A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Like the Nike Commercial says – Just Do It!
“Are you kidding me? I’m not letting them put a tube up my ass!” “I’m not subjecting myself to such an invasive test!” “To be perfectly honest I am afraid of what they are going to find.” “Hell no! I don’t want to know what’s going on in there! Better not to know.”
But the question is, is it really ‘better not to know’ or is it best to be smart and find out before it is too late and options become less favorable? And then there is the ultimate relief of knowing we are healthy when tests turn out to our advantage. My message: don’t delay – Just do it!
Let’s face it, we all hate tests – the inconvenience, the humiliation of “a tube up the ass,” our breasts being squashed during a mammogram and yes, the ultimate invasion of a prostate exam and a pap test. And then there is the unpleasant stab of a needle during blood work – but what a small price to pay for vital information that could save your life.
My dad died of colon cancer, yet I had put off having a colonoscopy for years. Was it all that bad? Not at all – the night before during the ‘cleanout’ I hunkered down with family and friends watching movies, albeit pushing that pause button every few minutes – it was a good laugh. And never had I been so squeaky clean! It really is not the horrific experience some people will have you believe – a very small price to pay for vital information. The actual colonoscopy was nothing – a pleasant drug to put me into LaLa Land and after waking up I shopped for eight hours straight!
Fear is the biggest impediment to having regular medical testing. A second reason is lack of money but without your health you have nothing so lack of funds should never stop you from having peace of mind. Here are tests that you should consider:
1. Annual blood work – great way to check cholesterol, blood sugar, immune and liver function and other markers which can be strong indicators of potential health issues.
2. Annual urine and stool
3. Non invasive heart function tests – treadmill stress test and an echocardiogram if indicated.
4. Bone Density – quick and painless and important for menopausal women.
5. Regular blood pressure checks
6. Cancer Screening – annual Pap, colorectal (sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy) every five years, annual digital rectal exam for men over 50 along with PSA, skin exam checking for sores and changes in moles, mammogram or thermography and a yearly clinical breast exam along with monthly breast self-examinations.
A huge blessing about living in Mexico is that you can have any of these tests at any time – no waiting period. The other blessing is that you usually receive results right away. Both of these advantages can be lifesavers. Time is of the essence when it comes to health concerns. Don’t delay – it could cost you your life! See you at the gym.
Judit is the owner of Change of Pace Fitness Center, central Ajijic. She can be reached at 766-5800.