On yesterday's radio program, a woman called me to ask about the arthritis pain she was experiencing in her knees. She is not alone. Osteoarthritis of the knees is one of the most common joint disorders. It occurs when the cartilage padding between the bones wears down over time. Additional pressure on the knees, whether from being a Major League catcher or from being overweight, will cause that wearing-down process to progress more quickly.
Two dozen roses met my bride as she walked in the house one afternoon last week. "What are these for?" she asked.
"From now on," I announced, "every time you do what you just did, it's an automatic two dozen roses."
She had just returned from her annual checkup, and it was time again for that test that every woman dreads- the Pap smear.
"Do I really have to keep going through that?" she asked.
"I've watched women die of cervical cancer, honey. Please keep getting tested- I want you to stick around for a while."
It was then that I realized I was behind on my own preventive screening. It was time for my cholesterol test. Why does it seem so much easier to tell others what to do than to do it yourself? It's particularly easy to put off something like an uncomfortable test or procedure, especially when the benefit of going through the hassle is not always clear.
Thankfully, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has put tremendous effort into identifying which screening tests are the most important. Their recommendations are based on decades of research, and the only tests that make the cut are the ones with strong evidence that they save lives.
So, I'll take the timeless words of Sting and alter them a bit: "If you love someone . . . check their list." Make sure the person or people you love are keeping up. When they do, let them know how much you appreciate it. And while you're at it, make sure you are up to date, too.Read more