Oh, man - who gave me a camera sooooooo early in the morning?
You are your body. Your body is you. As such, your body can be put through a lot - you can be ridiculously tough on your body - and many of us are, especially in our 20's and 30's. We let stuff go, we stress ourselves with too much exercise, too little exercise, too much alcohol, not enough sleep, the wrong types of foods, and a decided dearth of vegetable matter. We don't wear sunblock, we might not wear seatbelt or helmets, and we probably eat too much crap.
For many of us, it seems that our 40's are a time to play catch up - and finally, finally, we start taking our bodies seriously. We may have seen evidence first hand - or in friends and relatives - that demonstrates that bodies are not infallible - that shit breaks and falls apart and decays and needs adjusting.
For me, 2009 was my pivotal year. I tore my calf muscle, 80%, which was the first tear - I later tore it 50%. (I know how to live.)
I had a miscarriage.
The dermatologist removed a suspicious mole that turned out to be a stage 2 melanoma. I had a huge (to me, anyway) excision that made a ripply, jagged scar that was about 3" long in my upper right arm.
I also turned 40 in 2009 and I had my first mammogram.
Because of that blasted melanoma, I have to be more vigilant with my overall screening. I keep up with the yearly paps and mammograms, my dentist and eye dr do a little extra screening, and I go for a yearly all over the body screening with the dermatologist. (It was more often, but once I passed the five year mark I dropped to yearly.)
This year, she found a little something and I have two stitches in my calf. She said that it's probably nothing, but let's be sure.
The above reading is also why I had an MRI ordered when I went for a migraine workup. That MRI turned out to be a-ok, but it's still good to check, due to the way that melanoma grows - it's known to break off and float around and attach to other body parts and make more cancer, because it's a generous soul.
I never miss a mammogram - see the selfie above. Interesting factoid from today's 7:45 a.m. appointment - the machine I was in exerted 30 pounds of pressure - I got to watch the numbers go all the way up and all the way down whilst holding my breath.
How are you doing on your yearly body care? Do you need to schedule something? Take this as your reminder and get it done!