Women routinely have to deal with a different number of illnesses – abdominal cramps during period, combined with leg cramps, breakouts on the face and back ache. And add to the list, heavy and lumpy breasts before and after a period, dizziness and nausea during pregnancy, hot flashes, irritability and night sweats during menopause.
Overtime, we learn to deal with these things; take mild pain killers, herbal tea, or just ignore them and refocus on more pressing sectors of our lives, except of course you can’t manage the pain and it feels like some part of you will burst with pain soon.
Our bodies, however, try to send us signals amidst all the other raging menstrual, premenstrual, pregnancy or menopausal symptoms. And because we’ve become experts at dealing with them, we shove all these signals together at the expense of our health.
How do you filter the signals?
Simply by paying more attention. Is the lump in your breast definitely as a result of your coming period? Do you check your breasts at other times? Have the breakouts on your face not been there longer than usual? Shouldn’t the night sweats be gone by now?
Sometimes these questions actually present themselves in our heads and we don’t pay enough attention. Nobody knows your body like you. You should be the first to raise eyebrows in concern.
What about all the false alarms?
It can be frustrating going to the hospital, waiting a long time to see the doctor only to be told you have indigestion and get drugs along with a pamphlet on why pathogens make you sick. Sometimes you’re so certain there’s a problem and you find out instead that you just haven’t had that completely normal experience before. ‘One more time’, you say in your head as you drive back home.
Notwithstanding, you have a responsibility to yourself to investigate (talking to professionals) any oddity in your body.
Making your personal wellness check records
I haven’t found anything that beats writing stuff down. Mental notes fade when I need them and reappear when I don’t. With the help of your doctor, you can make your own health checklist which would include required routine checkup, vaccines you may have to take, preventive tests and so on and forth. This would keep you up to date on your health, a reminder for what needs to be done; a medical history record for what has been done.
Required routine checkup
Appointments with the dentists (as advised by them), opticians and women’s health exams should be recorded in your checklist. This will make sure you have details and dates for all the different ones in one book.
Preventive health measures
Often times, health practitioners advise us to take certain tests or vaccinations as preventive measures. Blood sugar, hemoglobin, and cholesterol levels should be entered in your book along with dates and future appointments. Mammograms and pap smear tests, HCP vaccines and so on should have their own corner as well.
Observations and concerns
Whether temporal or short lived, unusual occurrences in your body should be recorded especially as you grow older. It would make it easier to see patterns, remember details and communicate effectively about them when you do see a doctor.
The internet is helpful; so much information from the comfort of your home or office. But don’t always rely on it when it comes to your health, given that there are often so many similar symptoms for different ailments. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.
One incredible thing about having your personal health checklist and records is that overtime, it could help your doctor understand your body better because you have all your details documented. Amazingly we have records and checklists for businesses, fitness and diet plans, decorations and weddings. This health book keeping is essential as well, if not more than the rest of them all.