Children. Family. Friends. Errands. Work. Church. Dinner. Karate lessons. Bake sales. Moms routinely juggle long lists of to-dos from all facets of their lives, except the most important: themselves.
Moms will drive their kids, and even other people’s kids, to regular pediatrician appointments. They take sick relatives to the emergency room late at night. They will visit sick friends in the hospital.
But, doing the same for themselves seems impossible. The important question is, how will everyone manage when mom is too sick to take care of them?
Squeezing more time into a jam-packed day takes an act akin to a miracle. And, taking time away from other responsibilities may feel selfish. But, it’s actually — in many ways — a selfless move for Mom and the people she cares for.
Mom should take one or two days at a set time each year (the month of May sounds like a great idea!) and line up appointments to keep herself healthy.
Here’s theGrio’s head-to-toe guide of what to check:
Yearly eye exams
It’s not just about vision — eye doctors can tell early signs of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes just by looking at the back of the eye. Vision can also change with pregnancy or after birth. And around 40, seeing things close up becomes more difficult. Early screening for diseases like glaucoma and problems with the retina can prevent or delay blindness.
Sleep apnea testing
Snorers with daytime sleepiness should discuss the possibility of sleep apnea with their doctors. Typically classified by hundreds of moments of apnea — where a person stops breathing during sleep — the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen during these episodes. The condition can raise the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and mental health disorders. Obese men with certain types of nose structures are most affected, but women are not exempt.
Check those pearly whites
A new statement from the American Heart Association says that, while there’s a link between gum disease and heart disease as previously stated, there is no current proof that troubled gums cause