It is hard not to notice when someone takes a week long hiatus from a regularly active blog but I had legit reason. I decided early on that I would blog about this experience in the hopes that it would educate others on the importance of staying on top of their health! So, away we go…
After my little medical scare at Easter I started making a lot of changes in my life. I began eating better, moving more, and made some important (though VERY overdue) medical appointments. I will admit I was a little bit terrified to hit up a doctor’s office after 5 (yes, really 5) years of avoiding the doctor at all costs (read more about that HERE).
If you find yourself making reasons or excuses not to go in for physicals, yearly exams, or whatever the case might be please know I understand where you are coming from. For some doctor’s visits are as routine as scheduling an oil change or tire rotation but for others doctor’s visits open a box of fear, anxiety, and dread. There are any number of reasons this happens to folks- a bad experience with a particular doctor, a previous medical trauma, or just plain embarrassment about one’s physical condition. Whatever the reason- I get it, trust me. But PLEASE let me tell you none of these reasons are stronger than the consequence of possibly losing your life.
I don’t want to turn this into a dramatic post to gain sympathy but rather an informational post to boost awareness. Hearing the words “we have found some abnormal cells” was one of the most sobering moments of my life. I hardly heard the doctor as she explained these cells had not mutated into cancer (yet) but left untreated there was a very real (and likely) chance that they would.
As I scheduled my surgery to have these cells removed I felt pretty much every negative emotion you can imagine. I was angry at myself for being so careless with my health, sad at the thought of leaving my amazing husband, family, and friends had it not been caught on time, stupid for the choices I had made, anxious about what was to come, etc. I was a wreck. I took breaks from the stone cold fear only to cry and get angry.
On Thursday morning I went in for my surgery. Here I was, someone who gets anxious at even the easiest of doctor’s visits, preparing for a pretty significant procedure. The irony wasn’t lost on me. The hubs was there and so was my friend Kristen. It all happened so quickly (as I requested the first open appointment) my parents could not get here but they were on standby at home.
The surgery itself went about as well as it could. While I won’t receive the final reports until later this week my doctor feels confident that they were able to remove all of the abnormal cells and I should be as good as new. While this is great news I still cannot make myself feel “good” about this. Had I waited another year or two the outcome could have been completely different. I took something as precious as this beautiful life I have and nearly trashed it out of fear.
Nothing is fool proof but regular check-ups and physicals are SO important. SO important. Early detection is KEY for so so many ailments. If you can give yourself that fighting chance- you should. I know you (just like me) are stronger than your fear. If you are on the fence about returning to your doctor please understand this: there is nothing you have done wrong that is worth your life. You gained a lot of weight? You can address that. Sexual health issues? They have heard it all. Haven’t been to the doctor in forever? Nobody will berate you (and if they do- find another doctor who understands your issues).
I was someone who made EVERY excuse in the world to avoid seeing a doctor. I now have 2 extremely competent and understanding doctors who know about my medical anxiety and help me manage that during visits. I am establishing a medical history, taking care of my body, and hopefully ensuring many healthy years to come. I don’t think this series of events were coincidental but I will save a discussion on faith for another post. Just know I will NEVER miss another doctor’s visit….and neither should you. Take good care of the body you are in.