up with in Rhode Island so I wasn’t super worried about it.) I hadn’t been to the doctor in so long that they made me have a “new patient” getting-to-know-you visit.
That meant I didn’t actually see the doctor for 10 days after the tick bite, but whatever. I figured it’s about time I have an “official” check in on my health.
The doctor spent a good deal of time talking with me. She commented that I had lost weight (which is something she suggested I do the last time I was in there, four years before.) I told her I had lost more than she realized; that the reason I hadn’t seen her in four years is that I hadn’t wanted to face the fact that I had gained so much weight. I then told her, “It isn’t so much about eating less and exercising more,” (which is what she had told me years before that frustrated me)…”It matters what you eat!” And I showed her my before and after pictures.
She told me I should not have been embarrassed enough to neglect my health. I told her technically I wasn’t neglecting it — I was still seeing all my specialists and asked her if she could see my records, because I’d had them all sent to her electronically. She confirmed I could and we both agreed it was silly that I was being classified as a “new patient,” but apparently the person that answered the phone the day I called was adhering very strictly to the rules.
I left there feeling pretty good and not at all worried about the tick bite. The real reason I wanted to write about this is that yesterday, less than a week after I had my doctor’s appointment, I actually made it to the lab to get my blood tests done.
In the past, I would have stalled because you’re supposed to fast for the tests (and I think the last time I took them I point blank told the receptionist “no” when she asked if I was fasting. I didn’t even bother lying. I told her I can’t fast because I can’t function if I’m hangry. I can’t drive. I may or may not have had coffee before I arrived at that last appointment, too, because seriously, what coffee drinker can leave the house having at least one coffee, even if your first stop is Dunks?
This time I was in the lab parking lot before 7 a.m. because I had just dropped my oldest off at his bus stop at the Catholic church in the next town over and my other kids are on vacation this week. I did not feel guilty about having water with my greens supplement because I was told you are allowed to have medications. Greens are not technically a medication, but seriously, I do not even need medications of any sort whatsover, except the occasional ibuprofen, and I am certain that this is because I supplement with greens.
So, I am not a fan of needles and explained to the phlebotomist, “I’m not intentionally being rude, I just can’t look at you when you’re standing there with a needle.” She understood and remarked that it was brave of me to be there (somehow this did not seem as patronizing to me at the time as it does when I write it). I told her, “Yeah, it look me less than a week to get here!” She said, “It’s important to take care of your health.”
Well, now, if that doesn’t just underscore the whole conclusion of my a ha moment last June!
It is important to take care of your health.
There, I said it again.
There are so many people in this world who have afflictions that are out of their control. Thankfully, I am not one of them. My health problems are manageable and avoidable by improving my diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.
I am interested to find out what my cholesterol and blood sugar levels are. I am not worried about nor do I even know what all of the other tests were…I doubt there is anything going on with my thyroid, though I would have liked to think there was a year or two ago when my weight was spiraling out of control…nope, it couldn’t possibly be my fault! …but I know there were others because I do believe Madame Phlebotomist took five vials of blood.
Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes: those were the things that concerned me when I decided to take charge of my health last year. I’ll report back.
People, take care of your body — it’s the only place you have to live!