Last year I met my paternal grandfather for the first time. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him about my Puerto Rican heritage and about the family that I had never met.
Our conversation was great until he told me in order to help his ailing heart, he had to have a triple bypass surgery the year before.
To me the information didn’t seem relevant because I always thought as people grow old, those things tend to happen.
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago, that my father told me about the chest pains he had been experiencing. Suddenly, I knew it was real.
The flashbacks from the elder Rosado came to my mind, and I started to think about my own health.
Then it hit me.
Health is not something we should take for granted.
Out of nowhere, it dawned on me that I sometimes have those same severe chest pains that my daddy once described.
It is essential for everyone to have regular check-ups, but for whatever reasons, they don’t.
My main goal now, is going to the doctor.
Although, I do the routine check-ups, I sometimes fail to mention the chest pains and shortness of breath that I experienced.
I have witnessed so many of my close relatives go through that whole psychological process.
One day, they’re laughing and happy, then the next thing you know, they come from the doctor and everything seems to hurt.
I decided that I don’t want the doctor randomly diagnosing me. The truth seemed to be my enemy, and I felt that if I have a predisposition to heart conditions, then so be it.
I don’t want to be the old man sitting in the chair with bad kids flicking my ears and running away, like I used to as a child.
However, after talking with a friend, they reminded me that I owe it to myself, and my family to get checked regularly. At first, I didn’t agree. However, after much consideration, I have since then come to realize, that they were right.
As a father, son, brother and an uncle, the people in my life deserve to know my health status, because they truly care if I live or die.
Although, I am a little hesitant about going to the hospital, I am still going to get checked, because knowing my status is important to both my family and me.
Antonio Rosado is a Magazine Production student from Gainesville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.