Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Checkups, even when you're feeling good

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Checkups, even when you're feeling good

Natalie Gelman

Even when we are doing fine, the focus on the condition of our bodies in regard to health exists.

I went to the doctor for my annual checkup this week. I already knew there was a concern about my blood pressure as I had been checked twice in the past few weeks and it was high. I had already added a diuretic the week before.

Again it was high, 161 over 93, or something like that.

During my exam I discovered I no longer need a pap smear as I had the hysterectomy last November. As well educated as I am, I did not know that. Liz, the doctor, said I should be examined annually to check for growths.

The checkup went well. I feel good. I have no complaints or concerns.

The doctor noticed my moles and asked me if my husband checks them to see if they are changing. I said he does not. She suggested that he check them and that I consider seeing a dermatologist since I have so many moles.

She also suggested I have a colonoscopy and a bone density test as she said she noticed my back was not erect. She also said I should have my eyes checked because of my high blood pressure. I told her I would have to check on my deductible as I can not afford these things if they are going to cost me much money. She understood.

I called my insurance company and found that I have about $65 to pay to meet my deductible. That means the timing is good to get these things done.

And my reaction:

I am angry about getting older and needing to see doctors just to check on things when I am feeling good. I know I have not had my eyes checked in over eight years. I understand that her suggestions are good ones. More than being angry about aging, I am angry that money is of such concern to me that I may not move ahead and have these things done.

I did call her office to say I would pursue the colonoscopy and bone density. Those doctors will call me and I will ask about the cost. I will delay the eye checkup for now.

Surgery in November. Root canal two weeks ago. I guess I SHOULD be thrilled this is all.

I am healthy. But I cannot afford to be sure everything is working properly in spite of the fact that I have no symptoms.

Natalie Gelman can be contacted at Her website is