Have you had your Annual Wellness Check-up?
If I am not in pain, I am healthy. Even though this statement is mostly untrue, surprisingly, it is a common mantra for most folk when it comes to matters health. It is actually common practice to only see your doctor when you feel sick, or are actually dying!
Have you ever been hospitalized or actually lost someone to a disease you believed would have been prevented by early discovery and proper care and management? Well, I have. I lost someone very close to me to prostate cancer. He woke up one day, and could not get out of his own bed! What was to be a normal work day became the beginning of a journey of pain and agony, in and out of hospital until the eventual consequence of the disease having been discovered at a very advanced stage eliminated all chances of remedy.
The emotional trauma and financial burden, both on you and your loved ones, that comes with the medical procedures associated with different preventable or manageable medical conditions should be enough a wakeup call for preventive healthcare.
Today, with more education and ease of access to information, preventative health care has saved lots of lives by empowering individuals about their own health. In a guided effort to lower their risk of various conditions and diseases, people are preemptively seeking medical advice on how to have a healthier lifestyle. A healthy diet, weight management and physical activity are some of the DIY ways to reduce mortality.
What is a health check-up?
A health check-up includes routinely run tests to check how well one’s body is functioning. The aim is to confirm that all bodily functions are okay, but also to offer advice on areas that may need attention.
This is for both the perceived healthy and sick person.
Some of the tests run include Cholesterol, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection, Colorectal Cancer Screening, Oral Health for Adults, Immunization Schedules, Skin Cancer, Prostate Cancer Screening, Viral Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
How do I prepare for it?
To get the most out of your annual checkup:
- List your health concerns and ask as many questions as satisfies you during the check-up
- List all the medications you are taking and discuss it with your doctor
- Get a copy of your medical records and your family medical history and make a list of previous doctors if you’ll be seeing a new doctor.
- If you have a health plan, review your health plan to understand your coverage. Advance discussion with the doctor to understand the tests/screenings that are usually run may be useful. You can always request that your doctor not perform tests not covered by your health plan.
What is in it for me?
Everyone who walks into an annual check-up session always hopes for a clean bill of health. Sometimes we don’t get it. Whereas this may be disheartening, receiving it with a positive attitude is a great start towards healing and a healthy lifestyle.
Having regular check-ups can help detect potentially life threatening health issues early enough. It is sad to note that most people with chronic health conditions don’t even know they have the disease, until it becomes a problem. Early detection affords you the best chance for getting the right treatment, quickly. This will help avoid any complications as a result of late discovery where in most cases the treatments will only be used for the short term management. By getting the correct health services, screenings, and treatment you are taking important steps toward living a longer, healthier life.
Regular check-ups save lives and money. In the long run, a condition detected early will reduce you total healthcare spending. According to the WHO, early detection of most forms of cancers before they are widespread can actually be treated successfully. When the conditions are at an advanced stage, they can only be managed, which means a constant outflow of money in an attempt to manage the condition until the patient dies. Loss of lives denies families of bread-winners, people of their loved ones and the economy for great human resources, (and the government of taxes JJ). Depletion of all resources on healthcare management denies those left behind of opportunities that would otherwise be harnessed by such resources.
The counseling that comes with every check-up also session is very useful. All check-ups have a counseling session, when you have a clean bill of health or not. In the case where you are healthy, you will be offered advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle or otherwise how to manage your conditions in cases where there is a potential health issue.
It only lasts 2-3 hours, or slightly more. It could be that today’s inconvenience buys you a lifetime of convenience. Take the step, get checked today.