Marlene* had been dragging around feeling bad for more than a month. She always told herself, “if I just lose a good 20 or 25 pounds, I know I’d feel better”. So, naturally, Marlene blamed everything she felt on being overweight. Back throbbing? It’s from being overweight and carrying around too many pounds. Knee painful and swollen? It’s from carrying the extra pounds and needing to drop some weight. Out of breath? Out of shape and overweight, she thought she would feel better when she finally lost weight.
Then the day came when Marlene was knocked off her feet, lying flat on the sofa, unable to move. Every time she would even walk to the bathroom or to get a drink of water, she was so terribly, awfully exhausted that she could barely hold herself up. She was panting for breath, and all she could do was lay back down. Her head was hurting, she didn’t have an appetite. She felt like she had the flu.
Marlene decided to get a doctor’s appointment. In 3 days she was finally able to see her doctor and explain what was going on. Marlene asked the doctor for diet pills to help her finally lose the weight because she KNEW carrying the extra pounds had finally caught up with her.
What her doctor told her next blew her away! No, she did NOT have the flu (it was August, for goodness sakes), and she should not have waited so long to come in. Her doctor wanted to do some tests because she had the classic symptoms of Lyme’s Disease!! (ELISA is the standard testing for Lyme Disease).
Her doctor said she didn’t get Lyme Disease because she was overweight. She got Lyme Disease because she was bitten by a deer tick and she needed to start antibiotic therapy right away.
She also told Marlene that assuming everything was due to her body weight made her overlook a very serious illness that could lead to future complications. She said, “women have to stop assuming everything they are feeling is because of their body weight. It just makes no sense to not see about yourself”. Mind. Blown.Don't assume every ache or ailment is due to being overweight Click To Tweet
Deene* was not overweight. Deene was an active, energetic professional that was quite busy most days. When Deene started getting pain in her upper abdomen that felt like a kickboxer was giving her a workover, she thought it was something she had eaten. After all, she had been so busy and was eating take-out meals pretty regularly. Later, she thought. Later she would get a doctor’s appointment to see about her belly. She was convinced she didn’t have time to go in for any GI scans this week, so maybe in a few weeks, she would go in.
Then the vomiting started and the cold sweats. One night she fell to the floor of her apartment with a pain in her abdomen that felt like she had a large snake coiling around her, crushing her insides. She got to her cell phone and called her sister who called 9-1-1 for her. When she woke up again, she was in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
Deene had been having a heart attack. She was lucky to have gotten into the hospital when she did. She learned her heart attack, dubbed the Widow Maker, would have killed her if she’d continued to stubbornly put off getting help. Her heart attack was one involving 100 percent blockage in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. She had been having symptoms for weeks but didn’t pay close enough attention to how abnormally tired she could get, or how dizzy and completely abnormal she began feeling.
Lastly, there is Karina. Her best friends are Mr. Internet Explorer and Ms. Microsoft Chrome. She likely has Cyberchondria, which is when a person reads all the horrific things that could be wrong with their health from medical internet sites, videos and other postings.
Many of the medical sites are amazing tools to reference about ailments, illnesses and how things are diagnosed and treated. Yet, they are NOT your doctor. In fact, many people put OFF seeing their doctor for fear that they somehow have an awful illness based on what they’ve read online. And Karina has absolutely nothing wrong with her except she needs to either take more Vitamin D or spend more time outside! When she finally saw an actual doctor, her bloodwork was great except for a slightly low Vitamin D level, which could be rectified pretty easily.
Instead of being consistent and proactive, getting a doctor’s appointment, and possibly having health tests and regular physicals Deene, Karina and Marlene think they’ve got a better handle on what’s going on with them. They put themselves off until later.
Schedule Just One Regular medical exam. Please. Know your normal. Get your bloodwork. Get a comprehensive medical exam. Go on and get your hearing tested if you spend your day saying “HUH” loud as can be to most everyone. Still squinting and peeping to see things or to read? STOP IT! Go get your eyes tested before you walk into something and hurt yourself! (That’s a little joke, but seriously, don’t wait so long)!
Are you overdue for your yearly PAP exam? Make the appointment! Are you at the age where you need to get your first bone scan but haven’t done that? Go get the scan!
Let a doctor check you out. Then if you need to read up on whatever he says, go do your research! That’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Stop putting yourself dead last in your life! Oh, my gosh, how many times have I said this? Be proactive so you don’t either drive yourself (and everyone else around you) crazy worrying, or worse, have a serious issue that should be attended to. Stop being afraid.
Commit To It Today
Just One Routine Medical exam! Please. Do it for me.
* The names are fictitious. The first scenario was me. Don’t be me. Get to the doctor.