Death and doctors

Am I scared of dying?

One of my students asked me that last week after class. It wasn’t the first time that I had heard that question, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

We hear about death on the news every evening. Having good or poor health doesn’t have a bearing on a person’s ability to withstand a natural disaster, car accident or terrorist attack. Accidents and tragedies happen every day. Fortunately or unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to predict how or when our time in this life will be over.

My first memories are of dealing with health issues as a baby. I started to go paralyzed at the age of 20. I saw the light when I was unconscious after I fainted in my early 30s. And, I was diagnosed with cancer at 37.

I firmly believe that I’m meant to be here, as God has had ample opportunity to take me. I was the first person to ever go to GWU with Guillain Barre without an ambulance. My aggressive strain of cancer was caught early. I saw the light, but I came back.

I don’t know what the future holds for me or how long I’ll be alive in this body, but I know that I will do my best to live in the moment, while I plan for the future.

I’m not scared of dying, but I also don’t take life and my health for granted. I haven’t had the luxury of doing so.

None of us knows when we will die, but we thankfully do know steps that we can take to take responsibility for our own bodies.

An overwhelming majority of us recognize that healthy eating and exercise are good, and texting while driving is bad. But, is there more that we need to do?

Is the year almost over and you have yet to get an annual physical? Are you overdue on your pap smear, mole check or mammogram? Have you been fighting a cold for weeks, but don’t think you need to see a doctor about it? Have you been trying to ignore that pain or cyst? Are you having a difficult time concentrating, sleeping or processing a difficult life event?

Don’t have time before New Year’s to go to the doctor? I think you should make time…or at least make an appointment for early January. I promise you that you’re worth it!

Are you scared of dying? Are there appointments on your list that you should be scheduling?

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