When I was younger, I hated dealing with problems. I put off doing homework as long as possible, ignored bills, and generally stuck my head in the sand when it came to issues I didn’t feel like facing.
Part of maturity means confronting issues; everything from paying the credit cards off every month to doing estate planning, regardless of how much I don’t want to do it. Something as small as making a dreaded but necessary phone call is no longer a big deal; I’ve learned it’s easier in the long run to deal with things right away than to let them fester and cause even bigger problems down the road.
There is a lot of cancer in my family. And by a lot of cancer, I mean ‘there’s a better chance that I’ll win the lottery than not have cancer at some point in my life.’ I can’t even begin to count the number of people I am related to who have either died from or are currently battling cancer, or who are in remission.
A few years ago, I had an abnormal PAP, which freaked me out. Beyond measure. It slammed me head-on into my mortality. The second PAP came back normal, which was reassuring, but it spooked me considerably.
Last year, when it was time to schedule my PAP, I balked. I don’t have a babysitter; it’s too hard to work around George’s schedule; the test will probably be wrong; if something is wrong, it’s better not to know. These lame excuses ran through my head and I continued to put it off. But I found myself waking at in the middle of the night, unable to think about anything else.
Finally I picked up the phone and made my appointment. My midwife, who is awesome, called me a few days later to let me know that the results were fine. The relief was immense, and I swore that I would never allow myself to stick my head in the sand again with regards to something as important as my health. After all, I have a responsibility to my husband and children to be around as long as I can.