Last Friday I visited a primary care physician for the first time. Yes, it’s true I haven’t had a regular doctor of my own since the small town practitioner I saw as a child whose office was out of his house and who saw us once a year when we got the flu or cold. I think the last time I saw him was when I had the measles or chicken pox. His name was Doctor White by the way, and I attended grade school with his grand daughter. She had chicken pox at the same time I did.
In the past, I’ve been lucky enough not to have to see a doctor. I’ve treated my annual cold or stomach flu with over the counter meds. And only recently did I go to an Urgent Care clinic – once for bronchitis and another time for a bum foot that I had sprained. I’d say I’ve lived a pretty healthy life.
But turning 36 this year got me to thinking it was probably time to find and see a regular doctor. I admit I was nervous at first, but opened up once I met the doctor. I discussed my health and concerns with ease. He even wrote a prescription for me for another med to help with my foot, which has still given me a bit of pain since the fracture I had last October.
After taking two vials of blood, I left feeling really good about myself and for having done this. I also learned I knew my correct weight, but had writing down my height wrong all these years. I always said I was 6’1″, when in fact I’m 5’11” (and a half). So I’ve been wrong all my life or was mismeasured at some point or I shrunk.
Today, I got my results from the blood work. My glucose was in good shape which means I’m not diabetic. My cholesterol was slightly off, but not in the need of medication at this time. My good cholesterol was well….good, and my bad cholesterol was not too terribly bad, but it could be better. I also tested negative for HIV, which was very important to me being a gay man.
In the end, I felt really good about taking this step for myself to being healthy and knowing what condition I’m in. And of course, getting good results made it even better. I’d highly advise anyone else out there who doesn’t have a primary care physician to seriously consider taking this step. Ask your friends or loved ones to give you a referral, or check with your HR office about local doctors in your area.
Having a regular physician who knows you is important. It will also save you time and money when you do become ill. To visit Urgent Care, I have to pay a $50 deductible. My new physician only charges $30. Now, when I’m sick I have peace of mind that I have a doctor to contact who will know my history and my health. And for that, I know my own health better as well.