Being proactive about one’s health

One of my good friends and I went to the ‘All About Women’s Health’ convention today in downtown Nashville – a free all day event that catered to the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health of us ladies. We got there in time to witness the hour-long show put on by the Divabetics, which proved to be an entertaining show on living with diabetes. Who knew you could plan a workout based on your feather boa? 

Of course, Vanderbilt Medical Center was well-represented, providing free health screenings. There were 3 routes of age-appropriate health screenings/tests. “Route 20” for us youngsters was mostly information on HPV, pregnancy, and STDs. “Route 30” added eye/vision tests, smoking cessation and mammogram information, and “Route 40” had information on colon cancer, grip strength tests and bone density screenings. After getting through the initial round of blood pressure, BMI, and bloodwork (glucose and cholesterol), we quickly ran to Route 40 to get our bone density measured. I’ve always said I was old at heart, and it guess this just proved it. Am I concerned with anything related to sexual-health, like other 20-somethings? Heck no. Just tell me about my bones please! haha. We were actually insulted when the women running the bone density screening told us that this was a “waste of our time” and that the results “won’t tell us anything” since we apparently aren’t finished building bone mass until the age 32. Whatever. I don’t believe her anyway. 25 is the latest I’ve heard for bone mass accrual. And even if we haven’t reached our peak now – how on earth is it not helpful to see where you are? Because my friends, the US healthcare system is screwed up in being a completely reactive system that treats sick people, rather than a proactive system that keeps people healthy. But yes, my bone health is apparently good, as is my cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure. Unfortunately, there were no RDs anywhere to be seen in the convention, even though nutrition information was being discussed all over the place. A definite ‘RD Gap’ as my director would say – our profession really needs to work on making sure that our presence is seen much better throughout the community. 

So, all this to say that we should all be proactive about our health. Take action when there are health fairs / screenings in your community. Learn about what you tests you should be having at your age, and how often. And when you have a question, go to the correct healthcare professional. Do not believe everything your doctor says, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Doctors are not gods, they make many mistakes, and yet Americans seem to believe anything they say. Please don’t even get me started on this topic….

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