How To Be Proactive With Your Health

Go big or go home!

A health care challenge is when you decide to take your health into your hands. You set your mind to accomplish all that is required. You prepare a plan of action and go forth.

I set my challenge to begin in October of 2014 which gave me 31 days to complete it. Well, that plan didn't work out. My challenge continued into November. I do nothing small or simple. When I give myself a challenge, I go full force. I don't sit around and wait for things to happen, I make them happen. I don't wait for answers, I seek them out and nail them down.

I am proactive when it comes to my health. Why wait until you have symptoms to go to the doctor? Preventative medicine is available for all. Even if you don't have insurance...ask your local hospital, you just might be surprised with what you find out.

Some hospitals offer discounts to the uninsured. Doctors do also. There are NO excuses for not taking care of yourself. In the words of Nike, "Just Do It!" Consider it a challenge. Go through with your challenge, no matter what obstacles you might encounter. Do not allow fear or nerves or "what if's" to hinder your mission. Go big or go home!

Health care tune up begins...

So many body parts. Where do I begin? My teeth. Why? Because I had an aching wisdom tooth for about 6 months and it was time to tend to it. My dentist sent me to an Oral Surgeon to evaluate the situation. He said, this tooth has to go. Huh? I haven't had a tooth pulled since I was a child!

While we are at it the wisdom tooth directly above it must go also, because it will just become loose and painful since it doesn't have a buddy on the bottom. In addition that tooth has a condition called, pericoronitis. What? The gum tissue is swollen and infected around the wisdom tooth. Seriously? I came here for an evaluation and he's talking about knocking me out and yanking two teeth! Not just one! That sounds brutal and not how I expected my morning to go.

Oh well, I put on my big girl panties and told him to skip the knock out drugs and just pull 'em out. Huh? Why would you do that to yourself? Hello...ain't nobody got time to wait...do what you have to do! And boy did he...He shot me up with some novacaine and I had a 3 minute exorcism of my mouth. 10 minutes later I was in my car ready to drive home and recooperate. I felt NO pain. I heard some crunching which was him breaking the root off the top tooth. I will never forget that sound. I had no pain afterwards and healed well. All that happened was I lost two teeth and some wisdom. For the record...the tooth fairy does not leave money for adults, which I think is bogus.

My next stop were my peepers. I have a family history of glaucoma so each year I need to have screening done. I had already started the process in September, but I was due for my Visual Fields Test. If you've never had it done, it's like playing a Nintendo game. You have a patch over one eye, a controller in one hand. Your chin is placed on a chin rest. You are looking into a dome shaped object. The room is dark. The test begins...you focus on one spot, and never look away, the machine will tell on you if your eyes begin to roam. When you spot a dot in your peripheral vision you click your controller. I am hyperactive and can not sit still, and neither can my eyes. The test took about 5 minutes, but my right eye failed to behave. My left eye was a scholar student. My right eye needed to go back for detention in a couple of weeks.

Doesn't every one take selfies while waiting for their colonoscopy?
Doesn't every one take selfies while waiting for their colonoscopy? | Source

All aboard the colonoscopy train...

Next step was a colonoscopy. My third one in 6 years. I have this preventive procedure done because I have a family history of colon cancer. WHY my parents couldn't just leave me money instead of health concerns I'll never understand.

My colonoscopy was set for October 15th at noon. The scheduled time had changed three times, later instead of earlier. I'm not the type of person to sit around and wait. When there is something that needs to be done, I want it done now, not later. I spent two days prepping because I'm anal like that. I wanted to be sure the tunnel was all cleaned and there was nothing left behind to scare the crap out of the doctor. I chatted with the nurses while I awaited my ride to the "room of doom." Kidding! I was actually really looking forward to my sedation. Oh yes, how I look forward to my 20 minute nap with Mr. Propofol. He's kind, gentle and never asks for anything in return.

Getting back to the nurses, they shared with me how they never had a colonoscopy because they feared them! Huh? Are you serious? You are prepping and prodding me and you've never done this. So I found myself trying to convince the medical professionals to have the medical procedure done. How ironic. They were over the age of 50, I hope they adhered to my advice. A colonoscopy is so simple. The Prep is getting easier each year...OK, cleaning out will not be easy, but it's the Perfect Cleanse.

Two polpys were discovered! Hold up! I no longer have the Perfect Colon? My colon has been infiltrated by strange little objects! No problem, they were removed. One month later, yes a bit late, but I called before hand to find out...my strange little polyps didn't pack such a wallop, they were hyperplastic, the non-cancerous type. Yay! I was good to go for 3 more years.

