Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If You Can't be a Good Example: Taking Care of Yourself

This blogpost is going to be something of a PSA, inspired by Kiersten White and Ilana at Mommy Shorts. (They're both pregnancy PSA's, but no, I'm not pregnant.) Mainly, I'm writing this because I don't want other people to do the same bad things that I have done. What's the phrase? "If you can't be a good example, then be a warning." Ahem. I hereby acknowledge my hypocrisy before you even read this. I'm working on it, OK?

Anyway, it's my blog and I can write what I want! Nyah. Ahem. So. Down to business:

I went to the doctor yesterday.

Wait, let me repeat that. I went to the doctor yesterday, instead of ignoring my symptoms in the hope that they'll go away, or in the delusion that I can take care of them myself. I know no one wants to go to the doctor, but I have been practically pathological about it to the point where it's almost self-destructive.

To give an example: One time in high school, I knew my parents would take me to the doctor if I told them what was really wrong. I didn't want to go because I knew (or at least, I thought) they wouldn't believe anything was wrong. But I still wanted to stay home from school because I was feeling terrible. So I kinda gargled and swallowed a mix of mouthwash and bleach-based bathroom cleaner until I was feeling and looking sufficiently nauseous.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I wasn't always so terrible about this. However, childhood doctors didn't exactly inspire me with confidence or leave good experiences to think back on whenever I considered getting help for sickness. Didn't help that when I went to the doctor, they'd always look me over and say nothing was wrong. "She's just acting up again." Add that to the fact that I'm also one of those people who is perfectly fine with needles but starts to hyperventilate anytime someone comes near me with a throat swab, and...let's just say that I wasn't the most popular patient.

And then I went to the lady doctor for the first time, and all was magically revealed. "THIS is what's wrong with you!" "OH." *lightbulb* Mind you, I had to put my foot down to even get this appointment in the first place. "You don't need to go to that doctor! You haven't had sex yet! You're a virgin, aren't you? Aren't you?!"

Regardless of sexual experience or lack thereof, you should go to the lady doctor at eighteen, if you haven't already. This will doubtless seem extremely obvious to some of you, but it wasn't to me. Sex ed in high school was pretty thorough. Actual sexual health education wasn't. And in college, both are pretty much nonexistent.

Dear young women of high school and college age (like myself), please be aware: if you come from conservative families, you may encounter some difficulty in seeing the lady doctor. In being allowed to see the lady doctor. Do not let this deter you! It's a very basic women's health checkup that needs to be taken care of for peace of mind if nothing else. Virgin or not. NEWS FLASH: virgins can get sick too!

If you come from conservative families, you may also have to have a fight with your mother over medication. Again, do not be deterred. I wasn't. (Yes, I do take birth control for medical reasons. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You can imagine how I feel about the political agenda on its restriction.)

Even then your mother might passive-aggressively let you go off to college without the medication that's supposed to correct hormonal imbalances. Just because it's, gasp, birth control.  Even if you go to a women's college and don't have a boyfriend and aren't in the habit of random hookups. Even THEN your mother may be determined to deny you access to your medication...even if she would never admit that that's what she's doing.

She was all "Don't worry, I'll get this filled and send it to you the first week of school" and I was crazy enough to actually believe her and trust that she, as a WOMAN, as the woman from whom I inherited these hellish hormones, realized how important it was.

Anyway, it's October now, but she delivered eventually (with lots of nagging). As I said, stand firm.

Take care of yourself. Know what "taking care of yourself" means, and how to do it, and when to seek professional help. Fortunately, ever since I got a bad case of mono last year, I've been (trying) to pay more attention to my health. DON'T be like me...meaning, don't poison yourself because you don't want to go to the doctor.

Also, vote. 


  1. In places where healthcare is provided by (mostly) benevolent governments girls 13 and over can rock up to clinics and leave with the Pill and a handful of condoms for their trouble. Maybe even a lollipop. No parental permission or involvement required. Vote.

    1. "Maybe even a lollipop." I lol'd. :)

      I don't *need* parental permission to get treated, but not having my own car yet (though I offered to buy our ancient one from them) I need their permission (and keys) for the car, and so it goes...legally they can't restrict me, but since I technically depend on them still they can basically restrict my behavior however they want to.

      VOTE!! ARGH.

  2. Myself, I walked to our local doctor, back in the day. The prescription cost about an hour's wages for three months worth. ($3.95). I did NOT get a lollipop.

    1. Well, we live pretty out of the way. It'd be a long walk, and not exactly safe.

      But I suppose I can't technically complain, if they're covering the costs. Oh, bullshit. I can so complain.


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