Have you ever taken your grandmother for a medical check-up?
Do you remember how it was?
I remember my grandmother! When she was already quite old she developed diabetes. As a result she had to do a blood sugar test once a month. These blood sugar tests were big events.
A few days before the test, my grandmother usually stopped eating anything containing sugar and went easy on all kinds of carbs and fat. She did this to bring the sugar count in her blood down to a normal rate – for the test! Right after the test she rewarded herself with a special treat like a cake or an ice cream-fruit-combo-cup.
Nowadays this wouldn’t work!
First, there are portable little machines where people can measure their blood sugar at home. This gives freedom and responsibility into the patient’s hands.
Second, the method that is used to test the blood sugar in a clinic has changed. Now one test shows how the blood sugar was for the last 3 months. The test is called HbA1-test.
Take care of your body and stay as healthy as you can!
Hb stands for Hemoglobin, the protein that makes the blood red and that we all love so much. It contains iron and transports oxygen. All of it is essential for our good health.
A1 stands for alpha 1 and is a part of this special kind of hemoglobin, HbA1. This kind of hemoglobin, that contains alpha 1, makes up 97% of our total hemoglobin. There are other kinds of hemoglobin but they are not of interest to our test.
The sugar in our blood is now binding to the Hemoglobin (glycation). They are now kind of holding hands and being a package, an Hb-sugar-package. Logically, as more sugar there is in the blood as more packages we find. That is what the new tests measure, the amount of Hb-sugar-packages.
Why do we avoid medical tests?
But thinking of my grandmother, there is something else that makes me wonder. The blood sugar test wasn’t done to please the doctor. It was actually done to help the patient. I wonder how often we avoid medical tests because we want to avoid facing reality. I do this sometimes. But after all, I am my grandmother’s grandchild.
Maybe my grandmother’s physician was judgmental and finger pointing. In the old days they sometimes were. Maybe it was all imagined by a guilty mind. I actually don’t know.
But fact is that we should not be afraid of our physicians but see them as our helper. And if one really truly does judge, is impolite or incompetent we have the freedom to choose another one.
It’s our body after all. And we are responsible for us and our bodies. This means choosing the right physician, but also to take care of our body to stay as healthy as we can.
Have you ever avoided a medical test out of fear?