Life check-ups.

June 18, 2012

{photograph courtesy of Michelle Koechle Photography}

I've never been good about going to the doctor.

When I start feeling sick, the thought of making an appointment, waiting for that appointment, driving to the doctor's office, spending too much time in the waiting room, waiting in the actual patient room, trying to explain my symptoms to the doctor even though they are hard to explain, getting a prescription, taking it to the pharmacy, waiting on the prescription, taking the medicine and then waiting until I start to feel better seems daunting. So naturally, I check my symptoms online, self-diagnose myself and just wait it out.

When I did this with a cold in college that wouldn't go away after a month, I finally took myself to the doctor only to find out I had the flu, bronchitis and walking pneumonia. Yes, at the same time. You would have thought I learned my lesson by now. It was a long, miserable recovery.

Earlier this year, I hadn't been feeling quite right. I was feeling this way for months, actually, and it was eating me up inside. I let it sit for months while imaging all of the diseases I could possibly have. Finally, I made myself make an appointment to get a routine check-up. They did a blood test and, sure enough, everything was perfect. Perfect numbers, perfect counts, perfect everything. The issue? Stress. Stress was causing the symptoms I had been bearing for months, but I was thinking I wasn't stressed and it was actually something more serious. Knowing the culprit meant I could battle the actual cause of the symptoms.

Sometimes we need check-ups in our day-to-day life.

About a month ago, I had been wanting to have a chat with my husband about something regarding our future and plans. I was nervous about bringing it up in fear that he wouldn't want to talk about it or would be on a completely different page than me. So naturally, I avoided it. I spent two months straight waiting on the perfect time to bring it up, testing the waters of the day or evening, running through conversations in my head.

It eventually dawned on me how much energy I was spending on this conversation that hadn't even happened yet. I was playing out scenarios in my head. If he said this, how would I feel? If he said that, what would I say back? Too many days were spent over-analyzing a somewhat simple conversation.
Tired and exhausted from the mind game I was playing on myself, I sent him a text on a random weekday and said, "I have something I want to talk about. It's not bad, but just something I want to share with you. Dinner out?"

We met at one of our favorite restaurants, and since the fact I needed to bring something up had already been laid out there, it was much easier for me to just spill it. I did. And he responded better than I could have imagined. About a million pounds lifted off my heart knowing we could move forward on the same page.

Sometimes we need check-ups in our life, and especially in our marriages and relationships. I've found the best check-ups are when you make an appointment, come in ready to share your symptoms, and make sure you leave on the same page.

Whatever the prescription is - a second conversation, a plan for action, a hug - take it.

Doctor's and heart's orders.

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