Hi there friends, welcome to our second edition of Wellness Wednesday. It’s our mid-week wellness boost where we chat about all things related to well-being and self-care. Today I thought we could focus on essential women’s health check-ups. I’m referring to those vital health checks we ladies need to keep us functioning at our best.
Ahem, before we go ahead I have to confess something- I’m probably preaching to myself here. Because when it comes to health check-ups I am the absolute worst! I put them off, I stress about them and I just want to hide under a blanket and never have to step foot inside a doctor’s surgery…ever! The thing is, it’s not just the tests that I’m scared of. It’s mostly the results! I get so anxious worrying about the results, that by the end I have already diagnosed myself with three months to live! Crazy I know!!
But after all my nonsense and carrying on (if you know me, you know what I mean) I still manage to pull myself together (eventually) and tackle those all-important health checkups. Here is a list of the health checks I keep on top of and I’ve also got a list of some that I know are important. But I haven’t quite summoned up the courage to go and get them over with.
Essential Women’s Health Check-Ups
My Health Checks
Here in NSW once you turn the big 5-0 you get a letter in the mail offering you a free breast screen. Happy Birthday! I don’t know what I was dreading more when I turned 50, the breast screen invitation letter or a card with a big number 50 emblazoned across the front.
A few of my friends who had this exam before warned me about what to expect. They were right it wasn’t pleasant but I can’t think of any health checks that really are. Furthermore, I knew that avoiding this health check-up was pretty silly because if you can catch anything early, then the outcome is much better.
Well, that’s what all my kind friends kept telling me every time I moaned about it. Anyway, in the end, I was very brave and I went ahead and got my girls checked. Then I not so patiently waited for my results to arrive in the mail. Thankfully everything was clear and now I know that every two years I will get an email reminder to make an appointment for that important mammogram.
I wish someone would come up with a better name for this test but pap smears it is! This test is to catch cervical cancer early, which is a good thing. Before it used to be a test we had to take every two years. Fortunately, now it’s a more bearable once-every-five-year commitment. Phew!
I have a very nice and patient lady doctor who puts up with me. I just get so embarrassed! After the test, I’m pretty sure the poor doctor wonders how on earth I was ever able to give birth. Honestly, I wonder that myself sometimes!
I’m all good with this test as I don’t mind needles. It’s a blood test to check cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
I have been seeing an optometrist since I was a kid because I need glasses for distance. This hadn’t changed for years and I was always able to read small writing, which almost felt like a superpower to me. If we were out with friends and they were squinting to read the menu. They would always ask me to read it out for them and I felt so special.
But you know what they say ‘Pride cometh before a fall’.Well, it turns out they are spot on! Now I can’t read small writing as well as I used to because it’s blurry. Heck, Even the food on my plate is blurry these days! I know that I’m overdue for an eye exam. I’m pretty sure that I will need reading glasses as well as glasses to see distance, just like my mum had.
Dental Check Up
It’s important to maintain oral health with regular visits to the dentist to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. I don’t mind a visit to the dentist too much. It’s usually a fairly straightforward check and so far I only have one filling. But I’m not a fan of all the noisy instruments and the feeling that I’m going to gag.
Blood Pressure Check
To catch hypertension early and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The doctor checks my blood pressure as part of the routine exam when I visit.
Health Checks On My To-Do List
So we’ve covered some essential women’s health check-ups that I’ve got under control, let’s take a peek at the ones I’ve been putting off (for too long, maybe)
Bone Density Test: My bestie says it’s easy peasy and not a big deal, so that’s somewhat reassuring.
Colonoscopy: I had one done a few years ago but……
Heart Health Check: I had an ECG before I had my thyroid removed so that counts right?
While I can’t claim to be a fearless champ when it comes to essential women’s health check-ups. I’m well aware that I have a ways to go. I’m still giving myself a pat on the back for pushing through the fears and getting them done, eventually. Now I need to dig even deeper, summon more courage and tackle those pending health check-ups that have been lingering on my list…..ugh!