You know like when I was in my 30's and I wasn't afraid of anything. Even looking silly. (Although I was quite multi-talented. I think it's how I convinced the Mister I was "the one.") I had my annual check-ups.
And in my 40's when l was consumed with love and my new life. I had my annual check-ups.
And then came my 50's. I was becoming a little more aware of aging and the ups and downs of that; but still not afraid of looking goofy. Obviously. And I started to skip the annual check-ups.
Funny how as I age and especially as I grow closer to 60 and things like my blood pressure start creeping up and hmmm... never noticed that lump before... I begin to understand that denial. That feeling of "I want answers" and at the same time, "I don't want to know."
But then I remembered Boda Kitty ~ who looked perfectly healthy on the outside. But her insides were killing her. And I remembered a friend telling me about a colleague who had been afraid to go to the doctor with some of her concerns. And she died.
A few years ago my blood pressure spiked and my [at the time] GP suggested I buy a digital blood pressure machine, check my blood pressure periodically at home and call him if it continued to be high. He felt that the reason for it rising at that time was stress. And he was probably right because once some things were resolved in my life, it came down.
Recently it spiked again - big time. I suppose I could blame some of it on a little stress; but I think most of it is approaching 60 and man, is it in the genes. God bless my Norwegian ancestors but they are notorious for stuffing their thoughts and emotions down so deep that the only way they can come out is if your head explodes. Voilà - high blood pressure. And then there were a couple of lumps that suddenly appeared and since thyroid problems run in the family, too ~ well you can see I was doing a lot of self-diagnosing and imagining the worst.
I knew I should probably stop hiding my head in the sand and be a grown-up. I called and made an appointment for my first physical in 9 years.
When the nurse placed BP cuff on my arm I explained that I know my BP is high, blah, blah, blah. As the cuff tightened around my arm and the nurse read the numbers he said, "Wow, you weren't kidding it's high!"
Just what you want to hear.
It was off the charts ~ something like 168 over 110 (120 over 80 is normal). They were a little worried letting me walk out the door and having a stroke in the parking lot... I hate prescription drugs, but sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do. So I was given a mild BP drug to bring those numbers down along with instructions to monitor my BP every morning and every evening until I see them again in 2 weeks.
I was sent for more tests for those lumps and got to spend the entire weekend wondering if my days were numbered. And in cases like this, the internet is not my friend.
But today is a new day.
The good news is ~ I have a very vivid imagination. And the lumps are harmless lumps and as of this morning my BP is lower than it has been in years - 124 over 92.
Yeah. That sigh you just heard? That was me.
So although I still have some things to work on - nothing is life threatening - and a wee celebration was in order last night.
I will be around a bit longer to enjoy my lilacs and play with my Lensbabies.
There really is no greater feeling than knowing that all the horrible things you imagined aren't going to happen. At least not today.
And all of it serves as a reminder that - especially as the years move on - it is really important to stay in touch with my body and what it may be trying to tell me. And get those annual physicals.
Because without my health, I have nothing.
When was your last physical? She says with love. :)