Let's face the music, no one loves going to the doctor. If you're lucky, hopefully, you have a great doctor that you've been able to build a rapport with over time. However, whether you like your doctor or not, you need to go.
As we age, it can become easier to put off health exams and routine doctor visits. Whether you make the excuse that it's too hard to get there if you're not driving anymore. Or you're a little scared to go, there are countless excuses you can use. At the end of the day, it's crucial that you show up for those appointments.
Health exams are an important part of maintaining good health, especially as you age. Regular doctor visits benefit you by providing insight into if your medicine is working properly, the ability to discuss new symptoms in-person, and an opportunity to catch something early.
This idea could scare people though because they believe there's bliss in the unknown. However, if you're experiencing new symptoms and worried about what it might be, it's always best to get answers early. Catching something early, like the onset of heart disease or diabetes, can provide you and your doctor time. Time to create a plan and time to find the medicine that works best for you. As we age, time is not something that should be taken for granted.
So, what do you do if you've missed a few recent health exams? Or if you don't currently have a doctor? First things first, get connected with a healthcare provider. Be prepared to come in with the medications you currently take, previous medical records, and a history of your family's health. As well, if you notice any changes (physically, emotionally, or mentally), come in with notes. Try as best as possible to have a start date for this change and any coinciding symptoms.
Finally, don’t forget to have a list of questions. If it helps, you can bring a loved one. Another tip is to record the conversation. Make sure you ask the doctor first before you or a loved one record the conversation. This can help save time from taking notes, while still retaining all the information.
Most importantly, don’t put this off. Get in on the calendar and make a follow-up appointment as your leaving the first doctor visit. Remember, it's always best to be in control of your health than have your health control you.