Lessons learned: always keep Coke, a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and some anti-diarrhea meds on hand. And clean bedding. Brace yourself -- if you get sick, as well, you'll still need to take care of your kids. (Thankfully, both of us stayed healthy.)
*Get a colonoscopy. A recent study strongly suggests that colonoscopies cut your risk of colorectal cancer (the second leading cause of cancer deaths) by 50%, both by detecting cancer, and by removing precancerous polyps that might otherwise develop into something more serious.
Lessons learned: "Sure, it's a pain in the neck. People complain to me all the time, 'It's horrible. It's terrible,'" said Dr. Sidney Winawer, the leader of the study, and a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. "But look at the alternative."
*Get your teeth cleaned and checked regularly. At the least, you'll have clean, shiny teeth and peace of mind. At the worst, you'll need cavities filled, a root canal or crown, or a wisdom tooth removed. Maybe more than one.
Lessons learned: Don't put it off. If you don't take care of problems right away, your teeth may abscess -- which leads to jaw infections. It not only weakens the bone, but can affect your overall health. It's not going to be cheap, but insurance helps -- and you can often make monthly payments. (Groupons are also often available for teeth cleaning and x-rays.)
I wish I hadn't learned this lesson the hard way -- but I did.
*Deal with pooping -- the full scope. Pets, babies, etc. (And don't forget cleaning the toilet.) If they make a mess, guess who gets to clean it up?
Lessons learned: Some older people struggle with this, too. One very nice older lady at our church enjoyed resting in a wing chair out in the lobby. I quickly learned not to sit in that chair until it had been sanitized first. (Yes, I know what you're thinking. Ew.)
Then of course, there's...
Need I say more??