Tuesday, November 7, 2023
I have tried to get an annual checkup every year, since I turned 50. The year I turned 50, I started snoring, had a heel spur and found out that I was hypertensive! At that age I still didn’t take life seriously enough to worry about anything, but I went anyway, just in case, like I say a prayer every night, just in case. The doctor’s office is the place, I think, where one feels the most vulnerable and helpless and scared. For that reason, I believe we should have a primary care physician (doctor) whom we like and trust, and who is also good at what he/she does.
My doctors have always been female, the only two that I’ve ever had. My first doctor retired recently after more than 30 years of being my physician and friend; I even got her to visit and consider retiring in Belize. She was very caring and kind and made me feel relaxed after the anticipation and anxiety that I would bring with me into her office. My new doctor is young and seems to know what she’s doing—we will see—and she was highly recommended by the first. I chose women doctors because I didn’t want some guy, with Shaquille O’Neil-like hands and fingers, wandering up my nether regions exploring my prostate’s growth. Now that isn’t done anymore; they draw blood to check your PSA, thank goodness! If your doctor is still exploring you that way, watch out; they may just like to see the look on your face. Women doctors are much gentler and kinder. I am also deathly afraid of needles; I have to be cajoled into having blood drawn, whimpering like a small child for my mother, every time I get a shot or have blood drawn. I’m a grown-a*s man, 6’3″, 210 pounds, and absolutely terrified of that little needle! By the way, I might have shrunk a bit with age, my height that is, not my ears or my prostate.
I have a friend who just died of stage 4 prostate cancer. He was younger than I, but as I understand it, he didn’t really like going to doctors. There are a lot of people who have doctor phobia, and unfortunately the consequences of not being diligent with your health can be fatal. I believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are some diseases that, whether you have regular doctor visits or not, will invade your body, but knowing early and understanding how to deal with it matters. My best friend goes to the doctor if he has hiccups; he’s taking no chances. I exercise fanatically, try to eat right, don’t sleep enough, but hope that I’ll remain healthy for as long as possible. Age has its way of making you pay for longevity, I believe, and sometimes it can be mean, age that is.
I believe that we all should make sure we get our checkups, even if we don’t believe there’s anything malfunctioning in our bodies. You never know. I believe that in spite of the needles and the tubes and fingers and all the invasive methods that terrorize us, it’s worth it to be comfortable and secure in knowing that you are doing the right thing, for you and your loved ones. Go and get a checkup and stop sitting on your a** thinking you are invincible! You are not, and you will pay a steeper price for not protecting your temple. Make an appointment and go see a doctor; after all the terror, you will feel better.