A few years ago, I would have been offended and baffled at the presence of online coupons for health care for something as basic as medical testing such as Just Get Tested coupons. I mean really, how could laboratories and doctors condone the laziness and irresponsibility of some people who just don't want to go in for routine blood tests?
But my opinion has changed dramatically as time went on. As I got older, I got to meet people who just didn't want to know if they were sick or not - it wasn't a matter of being irresponsible - it was a matter of being afraid to face the fact that something might be wrong with them. There was also the fear of being afflicted with something widely perceived as being without a cure, such as lupus or the big C.
I also came to realize that some exams were themselves seen as embarrassing. The urine exam was a good example of this. Peeing in a cup in a laboratory restroom while a technician waited for you can be severely uncomfortable for some people. Some people also mistakenly worry that their prescription medications might get them flagged as drug abusers, or that an indication of illness would get them into trouble somehow.
To make matters worse, another reason why going in for a routine blood tests was scaring people was that there was a social stigma linked with some diseases that could be detected though blood tests, especially diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Finally, at the frenetic pace that society drives us today, few people feel like it's worth the time and effort it takes to go to a clinic and get testing done unless it's ordered by a doctor or they're feeling very, very sick.
The problem is that routine testing is not just a hassle or a chore - it's necessary. Tests done to monitor one's blood sugar, or cholesterol levels, or even screening for illnesses have to be undertaken to catch anything that could be a potential problem early on. Think of the nights that you lie awake at night, knowing that your family has a history of diabetes but haven't gotten tested to see if you're in the clear. Wouldn't you rather know if you are, and be able to take precautions, or know that you aren't and be able to rest easier? Or what if you had that unexpected wild moment, and fear that you'd contracted something? Would you rather be afraid for a long time, increasing your stress levels exponentially, or just get tested, and handle it from there?
But testing or screening isn't always free, either. Lab work costs money, and sometimes people just can't afford them. But now there's more corporate concern about public health, as exemplified by Just Get Tested coupons. The coupons show that companies are willing to offer discounts to encourage people to get tested and have that peace of mind of knowing the true state of their health. I only hope that more people would take advantage of them.
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