This time of year most of us are planning on getting our campers and Tow vehicles or toads in shape for camping. We are changing oil and putting in new batteries and cleaning awnings and all the other stuff to get ready for the spring, summer camping season. One of the biggest things that we forget to do is take the time and get ourselves checked out. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t expect your camper to tow well (or safely) with the wheels damaged or tires bald would you? Well, how to you think you can safely camp if your own wheels (legs) are having problems?
So I would like to encourage all of you to go see your doctor and have a check up. Think of it as your ten-thousand mile maintenance for your body. But what most of us don’t know is how to approach a check up. To be honest, most of us are afraid of our doctors. Folks, they are just people too…. Heck, some of them even like to camp; ask them you maybe surprised. But how do you get the most out of your doctors visit?
- First, try to have a doctor that you like and feel comfortable with; if your doctor is rude and won’t listen to you or ignores you, it is time to find another doctor!
- Take your medications, all of them, even the over the counter ones, and ask if this is what you should be taking, especially if you have medications from more than one doctor. You may find doctors have given you similar medications and you are taking too much for your condition.
- Discuss any recent problems you are having. Those chest pains that come and go should be discussed; that is the only way the doctor can help you. If you don’t bring it up, they can’t help you.
- Discuss what activities you are planning to do and if you are in good enough shape to perform them, very important to know for us campers which is a little more active than say going to a motel for the weekend.
- Also, ask what you could be doing to get into better shape. I bet your doctor would love you to ask if you could walk more. Or if a change in diet would make you feel better.
- Finally take a list of questions with you; it doesn’t have to be more than a few and probably should be less than say 20 or 30. These can be things like, should I avoid doing anything because of my new back problems? (My doctor said don’t shovel snow or sweep with a broom, sounds good to me)
These basic points should help you plan your trip to the doctor and relieve some tension. Just remember your doctor would like to keep you around for a long time… you are his customer and provide his pay check and most of them know it. But if you just show up and don’t say much, he can’t read your mind (or like my case She can’t read your mind!)
Also think of it this way, you and your family should feel safer knowing that you are physically ready for the summer and the fun you are going to have. Here is another idea, make it a family affair and both you and your spouse (and kids if they need it) go and get checked out and then you both should feel better.
That being said wish me luck, I am going to talk to my doctor today about my ankle and rehabbing it and my new finding of Gout! See, I am trying to do as I say!
Your Obedient Servant,
Gary Smith, Jr.