Making medical appointments is probably that one thing on your to do list that never really gets done. It keeps getting pushed because there are no emergencies, nothing is stopping you from getting through your day and frankly who has the time to spend an afternoon addressing a non-pressing matter. Meanwhile you are suffering from daily tension headaches, pee every time you sneeze, have a tooth ache or have not had your eyes examined in the last 3 years. Raise your hand if you have pushed off going to the doctor until you are actually having trouble physically functioning. On the other hand, the moment one of your kids has any hint of an illness or problem you are in the doctor’s office within the week. So here are a list of medical appointments every mom should make but most of us avoid.
- Annual Physical. Keeping up with annual appointments can be a nuisance but they exist for a reason. Preventative care can be life saving. Checking your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood and urine samples, breast exams, etc… is not the most exciting way to spend a few hours but could catch a bigger problem that you aren’t even aware of.
- Gynecologist. Your annual pap smear should be a given but that’s not what I am going for here. I am talking vaginal dryness, pain during sex, reoccurring yeast infections, heavy or painful periods and so many more things. A lot of us are living our lives with completely treatable issues because we think they are just things that women have to live with or we are too embarrassed to talk about them.
- Pelvic Physical Therapist. Do you pee when you sneeze or laugh unexpectedly? Are your vaginal muscles just not what they use to be? A pelvic physical therapist can help you fix these problems and more. Did you even know that such a person exist? Well they do so make an appointment so you can stop carrying extra underwear for yourself in your purse.
- Mammogram. It is recommended that women start getting annual mammograms at the age of 45 but should start to ask for them as early as 40. All adult women should give themselves monthly breast selfexams to check for lumps, dimpling, swelling or odd changes in breasts in the comfort of your home. And I know mammograms are super awkward and uncomfortable but breast cancer is a whole lot more uncomfortable.
- Dental Cleaning and Checkup. Who doesn’t have want to have a great smile? And not just for your pearly whites but gum health is just as important. Pregnancy, age and the coffee, soda and wine that may help you get through your days causes a lot of wear and tear on your teeth and gums. So make that appointment and take care of the teeth you have before you have to pay for another set.
- Dermatologist. As women, our skin goes through so many changes. And as we get older we start to pay more and more attention. We find a wrinkle here, a sunspot there and new moles and freckles pop up out of no where. They just seem like minor little things and we tend to brush them off as just a vanity thing. But we need to stop ignoring those sunspots or that weird mole you came across and go and get it checked out.
- Eye Exam. So many things affect our eye health…pregnancy, age, looking at your cell phone on and off all day long. So, as much as it may seem an unnecessary nuisance, you should get your eyes checked annually.
- Chiropractor. Having babies will throw your body out of whack in so many ways and most definitely it wreaks havoc on your spine. Add years of carrying children around on your one hip and sleeping in odd positions to accommodate your kiddos in your bed and it’s no wonder so many mommas suffer from back pain every day. And most of us are just suffering through it and praying that one good nights sleep with do the trick. HA! Spoiler alert…it won’t. Besides, many insurance companies do cover chiropractic care.
- Medical/Clinical Massage. This is not a trip to the spa. Not to discount massages at the spa because they are great for relaxation and stress relief. However, some issues need more that great smelling oils and a good rub down. Clinical massages are deep tissue work designed to address specific issues and usually last only about 15-20 minutes. If you suffer from tension headaches, muscle spasms or other muscular issues, you need to make an appointment asap.
- Therapy. Mental health is something many of us just don’t talk about. At best, everything is generally good and you are just dealing with the normal daily stresses of life and it wouldn’t hurt to talk to a professional once in a while to get support and perspective. At worst, you are silently suffering with a mental health issue and feeling alone and isolated and are in dire need of mental health support or even intervention. You should never feel ashamed of asking for help because we all need it.
What doctor appointment have you been avoiding and you should make today?
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum.
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