Picking up that random swap item you bought in a Facebook group before you realized the seller lives on the far side of Grimes.
You are a Very Busy Lady.
Or, maybe your hands are so full with little ones that you try to leave the house as seldom as possible because strapping children into car seats is The Worst. Either way, there’s reason to take a deep breath and make sure you’re healthy.
When I had my first child, I was prepared to provide the name of a pediatrician we planned to see for well child checkups and back-to-school physicals. But without someone interested in charting my milestones, and with a busy to-do list, finding a primary care provider for myself wasn’t a priority.
- Your #selfcare regimen should not just be bubble baths, bon-bons, and bad T.V. Absolutely, find ways to recharge and relax. But taking care of your self involves making a regularly scheduled trip to the doctor’s office, and making sure you are doing the suggested screenings for your risk factors and age. You’re worth it. Many primary care providers include a well woman exam with the annual physical which may decrease the need for an additional visit to the OB/GYN. If this is important to you, talk with your PCP.
- Fido probably gets more regular medical checkups than the adults in the house. My veterinarian sends reminders for my dog to get a “geriatric exam” every year. If your old dog/cat/hamster has seen the doctor more frequently than you, schedule that physical, stat!
- It’s covered. An annual physical should be covered by your insurance. Make it your ‘to-me-from-me’ birthday gift and try scheduling it every year for a day or two after you blow out the candles. You’re a mom now and so now you understand what your own mother meant when she said her only wish was for everyone in the family to be healthy and happy.
- You know what you want in a provider. It’s OK to shop around and find a provider who works for you. Some people prefer PAs over physicians, or some prefer the philosophy of D.O.s to M.D.s. If you like a smaller practice environment and the opportunity to see a provider with the heart of a teacher, consider DMU Clinic. Our PAs and D.O.s are training the next generation of health care providers. They’re used to explaining things, and have a spirit of service. DMU Clinic has a family medicine practice whose providers can care for mom, dad, kids, and even grandma!
- You want to be around for your family as long as possible. Overwhelmingly, your annual exam will be an easy experience that doesn’t raise red flags, but it also gives you one-on-one time to get nagging health questions answered. Occasionally, a provider will catch a heart murmur or pick up on symptoms you might have brushed off. By scheduling an appointment, you’re making an effort to catch any disease before it’s too late. Because you want to be filling out that planner for many, many years to come.
Looking for a primary care provider? Family Medicine at Des Moines University Clinic has providers on staff who are currently accepting patients of all ages. Call 515-271-1710 to set up an appointment, and view provider profiles at https://www.dmu.edu/clinic/family-medicine/