The tune up continues...

The day after my colonscopy I awoke with an upper respiratory infection. NO hiccups allowed during my mission! Well, this hiccup took me into November. No longer was my challenge just for October.

Pit stop for a dental cleaning. Gotta take care of those teeth. No cavities! Always thankful for good news.

After a week of hacking I headed to my doctors thinking I could have pneumonia. There is a slim possibility of contracting pneumonia after being sedated for any procedure. Doc ordered a chest xray. She said, while you are it (oh no, not those words again!) how about I order you a Carotid Ultrasound too since you are on the health care challenge and you do have a family history of heart disease. Oh my, there they go blaming my parents again for not just leaving me dripping in diamonds. I said, why not! Anything else on the menu sound good?

I went forth and had the Carotid Ultrasound and chest xray done on the same day. Piece of cake, so I thought. The following day I picked up the reports. By the way, I spoke with a few people who didn't know they could pick up their reports without having to wait for their follow up visit with their doctor, ask...chances are you can also.

Results: My carotid arteries are those of a twenty year old! Outstanding news! My chest xray...not so much. Another hiccup has attempted to block my path. I didn't have pneumonia, but the xray found a 9mm nodule in my upper right lung? Huh? Another invasion of my body organs! How dare they! My doc said, don't let it make you fret, a follow up xray in two weeks is set.

In the meanwhile I noticed that the radiologist noted on the report that he had nothing to compare the xray to. So I set forth and picked up the xray I had done four years previously at another location. I brought the disc with images to my follow up appt. I requested that the radiologist compare that to the previous one from two weeks ago and this new one. I picked up the report the following day. There was no notation of comparison on the report. How dare him not abide to my request. He noted that the 9mm nodule is still present and to have a CT Scan.

My chest xray. TMI?
My chest xray. TMI? | Source

What is a granuloma?

A granuloma is a small area of inflammation in tissue. Granulomas are most often the result of an infection and most frequently occur in the lungs, but can occur in other parts of the body as well. They typically cause no signs or symptoms and are found incidentally on a chest X-ray done for some other reason.

Health challenge nears the end...

I made a pit stop for the Visual Field Test for my right eye. I aced my test, detention was over. My upper respiratory infection is making progress in clearing it's way out of me. I don't blame it for wanting to leave, I'm not that easy to live with.

On November 1st, I entered my Menopause stage of life. Does this ever end? Nope. Yet, it's been exactly one full year since my last cycle...I'm a big girl now! Weird that I have no symptoms. Just a bit bat shit crazy at times, but I hear that is completely normal. My plan is to ride through this journey all natural...no pills or supplements...just my daily dose of freshly ground flax seed that I have already been doing for the past 5 years. Hot flash? Never had one.

I scheduled the CT scan for the following week on November 17th. I never had a CT Scan so I was a bit nervous. Nervous about the test and the results. But, I was not going to allow this hiccup to halt my challenge. My tech was very comforting and reassuring. I was so thankful for her. The test was over in about 15 minutes. No hiccups. Again I requested that the radiologist compare my images from 2010 to the two previous xrays and then to the CT results. I also requested that the previous radiologist does NOT read or dictate my report.

The following day I picked up my report. I wasn't sure if I was going to need a pulmonologist, oncologist or just my doctor so I had them all lined up just in case...I didn't need any! My report stated that I have a 1cm nodule, possibly a non-calcified granuloma that has been there since 2010 and could have been there for years! The radiologist stated on the report that he compared the scan to all three previous xrays. I was thrilled! I asked to speak to the radiologist. He explained the results. I shook his hand and commended him for a job well done. Follow up CT Scan in 6 months to compare to this CT Scan. Also, since I name everything I have decided to name my granuloma. Since it has been and will be hitching a ride in my body, I named it Granny the Granuloma.

There were hugs and high fives all around from the employees at the hospital, whom we have grown quite close to since we are frequent flyers there due to my husbands cancer treatments. Hopefully my October health tune up has now come to an end. I should be good for another 50K miles.

Final conclusion: Do not allow anything or anyone to stand in your way when you are on a mission. If you don't understand a diagnosis, ask questions and ask more questions until you understand. You are the only one in control of your health. Always look for the humor in any situation. Most importantly...Go big or go home!

As we were leaving the hospital after picking up the report, we noticed a film crew was setting up...we offered to be their stars once again, maybe next time.

Will you challenge yourself to a health tune up?

