Do you loathe having medical tests?

A while back, around 2015, I was introduced to the idea of HbA1c. This is a test that can be used to not only determine if someone has developed Diabetes but is also a tool for managing the condition. 

The test is not to be confused with a glucose test which solely measure how much glucose is in the blood right at this minute. HbA1c provides an average of the last 3 months management of sugar in the blood and is therefore a much better marker for determining diabetes and the management of the condition.

Although not a diabetic, I know many who are, and have expressed an interest in being able to access tests within their local community, especially as the NHS have now restricted this service to one test per year. Unfortunately neither the technology nor the emerging trends were far enough advanced to make this a reality... until now that is.

Just recently we have formed an organisation called Health Reader Ltd. to deliver exactly this test (HbA1c) and also other useful diagnostics. In preparation for the launch 12th Feb 2020 we needed to practice running a few live tests... in the absence of any other candidates... I became the volunteer!

An Interesting dilemma  

I had known about the HbA1c test for the past 5 years. I quite literally could have had a free test anytime during that period but the interesting things is... I didn't. I jump on the scales to weigh myself with ease, I have a handle on my heart beat and blood pressure, so I pondered why hadn't I taken this test?

An Honest Observation

I had actually avoided having this test sub-consciously but why? I think there are a number of reasons in my case. Firstly I am well aware of the symptoms of Diabetes and I know that I don't exhibit those to the degree that diabetics do. Secondly, perhaps there were enough difficulties going on in my life that adding the potential outcome of a positive diabetes test was not something that i'd be thrilled about.

Maybe there was also the (slight) fear of entering the health service for treatment and the records updated to reflect this... it's a pretty life changing result diabetes and it has quite huge ramifications.

Last one... the old male ego saying "I look after myself, take care of what I eat, drink and I exercise regularly there can't be anything wrong with me" ... so i'd rather not know than face the crushing reality check...

There is a huge preference out there for "not knowing" which feels in someway better than admitting we have a problem. Couple this with the very real damaging "effect" on our psychology of finding out and then believing in the very worst possible outcomes that might transpire. You can understand how the better to "not know" thought process can win out.

I am not so sure that women would find it so tough to be tested. I think women by default undergo lots more testing than men, and women also tend to have much better support groups than you find with men. We tend to be conditioned to 'face it like a man', 'man up won't you' or 'grow a spine for gods sake'... basically we often have to deal with this stuff alone unless we are fortunate enough to be in a supportive men's circle or have an awesome group of male friends.

I think for men admitting to being less than 'a proper functioning man' is a tough gig in today's world and one that underpins the resistance we might have to volunteering for tests. The lack of support when we find out something is not to our liking then can be used (by ourselves) to effectively ensure our demise... if left on our own. This further amplifies the need for more support amongst men.

Having been tested

Well... then after the event it's a completely different story (for me I might add) isn't it? It could be a relief, it might be, right I need to make some lifestyle changes or... no way, I'm going to need some help right away!

What has changed though is very significant, now we know. This provides some very clear choices that are now laid out before us.... and it didn't kill us.

The psychological transition is immense. We are now not so much scared (although there might be trepidation) and we can move forward because we love ourselves, we love our life, and we want to be the best version of ourselves (that might take some work). We are also super interested in how well we are doing and now we have a measuring device, we are in control of.

We can say now from our new enlightened post test position, with confidence, ignorance of our condition won't make it go away. Not facing the challenge squarely is likely to make matters worse, how bad would we feel if 3 years down the road the result of our inaction means we are too late on the case and the choices available are way less?

Final Words

Our bodies are incredibly complex. Our daily lives and everything in them puts untold stresses and strains on us constantly. Our environment, what we eat / drink, and, what we spread, or spray on our biggest organ (the skin) effects us, and is vitally important to our quality of life. 

We are now entering a period where technology is going to enable us to monitor (if we want to) almost every aspect of our "well being" and provide us with information we can use to adjust things and get the plane back on track if we want to... couple that with access to all manner of complementary products and services that use natural remedies to assist our bodies in healing themselves.

Taking responsibility for our own lives, monitoring ourselves, seeking to experiment with minor adjustments to keep ourselves on our feet, fit, healthy and well will I believe, stop more serious ailments from taking hold... all we need is to take charge and get information we need to make great choices... and who wouldn't want to do that?


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