As I sat in my doctor’s office yesterday morning waiting to discuss the results of my MRI, I wondered how I got myself into this mess. I was a high school and college athlete. I still take care of myself by working out on my treadmill and hour a day, and I eat right. I had left hip pain for several months.
It got to the point that I couldn’t sleep at night because of it. That’s what made me see my doctor. He told me that my MRI looked great. I looked him at puzzled, “Really?” I asked. “But there is something wrong with your hip.” he said. Now I was really wondering what was going on. The pain was real, the limp was real, and I was hurting and in a big way. I wanted and needed answers as to why I was hurting so bad.
We talked about my options; injections or possibly hip surgery and long rehab. Now, I will tell you that I hate shots, IV’s, hospitals, doctors, and physical therapists. I think you get my drift. But, I have to deal with this in an adult way. No screaming like a girl when getting injections or an IV! I have a reputation at two local hospitals for being a sissy with IV’s. I can’t help it. It all started when I was a kid living on an Army base. You got shots during the week of your birthday, so you dreaded the day your birthday arrived. My parents thought it was funny! Well, as a kid..I sure didn’t think so.
I have to ask, “How many of us have kept health secrets from family and friends?”. I sure have. If my headaches don’t go away, should I keep that to myself? Or, if someone finds a lump on their body, do they hope it will just go away if they don’t tell anyone? I can reason with the best of people on this planet why I shouldn’t tell anyone why I feel the way I do. If someone finds out that I have an illness or a personal medical problem, what will they think of me? Not a good way to think? It could be deadly for some people who fear needles, shots, IV’s and embarrassing tests.
I like to think of this incredible human body that God has given us like a car. When the engine needs to be tuned up, a mechanic changes spark plugs, changes the oil, and adjusts the carburetor. Not a big deal. But, when the “check engine” light comes on, you better take your car to your mechanic to get your engine looked at.. If you don’t, and you continue to drive your car with an oil leak, you’re going to be having some serious troubles. If you get it taken care of now, its pretty much a fix that will save you thousands of dollars down the road. It’s the same way with your body. Regular check ups can prevent you from dying early. If something is wrong, get it checked out! Then you get it taken care of. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, don’t ya think?
I had a patient back in Wisconsin who came and saw me for a bad back. He was a retired Army Sergeant that served during WW 11. In fact, he was one of the first Americans who entered Hiroshima after the blast. As I talked with him during his exam, he mentioned that he had a sore mid-dorsal (back) problem that had been irritating him for over 6 months. As I examined him, I found a massive lump right along his spine, between his shoulder blades. I asked him if he ever noticed the lump when he was showering. He said no he didn’t, but his wife noticed it one day. They both thought it was a pulled muscle from his working in their garden.
It had become so painful, that he decided to come and see me. I suggested that he see his personal physician, as I was a Sports Med Doc. I told him that I thought it was a tumor of some kind, and to get in right away to have it checked out.
I received a call from his wife the following month thanking me for suggesting that he go see his doctor. She told me that her husband had passed away from an advanced form of bone cancer the prior week. Who knows what would have happened if he had seen his regular physician when his backache started?
I want to encourage you to start taking back your health. You, and only you, can make this happen. If you have aches and pains that have lasted over two weeks or longer, go see you family Doc! There is no medical test that is worth dying over because its an embarrassing procedure or it might hurt. Believe me, I have been there! And yes..honestly I fought myself about having tests done. My excuses were, “It will hurt and be uncomfortable.” (that’s what med’s are for, and yes they work),” I don’t want them seeing me undressed!” and ,”They’re going to put that thing where????”
Yes, friends, God has given you a good mind. Use it to take care of yourself. If you have fears about seeing doctors and what they might do to get to the bottom of your problem, call me. If you need support and encouragement, I will walk with you through the process. I will be there for you.
My last question is, “Do you need to get a physical?” If you do, do yourself a favor, call today and schedule one. It may save your life!