Find time to take care of yourself

In the daily scrum, preventative medical treatments are often relegated to the very back burner.

In the daily scrum, preventative medical treatments are often relegated to the very back burner.

Things like dentist check-ups, annual doctor visits, mammograms and prostate checks are often the very last things to make it onto busy schedules. Depressingly, a recent study found that, of the people who have preventive care benefits available through their medical plans, only 10 per cent actually use them.

That means the overwhelming majority, the other 90 per cent, aren’t making the time to get routine exams like mammograms and prostate screenings, or lab work to check their cholesterol and blood sugar. They don’t enroll in an exercise class or a disease management program. Not even when their health plans cover all or most of the costs.

If you happen to be part of that 90 per cent, isn’t about time you started making your own health a priority?

Sarah on “De Nile Ain’t Just a River”

“Burying your head in the sand is sadly not an effective technique for staving off maladies. If you’re one of the millions who choose not to get regularly screened in part because you don’t have any symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. Screening technology available today, such as MRIs and blood tests, can detect things like heart disease years before any symptoms appear. If you catch something like that early enough, doctors are likely to be able to treat and even reverse the problem with less invasive techniques, without expensive hospitalization, and with fewer doctor visits. ”

Alicia on “Fear Factor”

“A lot of people, myself included, shy away from even routine doctor visits because they can be scary. Remember when you were little how the thought of the needle was always worse than the actual shot? Well just because you’re grown-up now doesn’t mean that has changed! What has changed is your ability to skip the doctor visit — no mom or dad standing over you to make you go. What you need are some techniques to overcome your fear and get yourself to the examination room, such as having someone else play ’mom’ and book the appointment for you — no excuses.”

Here are a few ways to move yourself to the top of your priority list — and get your health Buttoned Up.

Schedule Everything This Week!

Before this week is out, take five minutes to make a list of all the preventative care appointments you need to make: routine checkups and labs, dentist visits, skin cancer screens, mammograms and/or colonoscopies. Then grab a calendar, look a few weeks or months ahead to find some windows where you aren’t too booked up, and then grab a phone and schedule the appointments.

Plan Around Your Fears

If you know you avoid the doctor because you are afraid of either procedures that might cause pain or scary things the doctor might find, buddy up with a friend, a parent, or spouse. Swap appointment-making chores (you book theirs, they book yours) and even have them come with you on the big day. Consider taking one full day off to get everything done. Not only will it mean you only have one day of anxiety — but you may even overcome some of your fears because of the desensitization that comes with multiple doctor’s visits in one day.

Picture Yourself in 10 Years

Close your eyes and picture yourself as you’d like to be a decade from now. How does that picture change if you skip the routine check-ups and make yourself your last priority? Consider that regular visits with your doctor make it easier for her to spot even small changes that might be signals of more serious disease. Catch them early enough and you and your doctor are much more likely to be able to make manageable changes that literally can save your life.

(The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to yourlife(at)getbuttonedup.com. For more columns, go to scrippsnews.com.)

SHNS

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read