As some know, I have been home with my lovely mother for the past week after she underwent surgery to remove a calcium deposit on her right shoulder. As such, it only seemed appropriate to dedicate this post to wellness, befitting of the Wednesday hashtag as well.
I will be the first to admit, I perpetually procrastinate scheduling doctor’s appointments of any kind; I will nag my friends and family to take care of themselves, but me, forget that. I know, I know, put the oxygen mask on yourself before your neighbor and all that. Alas, here I am.
In a recent study by 2020health on the UK population, researchers found that one-third of adults avoid going to the doctor due to a “fear of finding out”, AKA a fear of receiving a grim diagnosis. Personally, I can completely understand these fears. As a child, we went to the doctor because our parents told us to. If we had strep, they gave us a magic serum to fix it. We left with a sticker in tow. Life was good. As an adult, we have seen so many people go through that door and come back out in a casket.
Ignorance is bliss.
We would rather ignore the moles, push down the pain with over-the-counter pills, self-diagnose through google and self-treat with our friend’s medicine cabinets. The thing is, online symptom checkers are only correct 34% of the time, and they list any number of possibilities. Pain in your lower abdomen? Could be a simple muscle strain…or it could be ovarian cancer. So, what do we do? We click on each condition to decide which one fits us best; we receive our PhD via WebMD. We end up treating ourselves for something we likely don’t even have.
I am not denying that I fall prey to this. I do. I especially avoided the doctor when I was still working a typical office job; I will deal with the pain in my shoulder in order to not stress about the hundreds of emails I’m missing while I’m at the doctor.
At the end of the day, the fear is not going anywhere unless you do something about it. We go online to pretend we have it under control, but we will never truly know if we are healthy until a professional tells us that we are.
Ignorance is not bliss, it is blinding.
We (myself included) all need to step past this and take care of ourselves; the earlier you catch something the better chance you have to fight against it. On top of that, wouldn’t it be great to receive a clean bill of health and feel a sense of relief as opposed to a looming dread?
The excuses need to end. If you do not put your health first, something could happen without notice. You and your loved ones will be unprepared. You will lose your health and everything else with it. Knowledge is power. Know where you stand and learn what you can do to make yourself stand taller.