Apart from an unfortunate incident with a laundry basket which resulted in a broken finger (I knew laundry was dangerous) I haven’t needed medical attention very often over the years, and happily for me, I’m rarely at the GP.
However the downside of this is that there’s no regular general check-up, not to mind anything more thorough, like a health screening. I had one full health screening about six years ago – because a significant portion of the cost was covered by my work health insurance. But now that I’m self-employed and in charge of the kids, I’m less likely than ever to book myself in for a check-up.
And interestingly, it seems many women are in a similar situation – at least according to Charter Medical who have seen twice as many men come for full health checks than women. They told me they assume it’s because women tend to put themselves last after family and work, and that indeed could be the case. And I admit, if I hadn’t been offered the chance to review their health screening, I probably wouldn’t have thought to book one either.
So here’s how my health screening went, and if you comment below, you will be in with a chance to win a health screening for yourself, worth €495!
There will be blood (but it’s quick and painless)
My appointment was scheduled for 9am on a Tuesday morning in November – I didn’t think this through very well, and had booked for the day after Halloween. And you have to fast for 12 hours beforehand. So if you win the free screening, or book one using the discount for Office Mum readers, be warned – don’t book it for the day after Halloween. Or any occasion on which you normally eats lots of chocolate and perhaps have a glass of wine because it’s also a bank holiday. Just saying.
Charter Medical is in Smithfield – a short Luas journey from the city centre, and an even shorter walk to the clinic. I’ve never been to Smithfield before and it was a beautiful crisp sunny morning, so the morning started well before I got to Charter Medical at all. After booking in, I waited a few minutes (with my Kindle – bliss!) before being called in to have height, weight, and blood pressure taken, and an ECG. This last one was new to me, and I felt like I was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but in a good way. I also had blood taken (quick and painless) and then it was back out to the waiting room, before being taken to another room for a breathing test.
The Eggs Benedict bit
Then something lovely happened. The receptionist came over with a voucher for breakfast and coffee in a local café – because fasting people can’t concentrate properly when they’re chatting to the doctor. This was unexpected and very welcome. Ten minutes later, I wasn’t thinking about blood tests or breathing tests or any kind of health screen – I just knew that reading my book and eating Eggs Benedict was a good result for a Tuesday morning.
I’d been given a time to return to the clinic, and next stop was to see Dr Juliet Bressan for the physical exam and the chat about everything and anything.
Down to the detail
I’d been asked to fill out a questionnaire in advance, and we chatted through that. We talked about exercise and nutrition – she was happy that I have a pretty healthy lifestyle. And that’s what I like about health screenings – they’re very realistic. Nobody tells you that you can’t have a glass of wine or that third coffee, and while regular exercise is important, it’s also clear that sometimes that exercise comes in the form of the school run.
She asked about my family medical history, and I explained that as my mum passed away twenty years ago, I don’t know a lot about it. My mum was just nine years older than I am now when she died, and it’s something I’m conscious of. Not in any kind of rational way, because of course it’s not rational, but just gets me thinking from time to time about illnesses that might be lurking but not visible.
Juliet understood my concerns and gave me an answer that made a lot of sense to me. She said that while of course nothing is ever really predictable, lifestyle plays a huge part. If you eat well, exercise, don’t drink too much and don’t smoke, you give yourself the best chance of staying healthy and avoiding chronic disease.
I have a vague memory of a text from my aunt some years ago, saying to watch out for Osteoporosis, and I mentioned this to Juliet. She sent me for a DEXA bone scan then, which took place on a different floor and involved a short wait, but once that was done, I was free to go.
The whole thing took about two and a half hours, not including the extra scan, but the reassurance I felt walking back out into the sun was worth every minute. It’s really quite unusual for any of us to have a whole morning that’s just focused on ourselves, and in particular on our health, and it felt good.
My results arrived within two weeks, and it was all good – all inside the lines. The only blip was the bone scan – a mini blip at that. So I now know I have some evidence of Osteopenia, which is a medical condition in which the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced, but less severely than in Osteoporosis. The recommendation is to take vitamin D supplements, and to eat four portions of calcium per day or take a calcium supplement too. I’m thinking I need to up my night-time cheese habit from three to seven nights a week.
