Article first published as The Importance of Regular Check-Ups on Technorati.
My sister, a 33-year-old mother of four, who had just gave birth six months ago to twin boys, passed away on February 8th of this year. It came as a shock to us.
Jessica wasn’t in bad health, in fact she spent countless hours of her life prior to pregnancy in the gym where she was a personal trainer. When she wasn’t helping someone with their body goals she was obsessively working on her own. The worst of her habits were smoking on and off, not always eating appropriately and not seeing a physician regularly; mostly due to lack of insurance.
So when Jessica started having breathing difficulties it made perfect sense that her doctor gave her an inhaler and blamed asthma, according to previous doctor’s she was asthmatic. But, then her lymph nodes became quite visible on the side of her neck, about 5 to be precise. Her doctor said that it was nothing to worry about she had just coughed too hard for too long. After another couple weeks passed the doctor finally scheduled an appointment for an X-Ray. That’s when it got ugly in a hurry.
Wednesday she had the X-Ray and was prompted to go to the hospital. After three days of testing, the doctor’s came up with … 10-15 lesions on her liver, liquid around her heart and lungs and stage 4 breast cancer. We all cried at this diagnosis, it was heart-wrenching to say the least.
I spoke with her daily until Monday, when she couldn’t talk because of breathing treatments and such. By this time they had drained her lungs twice and she informed me she was feeling better afterward. Her boyfriend told me he will call me later that night or first thing Tuesday morning because they would be moving her to another room in the hospital. I didn’t get that call, instead I got a call around 5pm on Tuesday evening.
My heart sank as my mother said the words I had prayed I would never hear in my life, “Your sister died.” Of course I screamed and cried and asked when and how and why. While draining her lungs for the third time she went into cardiac arrest and they couldn’t save her.
Had she seen a doctor for regular exams could she have been saved? I honestly don’t know. But, it makes perfect sense to get regular check-ups and not just wait until you are extremely ill. I, myself haven’t kept up with my exams due to lack of insurance as well and now all I can think is I would rather make payments for the rest of my life to a hospital than be debt-free and dead. Ladies, get those check-ups they are more important then you realize. Why take a chance, schedule those appointments ASAP. Stop procrastinating because one day that tomorrow you are waiting for won’t be there.