I spent this morning at my OB/GYN’s office having that joyful annual experience — my gynecological exam. Oversharing? Perhaps. But I’m willing to risk personal embarrassment and immodesty if this post will help one of my fellow moms get off the dime and make the doctor’s appointment you’ve been procrastinating over for the past several months (or years).
I know all about your dirty little secret — your willingness to put off your own self care until, “it’s more convenient” or “I’m not so busy” or — my personal favorite — “I lose this extra ten (or more) pounds”.
How do I know? I am you.
Four years ago, a set of circumstances caused me to go back to my personal physician after a nearly three year absence. The end result was the early diagnosis of breast cancer and a successful regimen of treatment. Now, several years later, I thank God for the fact that I made it into the doctor in time after so many years of neglecting my own self care. I had every excuse in the book for taking care of everyone but myself.
Of course, what never occurred to me back then was that be not caring for myself, I was doing a tremendous disservice to my family, my Domestic Church. Those of you have read my first book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms, have heard this theme before in my writing. Why do I bring it up again today? Because I know there are so many of you out there who need a friend to remind you to do the right thing and to schedule your appointment today.
From the Centers for Disease Control we have the following answer to the question “Why are checkups important?”:
Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare.
If you have every excuse in the book, if you’re afraid, or if you simply think you’ll “get around to it”, please write me personally and allow me to pray with and for you. If you need extra prompting, speak with your husband or a trusted family member or friend. And for a final dose of motivation, look at your precious children and imagine them without you. Then call.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20