Caring for Mom: Why Your Annual Appointment Matters to Your Domestic Church

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Caring for MomI spent this morning at my OB/GYN’s office having that joyful annual experience — my gynecological exam. Oversharing? Perhaps. But I’m willing to risk personal embarrassment and immodesty if this post will help one of my fellow moms get off the dime and make the doctor’s appointment you’ve been procrastinating over for the past several months (or years).

I know all about your dirty little secret — your willingness to put off your own self care until, “it’s more convenient” or “I’m not so busy” or — my personal favorite — “I lose this extra ten (or more) pounds”.

How do I know? I am you.

Four years ago, a set of circumstances caused me to go back to my personal physician after a nearly three year absence. The end result was the early diagnosis of breast cancer and a successful regimen of treatment. Now, several years later, I thank God for the fact that I made it into the doctor in time after so many years of neglecting my own self care. I had every excuse in the book for taking care of everyone but myself.

Of course, what never occurred to me back then was that be not caring for myself, I was doing a tremendous disservice to my family, my Domestic Church. Those of you have read my first book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms, have heard this theme before in my writing. Why do I bring it up again today? Because I know there are so many of you out there who need a friend to remind you to do the right thing and to schedule your appointment today.

From the Centers for Disease Control we have the following answer to the question “Why are checkups important?”:

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare.

If you have every excuse in the book, if you’re afraid, or if you simply think you’ll “get around to it”, please write me personally and allow me to pray with and for you. If you need extra prompting, speak with your husband or a trusted family member or friend. And for a final dose of motivation, look at your precious children and imagine them without you. Then call.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Copyright 2013 Lisa M. Hendey

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa’s articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post Lisa! You are so right! As moms we tend to make sure our children get to their well check ups, dentist cleanings, eye appointments, hearing screenings, but we don’t do the same for ourselves. And you’re right, we are doing a disservice to our families! Another one I’d add is an appointment with your dermatologist, especially if you have fair skin and moles like I do! I’m pretty good about getting my GYN exam every year (there is a history of ovarian cancer in my family so I don’t mess around with that!!) but I’m not good about the other check ups. I’m going to call and schedule all the ones I need to for this year! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Wow did I need to read this post Lisa! I’m in the “years” category. Just two weeks ago my husband was getting on my case about making an appointment because it’s been so long. I told him I was too busy maybe after we got back from spring break…of course it hasn’t crossed my mind again until I read your post! Thanks for the reminder and wake up call! So, now who was my doctor again and where is her number…?

    • Sue – I am praying for you today. Would you please call NOW and then drop me an email to let you know when your appointment will be so I can place that on my calendar and pray for you that day? I’m on your case now sister!

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