April Jeppson: Time to start taking care of myself better

Published 8:45 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Yesterday I went to my fourth doctor’s appointment within seven days. As I recently turned 40, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this my life now? Is this what it feels like to get old?” I giggled at the thought, but knew my reason for all the appointments were different than that. Aside from a strep test or to get vaccines, no one from my family has really seen a doctor in years. I’m not anti-doctor, I just don’t go unless I have to.

April Jeppson

It has been probably four years since I’ve been to the optometrist. We are all due for the dentist, and since my daughter will be 8 next month, it’s been almost that long since I’ve been in for a check-up. So when I went in for my exam, they had a whole list of tests and reports they wanted to run on me. I was instantly reminded why I don’t go in unless I have to.

All kidding aside, preventative care is super important. I can’t count all the stories I’ve heard of friends and family who caught something in it’s early stages simply by going to the doctor for something else. Although I’m an eternal optimist, I know that I’m not invincible, and it’s time I start taking better care of myself.

I have this thing about getting my blood drawn. Just the thought makes me start to feel woozy. I’ve had some bad experiences where they couldn’t find my veins. Heck, I used to cry when they would take my blood pressure because the feeling of the blood pumping in my arm would freak me out. I’m a willing patient, but man oh man, I really don’t like these things. I’m sure most people don’t like these things, but they do them anyway. I’m slowly learning how to do hard things. Very slowly.

At the eye doctor I learned that I need bifocals. I’ve known for about a year, but to have it medically confirmed, somehow made it seem more real. Currently I just toss my glasses up on the top of my head if I’m reading something up close, but if I plan on trading in my frames for contacts, I’ll have to get readers. I’m actually kind of excited. I’m already daydreaming about what kind of fun chain I’m going to get for my glasses. I want to be that cool old lady with the bright, beaded chain around her neck.

I still have a few more appointments in the upcoming weeks. Apparently when you go radio silent for a few years, they make you play catch up. I like the wisdom that age brings, but it’d be cooler if my body wasn’t slowly falling apart. I’m thankful that we live in a time where we have science and technology at our disposal. We can scan, probe, test and have read outs available that tell us what our bodies are doing. With all this knowledge we have opportunities to improve our health and not just blindly guess and hope for the best.

I’m not sure who said it, but this is one of my favorite quotes. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have a doughnut, but I’ll also make sure to schedule those scary doctors appointments.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.