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Avoid procrastination when faced with ill health

Procrastination is a long word, and possibly a more stylish way of saying later. It’s just postponing the inevitable, in disregard to an obvious need for being more proactive. Psychologists estimate that one in five adults have a problem with procrastination. The reasons for procrastination are varied. Alternate chores may be more pleasurable, or what you really need to act on may appear boring and time consuming.

Remember the saying that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’? You could look up the dictionary of idioms to trace the origins of the saying. It’s clear what a stitch is, but not too forthcoming what the nine referred to. But the meaning is obvious, sorting out a problem immediately may save you a lot of extra work later, or anguish, or expense, or your life. You can choose to procrastinate with all sorts of stuff, like office reports, academic deadlines, or fixing your leaky roof. But think again when taking a procrastination stance when some health symptoms come your way.

We are not talking about mundane day to day symptoms. Aches and pains following some strenuous physical activities will sort themselves out. Colds and flus come and go. The odd cough is neither here nor there. You can let such everyday symptoms run their course. That’s hardly procrastination, it’s just being pragmatic and allowing you body’s immune system to do what it does best.

But you cannot wait out any serious symptoms. Such symptoms will come in two categories. Some are so urgent that emergency treatment is inevitably required to save your life. The other category is more indolent, but tends to portend a more morbid course. We are talking of signs and symptoms that may signify serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer among others. You cannot plead ignorance on your part, there is so much information out there about symptoms that always warrant some action. Any procrastination in an emergency may get you to the other side quicker. Delaying action with chronic diseases will just blunt your chances of ever getting cured.

Be the proactive type, and always act in good time when faced with serious illnesses. Seek medical help promptly, the quicker the diagnosis becomes clearer the better. Don’t wait for others to make decisions for you. If faced with some unexpected heavy bleeding for example, why do you need to check with somebody else whether making your way to the hospital is the right decision? If your interval screening for cancer is due, why not just get it done? If you develop a suspicious lump, don’t just wish it away, get it checked out for god’s sake.

Every so often, sick individuals will wait till it’s too late to be saved. Don’t be in that bracket, get sorted when there’s a meaningful chance of a cure. Medical procrastination should be a no.

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