Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Health Schedule

I have been thinking lately about how I can be more pro-active about my health. Now that I am ‘forty plus’ I want to not take my health for granted. I plan to live a long, healthy, happy and vibrant life.

To address the ‘healthy’ part of the equation I have always been interested in good nutrition, and including incidental exercise in your day etc. The other side of things though is medical check-ups, and catching something that might start out small but if not detected could be a big problem later on.

I had a mole on my leg removed privately a couple of years back because it bothered me. More than one medical professional, including a skin surgeon told me it was nothing to worry about. When the results came back it was a melanoma. I had one more surgery to take more surrounding tissue, and thankfully it had not spread.

This scary incident taught me to trust my own instincts, but also now I have a twice a year skin check. My skin Doctor sends me a letter every six months and when I see it in the mail I think ‘is it really six months already?’ and then get around to ringing him for an appointment and then it’s another four weeks before I can see him.

The one car that my husband and I share, without fail has its service every July when its warrant of fitness is due. I actually make sure that happens but I let my own appointments slide, and a car is certainly more replaceable than a body!

Yes, health appointments can be quite bothersome and cost money too, but I have now made a decision to ‘just do it’. Book them in and go. Don’t think about if I ‘want to’, because who ever does?

To assist myself in this I have made up a schedule so that I know when I have to book myself in for.

September – full Doctor checkup
October and April – skin checks
March – full dental checkup

In New Zealand, it’s only recommended that a woman has a smear test every three years, but about ten years ago a Doctor I visited said he recommended annually to his patients, as sometimes the results weren’t that clear, and if you only went every three years, it could be six years between readings and he considered that too long.

My current Doctor also recommended I add an eye checkup to my list, not only for seeing, but also for eye health. I read in a magazine that every two years is recommended and that some optometrists have special machines that check the eye very thoroughly.

So apart from scheduling in my reminders to make appointments each year (and I have already bought my 2014 diary so I can do that right now), is to investigate an optometrist to go and see.

I feel really good about making a schedule and making the appointments myself to do something in a certain month. By not waiting for the reminder letters:

a) I am not relying on them to remember - sometimes reminder letters are lost or not sent out. b) I don’t begrudge the appointment because I am the one that has made it.

I think I have all things covered, is there anything else you can recommend I add to my schedule?


  1. Mammogram?


  2. Yes I agree with Mars a mammogram.
    Good for you for getting that mole removed. My friend had a scare recently with skin cancer and it made us all more aware of the danger.
    The experts can only help you if you make appointments to see them for screening and tests so your schedule is a brilliant idea.

  3. I now go to thecMayr clinic every year as a mot. They also do all sorts of tests. One test women should do is heck their hormone levels of each one also check the tsh levels for thyroid imbalance. Those never seem to get checked unless there is a problem. Many more of course but those are often overlooked

  4. Definitely a mammogram.

    When you go to the optometrist be sure to checked for both glaucoma and any signs of macular degeneration. Usually these are included in any good eye test but both can affect eye health severely and have no symptoms in the beginning.

  5. I try to schedule my checkups for at the beginning of each new year, just because it is easier to remember that way. My checklist is: mammogram, PAP, physical exam (it is mostly just blood work to check cholesterol, thyroid, blood sugar, etc...), opthomologist, and dental. I almost always get called back for more extensive tests from my mammogram because I am prone to cysts. I was called back a few years ago after an abnormal PAP and found I have HPV. Sometimes I go back every 6 months for that because they want to make sure it doesn't turn into cervical cancer. So please do maintain your checkups!

  6. I agree check ups are very important. I had a similar experience with a Melanoma on my nose. Now I have a check up with a skin doctor who analysis's my skin on a computer. I am also regular with dental appointments.

  7. Bonjour my chic one,
    Not an appointment as such but it is always worth while penciling in your diary a monthly self check of your breasts, in my opinion, as then you cannot forget to do it and you know when the last one was so if any changes have occurred you can offer more detailed information to your GP if, god forbid, the need to should arise.
    Hannah x

  8. Yes, definitely all the check-ups are a must but also listening to your instincts (as you did) when you feel that something isn't quite right with your body and doing something about it.

  9. I believe it's important to have our vitamin D level checked. If you protect yourself from the sun always (which you probably do with your melanoma history) then you likely don't get enough vitamin D. When I was checked several years ago, my reading was very low and I had to supplement and get some sun--I was able to get it up to an acceptable level. Important for bone density, among other things.

  10. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful comments. I have made notes and feel happy that I have a comprehensive checklist that I am scheduling in.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...