Health Check-Up: Just Do It

Going in to see the Dr. and getting yourself a physical is just like any other idea: some will be all for it, some entirely opposed and some will dither on it, intellectually knowing it’s a good idea but perhaps not taking action personally. Whether  you’re employed or seeking to become employed, getting that medical check-up is sound advice.

When you rely on a medical professional to check out your physical health you put yourself in the hands of an expert who might give you a clear diagnosis, point out a problem you were unaware of, or stress you take something seriously you haven’t been. In any of these three scenarios, you win.

I offer myself as an example this time around, rather than speaking of others I as oft do in my writings. Back in January of 2016, I weighed in at 225; the most I’d ever weighed. I decided to lose weight with the start of the new year, and I started to take seriously what went in my mouth and getting some exercise; nothing too strenuous as I knew my stamina for such things was weak. The weight started coming off and I was thrilled. I upped my intake of water to the point I was craving it; the colder the better. The weight kept coming off.

What I hadn’t changed was the sugar intake. To put them all in one sentence would make you think I should have known better, but I didn’t. I would indulge in soft drinks on the weekend the way some people down beers. I loved my licorice and jujubes, wine gums and chocolate; I just ate less of them.

As the weight dropped off, co-workers and some extended family members commented. In the beginning it was complimentary. However, the comments changed from complimentary to concerned. In August of 2016 I finally made an appointment to meet with my doctor. My weight was at 175 and I was proud. The doctor was certainly proud of me too! I remember him saying that only 1% of all the people who set out to lose weight actually take it off and keep it off so I had a lot to be proud of. I was there feeling great really, feeling fine and only in there to get the all clear so I could tell well-meaning people to stop worrying about my health and please stop talking to me as if I was dying.

Good thing I went to see the doctor though. After some blood work, I got a call which said come on in, the doctor wants a conversation. Turned out I had Diabetes type 2; the kind where you can manage it with diet and checking your blood sugar levels. I took the diagnosis like a slap in the face, but I took it seriously. I’d never smoked, drank alcohol – not even a sip – never taken drugs other than headache medication, so it didn’t seem fair. Ah well, no matter; I had diabetes.

I made a decision on the spot to drop all the juices, pops, candies and white bread etc. cold turkey. I saw a Dietician, took the 4 Metformin pills daily I was prescribed, and decided that since my diabetes came out of nowhere, it would not be managed as everyone said I would have to do, but rather my goal was to eradicate it. Foolish? Naïve? Maybe, but if in attempting to eradicate it I only managed it, so be it. But if I did get rid of it, then why not go for this result?

I really believe that this mindset worked for me personally. No cheating, no gradual change in diet – I was all in. After all, the alternative to doing nothing and carrying on eating the things I loved at that point was eventual amputation of toes, feet, ankles, lower limbs, thighs. Hmmm…. pretty easy decision.

So it came about in the spring of this year that my Diabetes Clinic Nutritionist and doctor called my sugar levels amazing and unheard of. I had become the poster boy for beating it. Well, I still to this day check the sugar levels but the I no longer have  to take the pills. My diet I’ve happily changed to include foods I’m not crazy about but happily cook and eat. Yes, the ones mom and dad told me to eat as a kid like broccoli and cauliflower, kale and spinach. I’ve come to love the grain breads with flax, and eat oats every single morning instead of white toast with jams and sugar cereals.

The result is a healthier me and that has made me increasingly consistent at work. My attendance which has always been excellent continues to be so, whereas without that visit to the doctor, who knows? I certainly would never have known about the diabetes diagnosis until perhaps it was too late to do much about it.

And yesterday? Yesterday I went for my second colonoscopy. Got the all clear for another 5 years too. Told people around the office I was going for it too. Why not? Maybe if one other person goes and has theirs as a result that would be a good thing.

Getting yourself to the doctor even when things seem all good is a great idea. If you’re out of work, look at now as the perfect time to take care of this so you have one more thing to sell to that potential employer; your good health!

Written By Kelly Mitchell

Health Check-Up: Just Do It was originally published @ Employment Counselling with Kelly Mitchell and has been syndicated with permission.

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