The other day I got an email from the vet clinic reminding me that one of my cats was past due for his annual health exam. I gasped and panicked and called that afternoon to schedule his appointment. "A pox upon me" if I were to fall short of getting my beloved feline friend the healthcare he needs. If I had a child, I would feel doubly so.

Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we tend to shrug these exams and checkups off our shoulders like a bit of lint. We think "well, I feel fine today." Or, "there's too much other stuff to do." Sometimes we just turn a blind eye because we don't want to go to the doctor. The struggle is real. I get it.

However, despite our modern medical technology if you don't go in to get screenings, exams, and checkups, it's not going to do you much good now is it?

At the same time, I'm not saying we should all live in a freaked out state and turn ourselves into hypochondriacs, either. There is a balance. Yet remember, in many cases, getting these exams done regularly has saved countless lives. So, if you've been putting yours off, just think about those kids and pets that you love and schedule these checkups (where applicable) today:

General Physical. When's the last time you went to see your GP and just had an overall wellness exam? Start there. You should do this at least every few years. Once we pass 50, it's probably a good idea to do once every two years.

Pelvic Exams. Ah, yes. Everyone's favorite thing, I know. Oy vey. However, like it or not, that area is also a part of our body with some pretty intricate parts. Doctors suggest doing annually.

Dental Exam. When our teeth are healthy, we hardly think about them. When something goes wrong, we can't think of anything else. Pre-empt some painful problems by getting in for your yearly checkup and make sure you get those teeth cleaned every six months. I don't care how well you brush your teeth, it's not the same. ;)

Breast Self-Exam and Mammograms. I'm dreading in going in for my first mammogram. Honestly, I've struggled with making this appointment. Partially because of some of the horror stories I've read on the internet (where everything is always true all of the time, don't ya know. I JEST.)

Self-examine Skin. About once every month or two, peruse your body for any moles or spots that you've never seen before. Watch for changes. If there are, go see a dermatologist.

I know it seems like yet one more thing to add your long list of to-do's and maybe there's a significant fear factor involved with going to the doctor. I get it. BUT. There's also much to be said for the peace of mind you'll have when you know you're doing all that you can to protect your health. Your pets, and kids, and family will feel better, too.

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