Not A Healthy Childhood

, , , , | Related | July 15, 2017

(My father, a nurse, has always been of the opinion that unless you’re running a fever or near death, you don’t need to go to the doctor. Despite my pleading, he never took me in for yearly checkups or anything of the sort.)

Me: *age 12* “Dad, I really need to go to the doctor.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “I don’t have a fever but—”

Dad: “Then you’re not going. You’re fine.”

Me: “It’s… a woman… thing… Can I please just go?”

Dad: “No.”

(Time passes.)

Me: *age 17* “Dad, I need to make a doctor’s appointment.”

Dad: “You’re not sick.”

Me: “I still need to go! I haven’t been to the doctor since I was eight and I have this lump—”

Dad: “No. End of story. You’re fine.”

(I move out and get my own health insurance.)

Me: *age 19, on the phone* “Gotta go. My doctor’s appointment is soon.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “Honestly? Most likely. It’s not like I ever went to the doctor as a kid.”

Dad: “You never needed to. You were always healthy.”

(As it turned out, not so much. I had a slow growing cancer that had already spread, and I’d probably had it for at least a few years. And I also had a bad hormone imbalance that messed up my reproductive system so badly I eventually needed a hysterectomy — which I wouldn’t have needed if I’d been put on medication years back. There was a whole slew of other problems, all of which could have been caught and mostly prevented if I’d gone to the doctor regularly. Take your kids to the doctor, people!)

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