For the month of March, we’ve been focusing in on personal health and wellness. This week, we’re going to discuss one of the most underrated components of maintaining our personal health and wellness: asking questions. In today’s episode, we’ll be asking the question: What are the consequences if I don’t?
Want to know a secret? You’re in control of your body. Or you should be, for sure. Just because someone recommends something doesn’t mean you have to do it.
I was told to remove my wisdom teeth when I was about 18. But I had more questions than answers, would be facing debt from the bills around the same time I’d start paying back my student loans (yay), and I had viable concerns about my recovery while I was in school (for vocal music, by the way--like, I had to be able to sing or I would fail). It was something that needed to be done, they told me. But I asked, “What are the consequences if I don’t?” I’m pretty sure nobody had ever asked this oral surgeon this question, because he took a BEAT before answering me. And it turned out there was nothing at all urgent about my situation. My four wisdom teeth would most likely cause some problems down the line related to cavities because of anticipated difficulty cleaning. But that was it. We didn’t know if it would be one year or ten. So, I decided to monitor it and see.
Last year, my dentist brought it up with me again. The problems were finally starting to become visible, and I had about three years before it would become even more expensive and incredibly painful to get them removed. So I scheduled a consultation with a new oral surgeon and asked the sam question, “What are the consequences if I don’t?” And this time they were real and immediate. So I had all four teeth removed at once. And I’m not going to lie, it really, really sucked. The recovery took about a month, which nobody told me would happen. But I’m on the other side of it and glad that it’s done. I was able to wait until I wasn’t singing in a classroom every day. I was actually able to wait until I was working at home due to a global pandemic. Great timing. I had an accurate picture of the consequences, and so I was able to make decisions that balanced my health, my life, and my finances. You can, too.
So next time you’re feeling weird about that bikini wax or that thing that needs to be removed, ask the question, “What are the consequences if I don’t?” Then you and your doctor can determine if it’s actually medically necessary and cost effective. Let’s practice.
Repeat after me, with a strong voice, “What are the consequences if I don’t?”
Good. Very good. Let me know what you learn from asking this question on Instagram @nowthatimnotyourteacher or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll meet you back here tomorrow for our final question of the week.
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher by Taylor Vogel is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
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