Training Articles

Know your Road to Health

The Vital Signs - Family Medical History, Your 'Numbers', and Your Screenings

I know that we all know numbers--but usually useless ones. You probably know your first test score in 5th grade, the miles on your car right now, and the price of gas. For men, it's their last five golf scores, and for women--what the scale said last Tuesday.

But when you need to recall the important numbers, the life and death digits---nothing. What about BMI, HDL, LDL, PSA, blood sugar? Do you know your blood pressure?

What about those screenings--- Colonoscopy, Mammogram and Breast Exam, DEXA scan, PSA and Rectal Exam? When was your last physical? Eye and hearing test? Don't tell me you skipped your flu shot last year?

What are you thinking? You have so much to live for.

What about great grandpa? What did he die of? Does your mother have osteoporosis? What about Uncle Henry? How's his prostate? And oh yeh, Dad did have heart problems, but you forgot to tell the doctor. I know these are personal questions and they don't make for good dinner conversation. But you need to know your family medical history.

You can die of colon cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and heart disease. You will not die of embarrassment. What are you waiting for?

WE work so hard on life. Plug away at the office. Run and walk, play tennis and golf. We try stair machines, treadmills, elliptical things. And the dieting! ---lo-carb, Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers. But no matter how much you try, and how much you weigh, you've still missed 50% of your job.

You see, cancers are secret killers. One day the phone rings. It may be for you. And it's cancer. Just like that. Nothing hurts; you don't have a fever; you feel just fine, thank you. But hold it right there buster: you didn't get that PSA exam and you've been putting off that colonoscopy (Who wants to have diarrhea all day?).

There's more. One day your heart just gets tired. No, not someone else's, but yours. You can't understand it. You never had ice cream for breakfast. You floss. You try to stay healthy. But come to think of it, you ignored that high blood pressure, thought you could diet away that high cholesterol. What was that number again? And now you're in an ambulance, praying the Our Father-please-make-the-chest-pain-go-away-NOW prayer.

Now is the time.

It's never too late to be that healthy person you want to be. If you think you can escape all these insidious diseases....THINK AGAIN...and again. Your life depends on it.