When Did You Last Talk To This Guy (or Gal) About Your Health?

October 12, 2012   13 Comments

Hey, if my doctor was this cute, I would schedule TWO physicals a year :)


I’m not trying to be your mom, but when was your last physical? Why would I ask you that?

I get many questions about this additive or that bread, but I wonder if my readers are looking at the big picture when it comes to their health.

Honestly, I don’t go to a physical EVERY year. I go once every two years because I don’t have any major health problems and I am super busy taking care of other people.

BUT, it is important to realize that the medical profession is not a waste of time when it comes to your health. The examination and tests that follow are designed to help catch major diseases before they happen.

I never paid attention to my physical until I hit 40 because I thought it was a waste of time. Then, I started thinking about living longer and started to pay attention.

Also, I just thought that 20 minutes with a medical professional seemed just cursory and wasn’t going to tell me anything. I have since changed my tune because I have learned about the process.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of a physical:

1.Prepare! Write down your questions before you go! When they ask me, “Do you have any health concerns?” - I always say no. Then, after I leave, I remember that wierd bump on my ankle. ARGH!

2. Write down any over the counter medications that you are taking and how much you are taking them. It seems obvious but a lot of us are self medicating without even realizing how much. Get a handle on it before you go in and they might be able to help you with your problem.

3. Understand the blood tests and check back for the results. There are a few standard tests they will do and you should educate yourself about what they mean.

The tests at my last physical were:
Vitamin D - checking my levels. A low level indicates if you need to supplement to stop bone loss as you age.

Lipid Panel - checks cholesterol in the blood to determine if you are at risk for heart disease.

Glucose - checks blood sugar level after fasting to determine if you are at risk for diabetes.

Then, you have your mammograms, etc. to check for cancer.

Don't be afraid of the results - feel empowered that you can get information that will help you prevent major illnesses.

Go ahead, pick up the phone and make an appointment. See? That wasn't so hard was it?

How often do you have a physical? Has it helped you get healthier?

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Great post!! I need a new doctor!!!

I go every year. My dr. has me do the blood tests before the appointment and reviews the results with me. I'm in charge of my health and my dr. works with me to make sure everything is happening that needs to happen.

It can be scary to get bad news - 7 year cancer survivor here - but it's better to know what is going on with your own body early than to find out too late.

Very good & very important post! Congratulations De Keimach, 7 years that's awesome!! I too am a cancer survivor of 24 years. And yes I will admit I still get nervous waiting for blood test results, especially since my cancer was misdiagnosed originally. I look at going to the physical as a way I'm caring for my family. If I'm down due to a sickness who will take of them?

When I addressed the spiritual issues in my life that caused the risk of sickness and disease, I came off of all medications and my health has continuously improved. Learning to love myself by eating right, exercising regularly, and getting 8 hours of sleep a night combined with loving and forgiving others, letting go of worry and stress and facing my greatest life fears (including fear of sickness) has changed my life forever. If you really knew the destruction drugs do to the human body... you would take a stronger stand on them then you do the hidden ingredients in your food. Drugs treat, they don't cure and most times they are a lifelong bondage. Ask your doctor for recommended life changes instead of drugs. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way but now I am in the best spiritual, emotional and physical shape of my life.

I just turned 40 years old 12 days ago, and I have been dreading the phone call to set up a mammogram. Maybe this is a sign that I need to make it soon.

Great post! I have high blood pressure so I am at the doctor every 6 months. I do have lab orders for blood work I need to do, though! I did just want to point out that Vitamin D should be tested for more than worry of bone loss. I had a D deficiency (it is more and more common with the use of sunscreen and less tanning) and it can be responsible for forgetfulness, depression, it can contribute to high blood pressure, cause headaches, joint pain, fatigue, muscle weakness, constipation, restless sleep and contribute to weight gain. And long term problems from Vit. D deficiency include cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's and of course osteoporosis. I had to take a large dose of Vitamin D for awhile to get my levels back up and now take a maintenance dose and it was amazing how much better I felt after getting the numbers back up.

If I may piggyback on tips #1 and 2, I usually accompany my wife to her doctor visits so I can play the scribe. My taking notes frees her up to ask questions of her docs without having to multi-task.

If you don't have a scribe in your life, but you have a smartphone that makes recordings, ask your doctor if it's okay if you record you chat (you might not have to do that in your state, but I think it's a polite way to go) and then you have something to refer back to when you're trying to remember if he or she told you to eat more Twinkies or fewer. :)

I keep a "Stuff to discuss with my doctors" calendar event (I usually put it in a memorable spot, like Monday and just move it to the next week if there's nothing going on) and in there, I make notes of what I want to ask my various doctors about, maybe stuff I'm experiencing or some study I read about or something I can be doing to prevent XYZ problem.

Thanks, as always, for the good ideas, Lisa!

That's funny, I blogged on this last week after I had my own blood work done. It's important to be sure everything is okay and to catch anything early if it's not. Better to know if you need to modify your diet and add in some exercise before you end up on meds.

Andy, having a scribe or recording the session is brilliant.

To S - my friend's daughter just died of triple negative breast cancer at age 33, leaving 3 small children. Go get that mammo!!!

I am 69 years old and diabetic, and for these reasons I see my doctor every 3 months for blood work, etc. There is absolutely nothing regarding my health that she and I do not talk about, and that includes my diet. Currently, I now weigh a little under 174 lbs., which is what I weighed when I was discharged from the military in 1965. On the road to reweighing 174 lbs., I underwent a bypass, the loss of a leg, and other physical problems, all because I refused to heed the advice medical professionals had been giving me. Now, I eat well, excercise, etc. Too late to save the leg, but early enuf to keep the other one. For those of you who think you are well and put off seeing a doctor for a thorough exam, I strongly urge you to change your mind, see one, and heed the given advice. I know several who did not, and a couple of them are paying for that failure more than I am.

Every other year?!? Why pay for your annual physical as part of what you owe in health insurance annually if you're not going to actually go to that physical? I know here in MA we have to have health insurance...but to pay for something you are not going to use just seems silly. I don't care how busy someone is--we are all busy.

Also, I would never miss an annual physical. My Mom had breast cancer that she lived with for years because it was not detected in a mammogram. (by the time it was found it had spread to her lymph nodes and she needed a double mastectomy). I work with a woman that has a very similar story. Don't just automatically assume that nothing is showing up on a mammogram or other test and that you are a-okay.

Those annual physicals are essential!

My doc is pretty cute (cuter than the pic at his web site). But my husband is cuter, ha ha!

Good advice re: physicals.

I think this is important, and I would also suggest seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. When your body is properly aligned, it can heal itself from many issues.

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