I highly recommend the whole experience, and it’s wonderful to have peace of mind. Admittedly, it’s not cheap, but there’s a special discount for Office Mum readers available until the end of December – the screening that usually costs €495 is available for €350. If you’re interested, just click into ChaterMedical.ie and fill out a contact form, or email at email@example.com or phone + 353 1 657 9000 and mention Office Mum when you’re inquiring.
**Competition closed! Winner is Eileen Kane – thanks all for entering.**
I also have one Women’s Executive Health Screen to give away!
To be in with a chance to win, just comment below, or comment on Facebook, or share this post on Twitter. And if you’re on Facebook, Charter Medical would love you to Like their Facebook page and I’ve love a Like on my page too! I’ll draw one winner on Tuesday December 6th – good luck and good health!
Charter Medical provided me with a complimentary health screen for the purpose of this review, but this isn’t a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.
25 thoughts on “Women’s Executive Health Screening – Review and Giveaway!”
Oh would love to win this. Please stick my name in the hat, thank you.
I am so overdue an NCT it’s not funny… As for blood tests after sugarloading, I have a story about this too… bottom line, don’t do it!!!
I would love to win this. Fingers and toes crossed.
Oh god. This has been on my ‘to do’ list forever! I’d to do a medical for the esb but that was mainly drug screening (I kid you not) and testing I won’t fall over while maintaining an overhead power line!!!! I passed both!! Fling me in the hat and I’ll see if I can fail the drug one this time ….
I’d really love to win this. I’ve extremely low iron all the time so be great to get a full check up!
I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, stick my name in the hat there!
Would love to do this. Baba has arrived now so this will probably be the most alone time I get for the next while!!
The last time I got a medical was when i started my job 10 years ago! Have had a baby in between so this would be wonderful for piece of mind.
Oh I would LOVE this. I’ve been asking my husband to go get one for a couple of years now, and he hasn’t – next best thing would be finding out that I’m not about to keel over I guess! (even though I feel like I’m about to keel over 50% of the time…)
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I want this for the eggs benedict and time to read a book!!!
Only kidding – you are spot on, we women always tend to put ourselves last. Fair play to you for highlighting this.
Sounds great not that intrusive at all! I’d love to have a full check up as I’m the same as most Mums, I come last and it’s a long list in this house with 5 little ones ahead of me. My family history has had a few ailments that I’d like to be checked for & my iron must be low as the blood board deferred me for a year the last time I tried to donate blood after donating successfully for many years. So please stick my name in the hat!
Would love to win this, if you could stick my name in the hat please!
I would love to be entered into the draw please!
Great idea Andrea! I’ve booked this and cancelled twice before down to cost:(. It’s silly really. Such a shame the govt doesn’t invest in a Programme like this to avoid what could be preventable health costs in the future. Sure that would make sense! Would love to put my name in the hat! Thanks Vivienne
Would love to win this! Was going to book one myself but something else always seems to come up money wise.
Excellent idea. Full MOT. would love this.. everyone should do this for themselves. Brilliat idea..
God I would love this so much!!!
Would love it, even if it’s just for some me time! 😉
This is probably the best prize that anyone has ever offered in a competition!
As mothers, we always put our kids first and often forget about ourselves. As I’m in my forties now I feel more vulnerable than I did when I was younger. I’m starting to take my health more seriously as I know the impact my not being here would have on my family. I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your own mother at such a young age. I bet you feel immense relief having been through this check up.
This is something I would LOVE to win Andrea. I will head over to like the Charter Medical Facebook page now.
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I’m loving this idea and glad you got a clean bill of health. Definitely throw my name in to the hat please Andrea 🙂
I have to admit I’ve been saying Id do this for years. Husband has had a few done as he’s got arthritis but I never get sick and every so often an ad or something will make it flash into my mind and I worry briefly for all the possibilities but then it’s back to reality. One interesting thing I will tell you is that when I rang our local clinic to enquire before it was twice the price for a woman to go, which may also be a factor. (Id assume that’s difference in tests). If you could count me in too that’d be great, thanks! And congrats on the all clear
That sounds great and reassuring. Fingers crossed for myself!
This sounds amazing and as Women we don’t look after ourselves as well as we should as there are never enough hours in the day, please enter me.
All in the draw, thanks for entering – I will draw a winner on Tuesday night. Good luck!
Fabulous prize – something we should all be doing regularly! I’m glad to hear your results were good.
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