Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I want to see a doctor, too!
I have a confession to make. I haven't seen my primary care doctor in almost two years. I'm relatively young and healthy, but I'm a believer in the annual visit. Those visits are not just for Pap smears, colonoscopies, and mammograms. It's just plain healthy to spend 30 minutes talking about your health with a doctor at least once a year. My primary care clinic is in a community health center, and I see a large percentage of young African American men. I usually don't run any tests, but we spend the majority of the time talking about safe sex, wearing seat belts, guns in the home, and developing good eating habits. (You won't believe how often young single guys eat fried chicken! Learn how to make a sandwich, guys!)
Anyway, so I haven't seen my doctor in a while. I actually made two appointments to see him last year. Making an appointment is half the battle since I have to remember to call during office hours and then find a day when both he and I are free. Sadly, I forgot to go to both appointments! I know I'm a bad patient. That's what happens when I schedule them on my one day off a week and then get so excited about sleeping in that I forget.
Instead, I try to monitor my health myself. I know what I'm supposed to be doing, but sometimes people, including doctors, need an authoritative voice to push them in the right direction. For the past two years without my doctor pushing me to take care of myself, I've turned to Oprah. I'm an avid Oprah watcher, and I really enjoy her medical shows. I'm sure I'm not the only American getting my health information from her gurus Drs. Mehmet Oz and Christiane Northrup. I even took Dr. Oz's Real Age Quiz. Despite my lack of exercise, I'm surprisingly one year younger than my real age, but I took the tips the website had to offer to heart. I went to a yoga class on my day off, and I've started flossing again as it was one of those habits that went by the wayside during intern year. I'm still working on the fruits and vegetables. Getting in five servings a day is hard work!
I'm a big fan of Dr. Oz although part of me feels strange about getting my medical information from a cardiac surgeon on television. So, I called my doctor's office today. His first appointment ins October 15th, but my first weekday off after that isn't until November. See you in three months, doc!