On a weekend I love lying in bed listening to the radio and knowing I don’t have to be anywhere, so I can lie awake and gloat.
Because of this I find myself following the health guru who gives advice weekly at about 5.30am.
The good Professor’s advice is knowledgeable, practical and motivating. He is a health professional at a major university.
However, recently he made an astounding announcement – astounding because of his position and his knowledge. Astounding because he gives advice on health. That’s his job.
He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Now this in itself is not a surprise – anyone can be, but he had ignored two government screen tests that arrived in the mail two years apart.
The first test was eventually binned, unopened and the second was on its way to the same fate until the good Professor’s wife spotted it and wrote across the package: Just Do It! And he did. The results came back positive, and he was saved in the nick of time.
And this made me think, why do we avoid preventative measures, often non-invasive, when the consequences are so dire, and the information is most definitely out there.
The good Professor was lucky he had such a wife – maybe she’d been taking his advice. He obviously hadn’t.
As seniors we should now have had five COVID vaxes, flu, shingles, whooping cough, tetanus, (yes, the list goes on), and been tested for bowel, breast, prostate, not to mention the importance of eyes, skin, hearing and teeth. It was only recently when I attended an informational talk on hearing that I became aware of the link between poor hearing and dementia.
We all know people who left it too late, who didn’t want to be inconvenienced, embarrassed, sore, didn’t have the time.
And we all know people who were just unlucky.
Those people, given the chance would say, along with all our children, grand and great, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, friends: Just do it!
This is a call to all of us seniors to get out our diaries and phones and book all those annoying medical appointments we know we should keep.
We can help our families more if we are still on the planet and even more if we are healthy. And if we are healthy, we can enjoy all those benefits that come with retirement if we choose to pursue them.
Maybe in this seniors month 2023 we should lead by example and tell our adult children and friends to do the same.
I still listen to the advice of the good Professor. After all, like the rest of us, he’s only human. His advice is useful, but, as the good Professor’s wife says: Just Do It.