For places like the U. S. where healthcare is super expensive, it is understandable for people to opt-out of seeking preventative healthcare services when there isn’t any apparent problem. Even with healthcare insurance coverage, the inconvenience and break in routine may be enough for some people to skip visiting the doctors.
But there who are 3 types of healthcare professionals who are worth further consideration for routine visits.
The first and most important is a primary care physician.
I was one of those who had a PCP and sufficient insurance coverage, but I only saw my doctor when there was a problem.
I recently began taking advantage of my Healthcare insurance by getting annual physicals and routine blood work. If I had not made this decision, there was no way that I’d know my cholesterol levels were elevated. My LDL cholesterol was at 101 mg/mL (Below 100 mg/mL is ideal).
This was probably the case due to eating way too many cheesesteaks, pizza, and red meats – oh and the occasional block of cheese.
My rationale was that “I work out almost every day, this won’t hurt.” My love for cheesesteaks blinded me from the truth. I was not immune to the risks of cardiovascular disease.
The last thing I want is to be disabled from a stroke or heart attack. I see patients having their life turned upside down at the most unexpected time and have tons of stories of independent, working individuals ending up wheelchair-bound or worse.
This was an eye-opener for me. Since receiving my last blood test results, I have made more conscious decisions about what I put in my body.
While I still indulge in pizza, buffalo wings, and cheesesteaks. These occasions are in moderation. Just the other day, my wife gave me the seal of approval as I actually dabbed some of that good old grease off my pizza. She could hardly believe it.
I am now proud of taking action to live healthier all due regularly visiting my PCP. My insurance pays for 1 routine complete blood count (CBC) per year.
All I have to do is show up.
I was worse with visiting the Dentist compared to my PCP, so that says a lot.
I’m a bit of a weirdo as I rarely indulged in candy when I was younger.
Because I don’t have any sweets frequently and take care of my teeth by flossing each night and brushing twice a day. I thought I would never need to go see a dentist.
Of course, this was until I was enjoying some chicken and accidentally chipped one of my molars on a chicken bone and developed an infection.
I sought out a dentist, who was horrified that I hadn’t seen one in over 10 years. Thankfully, she noted all I needed was a crown from the chipped tooth and some fillings as decay was setting in.
They also said my gums were healthy but were concerned about some of my wisdom teeth impacting my molars. They discovered that all 4 of my wisdom teeth were misaligned and close to impacting the roots of adjacent teeth. One of my wisdom teeth was also completely upside down which can lead to bigger problems in the future.
They provided me with invaluable advice.
Never needing a dentist? I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I continue to brush, floss, and now added mouth wash to my routine. I now see my dental hygienist regularly.
I want to keep all my teeth as long as possible, mainly because I love to eat.
You didn’t think I would leave this out, did you?
Being a PT myself, I feel terrible whenever my patients express the regret of not seeing a physical therapist sooner, especially if their problem is a relatively simple fix.
My recommendation for everyone is to get PT whenever there is a lifestyle change. These include when you decide to start running, going into retirement, a new line of work, or considering pregnancy.
PTs do not only focus on rehabilitation from injuries, surgeries, and disabilities, but we are also injury prevention experts.
I find many people live their life in mild to moderate pain and fail to take action until the pain becomes overbearing.
Don’t let this be you. Simple fixes can become complicated if you let them go on too long.
Art is the founder of Flexcents, a blog created in 2018 to help others reach their fitness and financial goals through sharing insights as a physical therapist, personal finance nerd, and self-directed investor.