I have come to the realisation that a number of my Blogs recently have been directed at, shall we say, an older and occasionally wiser generation. That said I had lunch a couple of days back with a young man, Hong Kong Chinese, who is definitely of the next generation and who I found refreshing, stimulating, capable of straddling the line between tradition and tech, and who gave me renewed hope for the future - unless Artificial Intelligence (A I) gets there first of course. But more of that meeting later … in another Blog perhaps.
But in this one, I wanted to get something off my chest (my waist line too come to that), and this is serious.
Along the general theme of "Ignorance is Bliss", I get continuously surprised by people of my generation, give or take plus or minus 12.5%, although particularly in the lower numbered ages, who do not take good care of themselves properly in the medical sense of the word. Not true, you will say. We are all very conscious today of what we have to do and eat. Just have a look below and tick the boxes that apply:
Watch the diet: ✔︎
Do some exercise: ✔︎
Remain mentally active: ✔︎
Annual Medical: x
The most common reason for the last one getting negative reviews? “Well, I’m never ill and I don’t want to disturb the doctor unnecessarily”. The chances are, though, that if you don't do something about regular check-ups you certainly will be disturbing the doctor - with cause! And what does it take - a few hours (very few) of your time. You just need to get to a medical centre somewhere that specialises in such things, and if you are fortunate enough to be in Asia then you have a variety of options (and prices, of course) at your disposal.
When I was in full-time employment, I was lucky enough to be “forced” into having an annual medical exam. So, when I retired I thought I should keep it going. Let’s face it, if you have a car that is ageing, most Governments these days require you to have it regularly tested to ensure that it remains roadworthy and to fix the parts that aren’t. It may be running along quite nicely on a day-to-day basis, but you don’t necessarily spot a worn tyre or brake pad.
So it is with our bodies. We think we are running along perfectly well, and suddenly the bottom falls out of everything and you find yourself in deep trouble - or worse, someone else finds you.
Which of course leads me into why I am now more than ever convinced that having regular health checks is a good idea. I was the recipient of news - some time ago now - as a result of my annual medical check that indicated a cancer marker was on the increase, and common sense together with a dose of self-preservation suggested I needed to pay attention.
Until writing this Blog, no-one outside my family (obviously excluding members of the medical profession who have been involved) had any idea about my diagnosis. I didn't want to make a fuss about it. It was a cancer of the sort that has a much better success rate of cure than others, particularly if you catch it in time. It was identified, monitored, scanned and has now been dealt with, hopefully fully successfully. Only time will tell of course but everyone involved is pretty confident. I would, prior to, during, and after this whole process, defy anyone to have identified that there was anything out of the ordinary with regard to my health.
And I would have happily kept it that way but my point is this. Through the whole process from start to finish I have not felt ill, weak, or in pain. I therefore would have seen no point whatsoever in going to see a doctor. However, if I had left it to grow and to get worse heaven knows what stage it might have got to before I became another potentially negative statistic.
Let's be realistic, can you be tested and be negative on day 1, only for something unpleasant to happen on day 2 - yes of course you can. But that tends to be the exception.
If your dearly beloved old banger (non native English speaking Brits might need to click the link for that one) needs a regular test to ensure that it is being lovingly maintained and cared for, doesn't it make sense for you to do the same? It's funny, most of the women I talk to about annual medical exams get it (but may not do it). But to everyone of at least a certain age - and even all you macho tough guys out there, do yourselves a favour and do something - if not at least for you but for your families and loved ones - and get a regular check up.
This truly is a case where ignorance may not be bliss at all.