See results without voting

© 2014 Linda Bilyeu

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Do you have a health scare story to share? 44 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Well done Linda! good on ya! and I am glad your chest xray was fine after that waiting. I do get my teeth done regularly, and my eyes too as I wear contact lenses, and yes that colonoscopy! yikes! I didn't have any meds for it, what a pain! well done, and now you can sit back and relax, nice one!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

" I spent two days prepping because I'm anal like that."

Oh you make me giggle amidst your excellent example...proud of you Sunshine!

Love you and hugs, MM


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

If any one knows about a colonoscopy, you do Nell. We gotta do what we gotta do. Wishing you well! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

LOL! So glad you caught that one MM! I chuckled writing it! :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

So what, you've been talking to Bev lately? Did she put you up to this, Linda? LOL I know, I know, I'm going soon....maybe. :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, you have inspired me to get my behind in gear on that health challenge, especially at the moment with my eyes. Something is up! I have already had the colonoscopy, weeee ... and that is too cute with the selfie photo there LOL. Had the wisdom teeth pulled too, but not in the fast lane as you did. Girl, you are one tough woman!!!

You are a great encourager to get us all taking better care of ourselves and not waiting one minute longer.

Up +++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing


Glyn Burles 2 years ago

So glad things have turned out well for you. Keep up the good work MM xx


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

SFAM.....Terrific! You're a woman of action. You know what's important and you know how to do it! Bravo, GF. This is a very smart move.

You have gone through with all the vital tests. It's done and you're ticking like a fine Swiss watch. Good to go for another 100,000 miles!

You're an inspiration, Miss Sunshine....but we all know that already!!

To your health, girl! UP+++++pinned & tweeted


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Way to go, Bev! Keep us posted, Bill...I'm sure you will do just great!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Faith, I had my wisdom teeth pulled while awake because I'm a glutton for punishment! :) It really wasn't bad at all...the extractions were done in a matter of minutes and no pain! Yay!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thanks, Glyn!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Yay, Effer...I have no problem going another 100k for a health tune up, but chances are I'll be back sooner...because I'm anal like that! :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

A very interesting and informative hub! I agree with you wholeheartedly - take a pro-active stance with health. It is better to prevent than to deal with the disease or surgery later. In fact, I am seeing the doctor today for preventative reasons. This is an important article and it is voted up+ and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Congratulations Linda, it is so easy to say "What I don't know won't hurt me" when it comes to seeing the doctor and having health checks etc done. The fact is though what you don't know CAN harm you. Everyone needs to be pro-active about their health. Good hub,voted up.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Best of luck with your doctor appt today, Suzette! Wishing you outstanding results!

My daughter reminded me that I started my menopause stage this month...I had to update the hub! Lol


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

So true, Jodah...so very true. Best of health to you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Linda, leave it to you to make this invasion expose funny! Seriously, I'm glad you've been given a clean bill of health. You're a much bigger person than I am to have two teeth pulled using only Novocaine. I'm a total wuss when it comes to stuff like that, especially if I can hear what's going on.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Breaking a root off - indeed a horrible sound!

I should follow suit, but I am a postponer, hoping that whatever went wrong by itself will come right by itself. Eventually I have no choice but to crawl to the nearest medical expert.

Prevention is better than cure. You are a great example, Linda :)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 2 years ago from Iowa

So glad your tests came back fine. I think I told you about my scare this past summer when they saw something suspicious on my annual mammogram. It all turned out okay (after a couple of minor procedures and a few anxious weeks) but, with my family history, I wasn't taking any chances. Next up will be my first colonoscopy, but I won't worry about that until next year after my *ahem* milestone birthday! Now if I could only get my husband to take your advice. I can't remember the last time he went to the doctor.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Sha, If you ever need an extraction I have an awesome Oral Surgeon for you! They have 4 locations in Orlando. Sedation for an extraction is not my style...I need one more yanked out and I would have no fear whatsoever.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi SAA, The breaking of the root only sounded LOUD because it was so close to my ear...Yes, it was a horrible sound, but feeling absolutely nothing was awesome! Congrats to you for facing your fear this week with your MRI. We are woman...hear us roar!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Thanx, Linda. I have a good dentist just minutes from my house who does it all. I'm pretty pleased with him.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida

With your positive description of the colonoscopy procedure, Linda, you have advanced the case for same by a few light years. You are setting a very positive example for the rest of us.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Yay! Thank you, drbj...my mission is to get more people to face their fears and just get the colonoscopy procedure done. It's such a simple procedure and sure beats the alternative.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

"A three minute exorcism of my mouth" left me laughing so much, my tea launched it's way out of my nostrils! Talk about being 'glued' to what you're reading. This hub has it all - humor, inspiration and even misty eyes viewing the beautiful words of your husband about his sunshine.

