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We’d all be caught up on our health maintenance checks.  You know what I’m talking about, the smash-a-gram, the skin check… the list continues to get longer when your over 50.

This thought occurred to me as I was up early this morning to take my dog for her annual checkup and shots.  She is always within a few weeks of being up-to-date and I realized I was late last weekend when I tried to get her groomed and you guessed it, she was like 4 days out of compliance on her shots.  And letting her back to the puppy spa was a hard no go.

And I thought to myself if I had to have my ‘shots’ up-to-date to get my hair done, by gosh, that appointment would happen.  Yes, I had been getting the friendly reminders via postcard, email, and text that I needed to make her appointment. Just like I get the friendly reminders from my health care providers.  So, why do I continue to struggle to get my maintenance health care appointments out of the way?

I could go to the obvious, I don’t have time, but that’s a cop-out.  The three doctors’ appointments that I never miss are my weekly visit to my chiropractor, my bi-annual visit to the dentist, and my annual eye check-up.

Why do I prioritize these visits?  One, I have a bad back and going to the chiropractor makes me feel better.  Two, I must be a little vain as I want my smile to be fresh and white – I love that just left the dentist feeling.  Plus, you can’t ever get out of the dentist’s office without your next appointment being on your calendar – that really helps too because I always snag that first-morning appointment.  And three, they don’t let me order more contacts without a current eye exam, even though my prescription has not changed in years.

So, as I’m thinking out loud through this… I realize I prioritize the doctor’s I see value in or that are required to get something I want like contacts.  So, that leads me to need to re-think my relationships with my other health care providers.  If I’m being honest, I have known for several years that I need to find a new primary care physician.  The one sort of positive, but mostly sad thing about our relationship is, if I call, he goes into full panic mode and if I can’t get to his office in like five minutes he wants me to go the ER because, and here’s the sad part, if I’m calling for anything other than scheduling a check-up it’s really, really bad.

My primary care doc is a fantastic doctor, everything is by the book, but that’s also sort of the problem.  It’s formulaic and it has only gotten worse after he sold out to a big hospital network.  Tests that used to be part of my annual check-up, now aren’t “needed.” I want to view health care providers as members of my care team but the challenge is I’m in charge of my health, no one else cares as much about it as me.  And that’s where the lack of time… time to schedule, time to attend doctors appointments, time to research, and time to put a plan in place around my health care comes into play, which all combines to lead me to procrastinate.

It’s too easy to keep putting it off until tomorrow or next week.  But all the stats show these health checks, these maintenance items really do pay off, so with that I’ve talked my self into getting off the sideline and finding some new docs and getting those appointments scheduled.  If you have been procrastinating like me, I hope this helps motivate you as well.

At the last Women with Dynamic Purpose conference, by popular demand, we added a Healthy Women Panel where we had several different practitioners sharing their stories followed by lively Q&A that could have gone on for the entire day.  We all know it’s important but still, struggle to get those appointments out of the way.  So, if you have tips on busting through putting it off, let your fellow dynamic women know.