Who is excited about their Annual Doctor Exam?
I know I'm not. I live in a smaller community. Even though we have great acceptance of several healing modalities here, our medical professionals are not in the same place. They don't understand a lot of it and have spent many years handing out prescriptions with a long list of possible side effects.
I've been going in for my yearly annual exam since I've been an adult. For most of those years, I would go along with what was recommended by my doctor. That's what we are supposed to do, right? Well, that's what I thought up until the last three and a half years. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe medical professionals have a place in our society. Especially for emergencies, surgeries and such. I also believe they are in auto pilot handing out prescriptions when lots of things can be healed or improved with food and/or movement and meditation. The reason medication is handed out is because it's easy. Easy for the doctor, easy for the patient.
If medical professionals would ask about the whole person it would help. They are always focused on the physical body, what about the mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic bodies? What is going on in those realms? What is the body being fueled with? What would happen if more fresh food was eaten and processed food?
I am going to go on a bit of a tangent. You may be thinking to yourself, but "look" at you. If you did as you are speaking, you would "look" differently. You would have a slim body (because thinness is a sign of health, right?). Well...about 9 years ago I went on a weight loss journey. I was highly successful in the eyes of my doctors, family and friends. The first year, there was a 100 lb weight reduction. The following year, another 55 lbs reduction. This came at a cost. My life revolved around my exercise and weight watcher schedule. I was going to Jazzercise 3, sometimes 4 times a day. You can say I was addicted. This type of addiction is okay, right? Well, not necessarily. I definitely was not listening to my body. I had all kinds of cheerleaders from all directions because my body "looked" healthy. I was given charms, awards and prizes for the weight reduction.
What wasn't known is that I was also binging and purging. That behavior started in my teen years and then was really present during the weight loss phase of life. Even though it wrecked my physiology--I looked good on the outside. In weight watcher standards I was still 50--70 pounds from my goal weight which meant I was obese. Why? I am 5'11" and my weight watcher low was 221 lbs. This picture was taken in December 2010 with my niece and my grandma. I was super excited about fitting into this cute off-white dress. This is the "Obese" me. A label happily placed on my body by the medical community.
Several things happened in 2011 and 2012. I describe it as "life happened and turned my world upside down." My weight started creeping up. The difference between now and then, is now I am healthy. The healthiest I've ever been, however, my body size doesn't match my medical records. The picture to the left is me at convention last week.
Getting back to my blog topic. I was avoiding going to the doctor because last year I felt like I had to defend all my actions or lack there of. I had to explain why I have chosen not to get the flu shot. I had to explain that I didn't want to go for a mammogram on a yearly basis. I had to explain I hadn't been ill with a cold or suffered from seasonal allergies. I didn't feel heard. I felt judged. Not because anything was 'wrong' with me, but because my body is the wrong size-according to societal and medical values.
I drug myself into the doctor's office this week for annual exam. She asks, "So did you get sick a lot over the winter?" I replied, "No, other than that incident with my eyes in January." She says, "Did you get your flu shot?" My reply, "No." She looks over at me with a suspicious glare and then says, "What about allergies, have you been suffering from them?" My reply, "No." She reviews my blood work and says, "Oh, your cholesterol dropped." Nothing has ever been wrong with my cholesterol. My level just improved.
She looks in my file says, "I'm not finding the results of your mammogram in here, did you get one?" My response, "No." She says, "You really need to go get one." She starts to review the supplements I am taking. She asks about my water and caffeine intake. I say, "I mostly drink water. On occasion I will have kombucha or some tea, but drink of choice is water." She said, "I tried kombucha once, it tasted like flavored pickle juice." I said, "Well if it tasted that way to me, I wouldn't like it either." She continues with my exam, takes my blood pressure, listens to my lungs and heart, gets pap swabs, tells me we will finish up with me dressed. She asks some more questions about my health history. Then she looks at me and says, "What I really want to know is why has your blood pressure dropped since the last time I saw you?"
There has never been anything wrong with my blood pressure. It's never been high. On that day, it happened to be 120/62. I actually thought it would be higher than my normal considering I didn't want to be there.
I was shocked by her question. I said, "Well I have been practicing sound and vibration therapy, perhaps that contributed to lowering it since it is a known benefit."
It wasn't until later that I thought about everything that I do for self-care and how I'm sure all of it contributes to a normal blood pressure.
Over the last four years, I have learned to love my body. It's been a process and some days it's still difficult, but overall, I am grateful for everything my body can do and has done. I regularly practice self-care. My rituals are quite varied. My day begins with water and Ningxia Red. Followed by some supplements infused with essential oils. Of course my daily practice of using essential oils to support different body systems both topically and aromatically. At some point in the day, I find movement. It looks different each day; some days yoga, some days group classes, some days just walking. I find time to practice meditation. I practice sound and vibration therapy. Journaling has a dear place in my heart. I spend time with friends. I relish my time alone. Just recently this blogging aspect has come back.
I am so glad this year's annual exam is over. What about you? Do you look forward to your annual exam? Comment below with any tips or suggestions of your favorite medical professional. Extra points if they are nearby me.