I am terrible at maintaining my health. I avoid doctors if I can. I haven’t been to the dentist in a year and a half. (My teeth haven’t fallen out yet, so I think I’m okay.)
When I got to college I realized that I only went to the doctor because my dad forced me to.
Now, in my senior year, he sends me voicemails that he receives from my dentist telling me I’m past due for an appointment. My dentist is an hour and a half away in Fort Wayne. I don’t feel the sense of urgency to schedule an appointment while I’m a comfortable distance away in Muncie.
But maybe this trait isn’t completely my fault. My parents also avoid regular check-ups, and stopped taking my brother and me to the doctor once we hit first grade. We don’t have a family doctor. When I was required to get various shots for a trip to Brazil last summer, I put it off and eventually wound up in the Walgreens pharmacy line. But I couldn’t get all of the necessary shots because I needed a doctor recommendation, which I didn’t have.
This caused me to walk into RediMed, an urgent care clinic. That turned out to be a whole process in itself. The clinic could not provide me with a recommendation for Walgreens because I wasn’t a patient of theirs. I had to get a basic physical so that I could technically be labeled as treated by the practitioners there. After paying a small fee, I finally left with my note and headed back
A wild goose chase to be someone’s patient all because I had spent years avoiding being one. I haven’t changed much since.
My medicine cabinet consists of Ibuprofen and NyQuil, and not much else. I’m a firm believer that a little bit of Ibuprofen can cure almost any ailment I encounter.
I consider myself active for walking to and from campus. It’s 20 minutes each way. My weekly exercise comes from the aerobics class I’m required to take in order to graduate. Although, I waited until my senior year to sign up.
Basically, if I am not nagged to call the doctor by my parents, or forced to lift a dumbbell per university curriculum, I most likely just won’t do it.
As little as I pay attention to my health, it’s still a huge part of my life—it’s how I’m alive.
As humans, that’s something we all have in common: We’re alive. We may even be living longer than ever before. Our cover story (“The Human Experience”) explores life expectancy and whether or not there is a limit on the maximum lifespan.
Nothing can guarantee a long and healthy life; some people live to be 100, others may face challenges that cut their lives short.
Some people have mental illnesses that interfere with how they want to live their lives, and they have to figure out ways around them (“My Schizophrenia”).
Some parts of health are completely out of our control. We can even be born with them (“Developing Differently”).
Others may dedicate their lives to working toward an idea of healthy. This includes spending hours in the gym working on their bodies and sticking to a specific diet, all in hopes of achieving their ideal physique (“Bigger Bodies”).
We don’t know how long we will live. We don’t know what obstacles we will face along the way, whether they be physical or mental. What affects one, might not affect all.
We may have different experiences, but, still, the human experience is universal.