Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Ever since I retired, I have had lots of time to do what I want, but my body isn't paying a whole lot of attention to my want list. I look forward to days when I'm not required to go anywhere. In short, I've become almost reclusive! I don't know if that's bad for me or not, but I tend to think it's about being comfortable in my own skin. Getting out is taxing for me, but afterwards I'm usually glad I did, and thankful I'm not on the hook to get out again for a while.
The past two weeks have been busy for me. My car has been acting up, so I'm not able to see one of my doctors whose office is clear across Dallas from where I am. After several years of going over there, I've decided to let our family doctor take over. I'm confident that I don't need a specialist any more, but I started going to one in the first place because another doctor's only concern was to save money for the HMO. Now I have a good doc again and I trust him. My car was ok enough to get me to his office, so that was one visit down for the week. Next, I went to the car place to see if I needed to get my radiator flushed, but they said it didn't need it, that the problem was somewhere else. Fortunately, a man in the waiting room told me that it sounded like my thermostat was sticking. That made more sense to me. He also gave me a tip on how to replace my side mirror on the cheap, so I felt like I ought to be paying him for a consult. By the time I got home, I was drenched with sweat and ready to melt into a puddle on the couch.
I can think of a bunch of places I want to go, but the body just won't cooperate. I did have to go get my yearly mammogram (yuk) so that required a lot of walking. I stopped at benches along the way until I got inside. You know how it is at a hospital--you have to tell them your life history and sign off on all the paperwork. I was glad when the imaging tech came to get me. When she asked me if I had implants, I told her no, but I needed some helium implants. I thought she was going to roll on the floor. She said she'd been doing mammograms for 8 years, and this was a first. I'm a touch dry, so she didn't realize I wasn't trying to be funny any more than she was when she looked at my flabby boobs and asked me if I had implants. I look like I have four knees, but oh well....
Now I'm home and I can sit back and take it easy, but not before I give everybody some advice. Please get a mammogram, if you are in the age range for them. The technician has seen every size and shape, and she doesn't care what yours look like. To her, your breast is beautiful if she can get a good film from it. If this kind of imaging is available, please use it. The second thing I want to say is: If you're 50 or older, get a colonoscopy. These procedures can save your life. I have a friend who is a couple of years older than I am, and she won't get a yearly colonoscopy even though she's had one where they found polyps. That was SEVEN years ago. On top of all that, both of her parents died from colon cancer. Nobody wants that, and not getting scoped won't make the polyps go away. And since I'm on a roll, I encourage you to have a PAP test every year and if you can be persuasive enough, talk them into a vaginal sonogram. A PAP test detects cervical cancer but it doesn't go far enough. God bless Fran Dresher for all she's done to encourage women to get these medical tests. She had uterine cancer as did I, and like her, I was having symptoms that didn't show cancer from a PAP test.
I don't mind being high maintenance when it comes to medical help. There's nothing like a clean bill of health, but it's more difficult for overweight women. All I can tell you is go ahead and get those check-ups and leave 'em laughing.