The Convincing Need to Test Ourselves

We go to the doctor when we feel sick.  We hardly go see the doctor when we are healthy.  If we’re feeling all right, we think we’re okay; we don’t see the immediate need to get ourselves checked. 

Health experts have repeatedly advised us to get ourselves examined at least once a year.  We’re supposed to have our blood chemistry assessed for such things as glucose and cholesterol.  We’re also supposed to undergo a colonoscopy when we reach the age of 40.

But we don’t.  We feel good so why the need?

We check our cars more than we check ourselves.  We look under the hoods of our automobiles to see if they have enough coolants in their radiators and enough fluids for the power steering & automatic transmission.  We see if our cars’ tires are properly inflated, and we dip the dipstick to know if we have sufficient oil in our engines. 

We upgrade our kitchens and bathrooms.  We remodel our houses, and we maintain our gardens.  We bring our pets to the veterinarian to get them vaccinated so they’d be safe against pathogens.    

But we procrastinate when it comes to scheduling our once-a-year physical or dental appointment. 

Our doctors can only diagnose and prescribe treatment when they have available up-to-date data about our bodies. If we’re going to prevent future illnesses, doctors need to get information about our health.  We shouldn’t wait to be sick to find out how we can stay fit. 

Other than the money and time we’d have to spend, we dread the discomfort of annual physical exams and laboratory tests.  Blood chemistry tests often require overnight fasting from food & beverages.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography & computed tomography (PET-CT) scans usually require preparations such as a limited diet and fluid intake hours beforehand.  We also need to restrict eating and take laxatives before a colonoscopy.  So-called executive physical examinations usually require an overnight stay at the hospital. 

Health examinations are not only inconvenient but also uncomfortable. We, therefore, try to put them off as much as possible.  There’s not as much pain in checking our cars & pets and in renovating our houses as much as there are in physical exams. 

We try to tell ourselves that it’s worth it to regularly have our bodies checked.  We know if we don’t get tested or examined, we risk serious ailments from diseases that would be harder to cure than it is to prevent.  We need to tell ourselves that whatever discomfort & inconvenience we’d get from an exam would be far easier to endure than whatever expensive and painful medical treatment we’d suffer through from a sickness we could have avoided. 

It’s not just about the tangible resources we’ll be spending but also the intangible investment of time, convenience, and comfort.  Investments aren’t just about money or resources spent but how we prioritise our time and relationships. 

How true is the adage:  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

About Ellery’s Essays

Published by Ellery

Since I started blogging in 2019, I've written personal insights about supply chains, operations management, & industrial engineering. I have also delved in topics that cover how we deal with people, property, and service providers. My mission is to boost productivity via offering solutions and ideas. If you like what I write or disagree with what I say, feel free to like, dislike, comment, or if you have a lengthy discourse, email me at ; I'm also on LinkedIn:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: