“Have you considered eating just one square of chocolate and saving the rest?” She asked.
My answer was swift, succinct and emphatic.
Oh, wait, maybe she wasn’t really asking me so much as suggesting this might be a way forward?
I get it now.
And if my will-power hadn’t been disappearing at the same rate as sleep in the last few years I might be willing to give it a go but, as it stands, I think a Plan B is needed.
Luckily, the lovely health care assistant I saw during the dreaded “midlife” *cry* MOT at my GP surgery had some other suggestions – including healthier, energy-boosting snacks.
Like most people, I imagine, I only really go to the doctor when I’m ill – and sometimes not even then. The thought of going for a general health check, offered free to those over 40, felt a bit alien. I’d also read several stories about a study which suggested there were only “marginal benefits”.
Still, while I feel like I’m in pretty good health at the moment, I am an older mum, there’s no getting away from that, and I want to make sure I’m around for Freya as long as possible.
What harm could having a quick check do?
The big thing I was worried about was my weight. If you calculate my BMI I’m technically obese but it’s not like I don’t know. I have scales and a mirror. I felt being told exactly how much I need to lose might actually be more than a little discouraging, especially as I’m working on it (I run, walk a lot and chase Freya about most days). As it happened though, aside from the chocolate advice, it was all really positive.
I went for the blood test and then two weeks later followed up with a 30-minute appointment.
Right away she started off with good news.
“Your cholesterol levels are lovely and low,” she said with a smile.
I felt myself relax a bit.
We then talked about my veggie diet, lifestyle choices and exercise before I had to hop on the scales, have my waist measured and my height checked.
I had warned her that I knew my weight would be an issue and she confirmed that was the case but rather than make me feel horrible and self-conscious we chatted through the causes of my over-eating (which I know is a complete luxury) and ways I might look to improve it.
She then calculated my risk of a heart attack in the next 10-years, which came out at 1.24%, which sounded pretty good to me, and told me I could be “quietly pleased”. I know it’s not a guarantee of good health and a long life but I felt like if anything had been especially wrong I would have known and could work on it, like I am doing (slowly) with my weight.
I came out smiling, which is more than I can say for when I went in.
What do you think? Are general health checks worth it?