My mom came to visit our girls recently and while wearing a tank top she noticed what appeared to be a penny-sized mole on my right shoulder blade. She immediately asked if I knew what it was, and when I told her I didn’t she sternly said, “Danielle, you are a mom now. You have to go get that checked out. Do not let things like this linger. Your girls need you." I was annoyed that she made this discovery because I knew she would pester me until I scheduled a dermatology appointment. In order to avoid being further harassed I immediately called and booked a visit.
I dislike having to go to the doctors for anything other than a bad cold and cough. I always fear the worst — a weird feeling in my stomach must mean ulcers; numbness in my left arm must mean a heart issue; an odd shaped mole must mean melanoma... you get the rest. I can be an extremist when it comes to my medical worries. In fact, I never went to so many doctors and had so many tests ran as when pregnant with my first daughter. Each time I swore the doctors would come across some deadly disease that I must have been dying from all these years and never knew about. And that was what I feared the most: not knowing. I didn’t want to know if something was medically wrong. I would rather just die one day than live life knowing I was dying. But my mother’s words truly resonated with me and made me realize that my current approach to managing my health was selfish. It’s no secret that routine checkup’s and early diagnosis is key to elongating the length of my life. Nowadays many illnesses can be cured or simply maintained if detected early, so why wouldn’t I be an avid participant in properly taking care of my body to help ensure I am alive for first kisses, prom dates, engagements and weddings?
I went to the dermatologist today. The whole time I drove there I eased my doomsday thoughts by reminding myself that this was no longer about me, it was about my family. And I was lucky. What we thought was a mole, wasn’t even a mole rather a raised type of freckle that can cause me no harm. But I learned a great lesson from being fearful that this was something more, something worse — being a selfless mother sometimes means overcoming fears that you would otherwise hold onto for the betterment of your family.
Are you more diligent with caring for and paying attention to your health now that you have children?