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For Life

A personal goal thus far has been to put in as few medicines in my body as possible. I am petrified of pills despite one doctor son and another half-way there. I am also skittish when it comes to putting myself under the microscope, because if you look hard enough you are likely to find a glitch or two!

When I stepped into my 40s, my genes started acting funky. I knew this was in the cards because of family history. Still, I did my best to keep the weight off, I exercised and ate right-ishly, hoping to delay the genetic crescendo for as long I could. Once a year when my physician gave me the look, I would beg and plead for more time to rectify my bad habits. Six months later I would return to deliver better results. After these good visits, I would exit his office with a kick in my steps, grinning widely, and full of pride at having outfoxed my "troubles"! That worked for 15 years.

This time, doc didn’t just gave me the look. He gave me a raised hand, a head shake, and called in a prescription.

Ack, meds everyday for the rest of my life! I instinctively texted the men in my life for an exit strategy or at least sympathy. One implored, “Do it Mom, it’s time!” The other pragmatically (and dismissively) said, “Ma! This medicine should be in the water supply!” The third said, "You have to!" and my brother from 10,000 miles simply replied "Ayiiiii" sensing I was about to jinx him. In less than one minute, they extricated me from my funk.

So who cares, right?! And isn't there a growing body of evidence that suggests annual exams ring in at a hefty 5B USD and don't improve longevity? Some doctors are even calling for the elimination of head-to-toe exams. Personally, I don't like a lot of hoo-hah about my health and so I don't really want to turn over rocks to find worms. Plus, studies show that Americans are least likely to visit their physician.

The reason I care is because our physician provides us with a report card on life during our annual check-ups. He reviews our lipid profile and A1C within the context of what is going on in our personal life and our lifestyle. He doesn't tell us do this or don't do that but he makes us aware of how we are contributing to and detracting from our well-being. He makes a compelling case for us to do the right things which is consistent with what studies show good doctors should be doing. This is why we have visited him regularly and followed his lead.

As for my new companion in life, I gave it my best shot to avoid it and failed. Now I am fine with taking it for my life. Even if it means doing it for the rest of my life because this friend here wants to ride with you as long as possible. So, you stay well too and if you haven't been to your doc recently, get on with it. Cheers!

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