The Colonoscopy: One of Many Important Preventive Health Screenings

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Today I had a colonoscopy. My last one was back in 2012.  Based on my medical history, my doctor recommends them every five years.  So, knowing that early detection saves lives, I scheduled it so I can start the new year with a clean colon. The picture above shows my first meal after after my colonoscopy, earlier today. It was steel cut oats and rolled oats with blue berries and raisins with one third cup of almond milk…that’s right, no sugar or sweeter. Though fruit can be considered a sweetener, I often eat my oatmeal without fruit.

Have you had a colonoscopy?

Do you make sure you get your preventive health screenings?

It is sad that people spend more time and money doing preventive maintenance on their car than on their body. Yes. Lots of people spend time and money making sure their car gets oil changes, expensive tires and rims, detailing, special upgrades, etc.

Some even spend more time planning their vacation(s) they do planning in areas that help with their quality of life now and in the future. From planning health screenings to planning healthier meals to planning some type of regular physical activity, the harsh reality is:  You either take the time NOW to take care of yourself, or “time will take you”.  For those of you who think:

-1) It cost too much to eat healthy.  I ask:  How much does it cost when you get sick? From the time off your job, to the cost of the medicine, to the cost of the doctor’s appointment, which cost less?

-2) I do not have time to work out, it is not safe to walk in my neighborhood, or it too far to go to walk at the mall; I ask: how much time do you spend finding out which cell phone to buy, how to download music, how to find the best weave and weed?  It is all about priorities!

3) I do not have any of those diseases in my family.  I am pretty healthy.  I never get sick.  Really?  Do you really know your family history? Relatives do not always share all of their illnesses.  Besides, some people die before the disease manifest itself.  Do you really want to take that chance?

When a person gets a long term illness someone has to go to the doctor and/hospital with them. Patients are not allowed to drive home from procedures that require anesthesia.  That means your illness, many are preventable, affect and inconvenience others. Diabetes and morbid obesity are two of the worst. They often require long-term regular treatments.

Some of the same people, who spend more time on car maintenance than their health care have health insurance.  Some of the most important preventive health checkups include:

– blood pressure checks: drug store and fire stations have free testing. High blood pressure often has no signs. So get periodic tests.

– mammograms are offered free by Susan G. Komen for those without healthcare, or can’t afford the deductible to get one. https://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Mammography.html

– prostate exams are given free by local clinics and Northside Hospital. Contact Northside at:  https://www.northside.com/prostate-cancer-screenings

– colonoscopies, under the current Affordable Care Act (also called ACA or ObamaCare) became a preventive procedure that is covered 100%. So for the past few years, there was no cost to those covered under ObamaCare.

– HIV tests are given free by several local organizations that include Aid Atlanta at http://www.aidarlanta.com or call 1-800-561-2728.  Also, HIV test kits are sold in most drug stores.

– Dental care is important because what happens in the mouth affects the entire body. Many local clinics offer low cost or sliding scale fees. Free clinics includes the Ben Massell Dental Clinic:   https://www.benmasselldentalclinic.org

-Vision care, especially test for glaucoma are criticahttp especially if you have diabetes.  Free vision care: http://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-exam/free-exam.htm

For low cost vision care, contact your local county. In Fulton County, use this link:  http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/vision-care

Other free health screenings are given annually at various health conferences that include cholesterol and blood sugar.  This is an examination of one: http://www.champsga.org/health-summit.htm

Preventive health screenings are the key to our quality of life as we continue to have more birthdays.  However, babies, teens, millennials, baby boomers and seniors need regular health screenings just as much as our homes need smoke detectors with a working battery.  Yes. It is that critical!  Therefore, I  challenge you to take the time to do what you need to do to prevent or catch diseases in their early stages so they can be treated early enough to allow you and your family members to have a good quality of life. Make it a priority in 2018 to get your preventive health screenings by scheduling one each quarter.

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