Bugs Bunny’s signature line was “what’s up doc?” Our response might be “what’s up with me?”. As little kids we might have wanted a doctor visit as much as the dog wanted to go to the vet. But if our parents were wise they would take us for regular checkups. I didn’t realize how many vaccinations kids get in the first few years of life. During our childhood we get exposed to a lot of things, not all beneficial. And so regular checkups are necessary to make sure we are on the right track.

When we get older we tend to go less and less. We figure unless we break a bone or have a serious illness we are fine as we are. We survive the usual childhood illnesses – or like me avoid them. And once we are out on our own it is easy to get out of the habit. I think my only visits in my teens and twenties were for dumb injuries – like gashing my knee on my bike pedals.

I had to wear glasses just for reading in the 4th grade and so didn’t. Then I ended up having them prescribed for all day in highschool and have worn them ever since. Dental visits had memories of drilling sounds and the taste of teeth dust , so i took advantage of my good teeth health to avoid dentist for quite a while. I was amazed when I went back how the technology – sonic tools – had significantly progressed.

An Army medic pronounced me “disgustingly healy’ when I applied for a Navy ROTC scholarship. I attributed it to my dad who was very healthy – although he did get the measles as age 35, something that I had avoided.

But the funny thing is sometimes trivial things – like getting chicken pox when in kindergarten – can come back to bite you. I used to think I had avoided all the rough childhood diseases, as did many others. But then later on I learned that shingles a serious nerve disorder is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – you had one you can get the other. So I ended up with more shots to avoid or diminish that likelihood.

Family health history is important to pay attention to. For my family it was heart and circulatory system issues – hence my current regimen of blood pressure medication. Other families may have other system issues. And even though a disease might not appear in your history – like cancer in ours – it can still occur.

So it is wise to keep track of your health numbers – blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. Eyes and teeth often fail along with the rest of the body and the sooner you catch problems the easier the fix. So don’t be like my dad and avoid the doctor just because “I’m fine”. Make a regular habit of having them run the numbers and catch things earlier. That is key to being forever young. Be like Bugs Bunny and ask “what’s up doc?”