I just completed my Mayo Clinic Executive Health Physical. Colonoscopy, endoscopy, full history and physical – the whole shooting match. Two days of being poked and prodded and examined and questioned. This is at least the fourth time I have done this. Fortunately, Dr. Rodriquez said that on almost every measure I am healthier than or as healthy as I was 2 years ago. We are waiting on some tests and cultures to come back, but it seems very positive.
As I was waiting to see my doctor on Tuesday and looked around the waiting room, I wondered how many people treat themselves and their health as respectfully and kindly as they treat their most prized possessions. You take your car to get serviced because you want to take care of that asset. Do you give the same love and care to yourself? My Harley is a most prized possession. How foolish would it be if I treated it better than I treated myself? Clearly, I am not one of those men that refuses to go to the doctor. My preference is for my Harley to last a while…seems like I should take care of it. Seems like I should do the same for myself.
So what’s it going to be? Take your health for granted until it backfires on you or spend the few hours of inconvenience and discomfort to get yourself in order? As my GI doctor said, “Yeah, colonoscopy prep is uncomfortable, the procedure is awkward…but colon cancer is much worse. Oh yeah – and it often kills you.” So here are my 5 steps to making your health matter. (This is not medical advice because I am not a doctor, it’s just what I’ve learned for me and I am sharing it for you.)
1. Spend the time, energy and money every 1 or 2 years and get a FULL physical…blood work; the whole 9 yards.
2. If you are 50 or older get a colonoscopy. Two of my friends escaped cancer because they finally submitted to my relentless badgering.
3. Don’t become a hypochondriac but pay attention to your body and don’t ignore symptoms.
4. Inflammation is the enemy (look it up and do things that reduce it.)
5. Build a good relationship with a world class physician.