By: Winnie Yu
As moms, we spend a lot of time keeping track of other people’s lives. Play dates. Pediatrician visits. Piano lessons. Track meets.
But the one thing we should never forget is our own medical appointments, whether they’re visits to the ob-gyn, the eye doctor or anyone else we need to see to keep us healthy. And yet, scheduling this time to take care of ourselves is often last on our list.
Of course, most women don’t exactly enjoy going to the doctor. These visits often involve long waits (at times in an awkward paper gown), costly co-pays and a lot of poking and prodding that we’d rather do without, thank you very much.
And frankly, some of us would rather not know if we have a serious problem. So procrastinating on these appointments is something that comes easily, unless you have a medical emergency or an ongoing health concern.
The problem is, avoiding doctors typically means you have no idea of how healthy -- or unhealthy -- you are. You don’t know your blood pressure. You have no idea of your cholesterol levels. Those are vital stats if you want to steer clear of heart disease and diabetes. And you’re not likely to get appropriate treatment for a condition that may require some medical detective work. In many cases, taking your time to get to the doctor could be costly -- not to mention life-threatening.
I’ve made going to the doctor a necessary evil, one that I know will ultimately be good for me. I divvy up my appointments throughout the year, so I’m never spending days at a time at doctors’ offices. Some women I know schedule all their visits around their birthdays. Others do it in September, when their kids go back to school and their schedules open up.
When you choose to go doesn’t really matter. They key is getting there regularly. So when are you going to make your appointments?
is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.
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