Yesterday, a friend of our family's passed away from a heart attack. It was very unexpected and sudden and she was only 53 years old.  It became a wake up call for another family member to finally call her doctor and make an appointment for a full physical. For the last few months, this family member had been experiencing a multitude of physical ailments including dizziness, lightheadedness, aches and pains, among other things. We all have been telling her to just call the doctor. But because of other things going on in life, calling the doctor became the bottom of her priority list.

Nothing irks me more than when people complain about not feeling well or some part of their body aching but doing nothing about it. Even hearing "I have to make a doctor's appointment for an annual physical" and not doing it bothers me.  I know I have my own physical ailments to worry about and I shouldn't let others' procrastination bother me but I can't help it. I'm talking about people I love and care about. Just as they want me to live a long and happy life, I want the same for them.

Because of my Lupus, it's normal to have to see my rheumatologist every 3 months for a check-up, even if I'm feeling well.  Most times I never make it 3 months before having to call my doctor because of something weird going on with my body or I'm calling one of my other doctors (pulmonologist, neurologist, etc.).  During the first couple of years of my diagnosis, I would have 3 or 4 doctors appointments (sometimes more) a month and a variety of tests each month also. I felt like my health was my other full time job. What I would give to only have to see one doctor a year!  Sure you may have to take a test here or there but compared to all the testing most Lupus patients (or anyone with a life-long illness) have to go through, a test here or there is a walk in the park.

So please, don't wait until something bad happens to realize that you have to take care of yourself.  Make the time to care for yourself and encourage others to do the same. 

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