Ever get up from a chair and get that catch in your leg where you have to take 3 or 4 steps to get going? Maybe you need to sit on the side of the bed in the morning before you get up. The once spicy foods that you still love don’t love you anymore. Fingers hurt and swell for no reason. As you think back on life, you start to get depressed. You get up suddenly and have to hold on to the chair to steady yourself.
These and other things are signs that we sometimes ignore and lump all under the tent of “getting older”. This may not always be the case. As women of a certain age, we find ourselves still telling our grown children when they need to see a doctor about something. We take our husbands when we feel they are in need of medical attention. But leave it to us to diagnose ourselves, and prescribe our medications for “getting older”.
Our reasons for self-diagnosis are many. Below are a few things we tell ourselves when it comes to our healthcare along with questions and statements we should think about.
- I know what the problem is–what medical school did you graduate from?
- I have to pay a copay or I haven’t met my deductible–if you never use your health insurance, you will never make your deductible.
- I can live with the pain–to some people, aging means pain is now a part of life.
- The medicine is gonna cost a lot–talk to your doctor/pharmacist to see if there are cheaper alternatives like generic brands or special programs to assist you.
- My doctor doesn’t listen–simply find another doctor. It will take a little research, but you are worth it. She may have been the best doctor for you when you were in your 40’s, but may not be the best one now. You found another hairdresser.
- My insurance doesn’t cover that test–again, research the test you need, and you would be surprised how much the price fluctuates. There are free screenings available for cancer, kidney, memory, dental, and more.
- I have to ask my children/husband to drive me–you drove them.
- I don’t hurt, I just don’t feel good. I don’t have any energy. I seem to always be sad–hormones maybe, depression, effects from illnesses such as Covid, etc.
Things do happen as we mature, but we know our bodies better than anyone else including the doctor. We need to become our best healthcare advocates. A friend of mine writes down things that seem out of wack and takes them to the doctor with her. I type mine up (that’s the business educator in me).
You are your best healthcare advocate. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, we are now the Golden Girls–let’s have as much fun as they did.