Voted across and thank you for writing this, amazing sunshine. Sharing and hugs to you. Audrey


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

LOL, Audrey! But, I'm serious...it truly felt like an exorcism, but luckily it only lasted 3-4 minutes and was pain free! I have another tooth nagging at me now...could another exorcism be in my near future? Only time will tell.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I absolutely hate going to doctor and dentist appointments. But it IS good to be proactive. Good for you, Sunshine! The video is awesome. You and hubby are stars!!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

You are amazing...no matter what you write about you infuse with your unique sense of humor. Everything you touched on was important and necessary though not always fun. Looking at it through your eyes certainly lightens the burden.

I hate colonoscopy prep but it's the only way to get there. I figure we can do almost anything when it's only done every 3 years.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Sunshine - I love to read hubs that provide me with a few laughs, and this one was a hoot. You just decide and do it, and you have lots of assertive behavior. Colonoscopies scare me, and many medical tests scare me. I need to drum up your sense of humor. Congratulations for taking care of yourself with no misgivings. Pinning, Blessings, Audrey


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

I'm not a fan of doctors or dentists either, Vicki...but it's best to just get 'er done before the basic tune up becomes an entire overhaul which then becomes more expensive and/or life threatening.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Way to go, Tills! I prefer not to discuss my "personal experiences" but if I could inspire a few or even just one person to get a health tune up...my mission will be complete.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Audrey, Always bring the humor...no matter where you go. Humor makes any situation a bit less stressful :)


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Such enthusiasm!!

We are snowbirds and spend every summer going to doctors.

The calendar has so many doctor's appointments, it appears that we

are a couple with many social obligations. Just don't look too closely at the names as they all begin with 'Dr.'

You gave great encouraging information. I happen to be the poster child for colonoscopies. You see a butt, you will find my face plastered there!!

That did not come across the way I intended, but you know what I mean.

Great hub -- you go girl!!

DJ.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Yes, DJ...I understand what you mean! :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing stories about the snowbirds! :)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Now your hub has inspired me to get my checkups done, I love the way you take life with a big smile and you definitely spread it around with your great sense of humor. Great hub.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Vellur, Inspiring others is my mission!

Best of luck with your checkup! :)


VJGSA profile image

VJGSA 23 months ago from Texas

As I mentioned before, I've learned my lesson from the passing of my parents. Don't ignore aches and pains. Don't attribute them to "just getting old." And don't depend just on herbs, vitamins and supplements as my mom did. Not only do I have a general physical check up, I also have a scan for a past issue and a colonoscopy every three years. Clean on all counts (knock on wood). Get those check ups. Don't be scared of check ups. BUT DO BE SCARED of not knowing what's going on in your body.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Linda,

I'm sharing your very important article with my HubPages followers. I'm also posting the link on Google+ and tweeting it.

Thanks for inspiring so many others.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Linda,

As I enter the final stages of my glorious life, I've learned the importance of taking responsibility for my health, aches and pains. I'm a super-senior on a mission and at war with insurance companies. My left knee continues to growl at me daily and my right hand reminds me that it's full of painful arthritis. My surgeon told me last week that nothing can be done. Just what I wanted to hear.

Space travel is upon us and yet no one has found a way to deal with arthritis (I refuse to take medication to reduce the pain.)

It's all frustrating. But then I think about your amazing husband and the battle he is fighting and I feel ashamed of myself.

This is my second visit here and will be back again. A fantastic hub!

Voted up++++and sharing everywhere.

Hugs,

Audrey


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 22 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, Daisy!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 22 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Audrey,

I'm sorry for your pain. I wish there was something to help you besides medication. Possibly physical therapy? I wish you to be pain-free! We all have our own battles, having some one there for you makes the battles a bit easier to fight.


molometer profile image

molometer 19 months ago

Good to see that a majority of people in the pole are proactive when it comes to health care. And that you sailed through with a pretty clean sheet.

Some medical staff are simply useless but as you say, not all.

The video was excellent. I hope they gave you a load of money for the Ad.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 19 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Molometer...no cash for the Ad, which surprised me, but the hospital has been VERY good to Dave. We did get a copy for ourselves and have been invited to a few luncheons where we received goodie bags.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 19 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

I did have my 6 months CT chest followup and the granuloma is stable and has slight calcification which is good news.

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