If you’ve gone through life as one of those people who avoids going to the doctor at all costs, surprise! This is your sign to make yourself an appointment for your yearly physical with your doctor. Yes, you make a good point, going to the doctor is for sick people — but what about going to avoid getting sick altogether? Going for your yearly physical is not nearly as bad as you remember it being and once it’s done, it’s done for a whole year!
Medical History and So On
That questionnaire that takes about three pages (front and back) is not there to annoy you. It’s actually quite an important document because it’s your medical history, which can be compared against your previous documents to see if anything has changed recently. This includes bloodwork results, reasons for previous visits and extremes in weight loss or gain.
- Be as honest as possible! If you are asked if you smoke, don’t circle “no” if you vape. Your doctor needs to know it all, even if you think there are exceptions.
- Your family history is important, but it can be difficult to answer all of those questions if you’re unsure of all the details. Answer to the best of your ability, especially if you know for certain there is a family history of specific illnesses.
Below the Belt
The elephant in the room anytime you discuss the yearly physical is all the fun stuff that happens when the doctor checks your reproductive organs. You might be building this up in your head as The Reason you refuse to go to the doctor, but it’s time to let it go. Good sexual health is every bit as important as bodily health!
- It’s possible to be living with sexually transmitted diseases and not even be aware of it. Some STDs, like herpes or gonorrhea, often don’t show symptoms for years down the road. This is especially important to know if you have multiple sexual partners.
- Now’s your chance to ask your doctor any and all questions that you have. Remember, this is what they spent ten years going to school for — nothing you ask your doc will shock them.
Going to the doctor is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time, but it needs to be done. Preventing illnesses before they start is essential in keeping yourself healthy and alive for a long, long time.