Apparently in many states, including Georgia, blood tests are no longer required before you get married. (Based on what I found online, it looks like they were eliminated in Georgia in 2003.) A columnist for The Huffington Post marriage section argues that not only should couples be required to have blood tests before they get married, they should also attend each other’s doctors appointments throughout their lives together.
“You and your fiancé should educate yourselves about each other’s health and start going to the doctor together when you decide to get married. It doesn’t have to be weird — he can leave the room before a pelvic exam and she can go read a magazine in the waiting room when it’s time for him to bend over and cough. You don’t have to step onto the scale in front of him EVER if you don’t want to. If one of you is willing to switch doctors, I highly recommend doing so. It makes life easier when you can schedule bi-annual or annual appointments together (dentist, primary care physicals, eye doctor, etc.). But even if you don’t have the same doctor, what’s important is that you attend appointments together. Start with a full physical and participate as a couple in the consultation afterward. There are a lot of things you don’t know about your fiancé that you’re going to learn when you do this. For example, you may find out that they’re watching your fiancé carefully for a specific ailment as he or she ages because there is a big history of it in their family. Or you might find out that your fiancé is allergic to sulfa drugs and you never knew it because it hasn’t come up and your fiancé hasn’t been seriously ill in the time you’ve been together. It’s really important to know this stuff. If you are in an accident, who do you think they call to get the medical history? You need to know the exact details and you need to understand what’s what.”
“I also advocate attending most medical appointments together because, as we age, we start to want to hide some of the things that are happening to us from the people we love. We all know about how Grandpa wouldn’t acknowledge his hearing loss, making holiday dinners an interesting experience akin to playing the childhood game “broken telephone.” My husband still claims that he’s got reading glasses now only because his arms have shrunk. Serious health issues aren’t that different — people don’t like to acknowledge them to themselves or anyone else. But one way to keep healthier and to take the best care of yourself is to approach your health as a team. If one of you really needs to be eating a special diet, the other person is likely to be more sympathetic and supportive if they understand the ramifications of not following that specific diet. More than one of my girlfriends have gone off the pill and chosen alternate contraception when their fiancés found out what it could do to them (as the commercials say “certain women should not take the pill”).”
“There are a lot of things you have to learn to approach as a couple — healthcare, finances, long-term planning — but you can tackle them one at a time. In order to be able to tackle them, you need to be healthy. So that’s the first priority for you as a couple.”
My mom does say all the time that she needs to go with my father to the ear and eye doctors because she says he only hears from the doctors what he wants to.
I think most often spouses accompany each other to the doctor when they think something is really wrong or when they’re having a baby.
So what do you think? Have you ever attended a doctor’s appointment with a spouse? Would you like to go together for basic check ups? Do you think it would be helpful to learn more about their basic health and not just go when you think they may have cancer? Should blood tests be required again before marriage?