I had a very interesting conversation today at work. Several (female) colleagues in their late thirties, early forties complained that they cannot get their husbands (I would assume about the same age as they are) to go to the doctor. Any doctor and any reason. That is for current ailments or for preventive check-ups. Their husbands just want to wait until pain or discomfort is gone (taking painkillers) and see no reason for check-ups since “they fell fine and healthy”.
This is completely beyond my ability to understand. Anyone in this country has free medical care, and at my work, anyone gets supplemental private medical insurance (that also covers spouses and children). So money and the cost are not a reason. There are no long waiting periods for any specialist, as well (the longest I had to wait was for a gastrologist — and that was 7 weeks). I think being healthy and feeling well is (or should be) a goal for everyone. So why not use what is there available for anyone to take care of any (even small) medical issues?
Is it because there is something unmanly to admit to having medical issues? To check for easily prevented diseases before they develop? Is it better to suffer in silence only because of some arbitrary macho bullshit? Or is it better to die young — as the average life expectancy for men shows clearly that all over the world men die on average much sooner than women?
Strange… For my part, I go to the doctor frequently. If there is pain or some other health concern that lasts more than a couple of days (or a day if it is severe) I immediately contact my doctor. At least I will get a referral for blood tests to see what is going on with my body. Also, I go by recommendations for medical check-ups for men of my age, as suggested by the experts. And I repeat those check-ups yearly to see if there are any changes. And even if something might not be very needed, I still want to get a specialist opinion — like last week when I went to an allergist. I realized that I never had any tests done for my allergies and even though they don’t bother me that much, it might be a good time to check it and see if there is any concern.
I know I might be overdoing that a bit for a good reason. Since I regained control over my life from many years of slavery to my addiction, I want to enjoy my current quality of life for as long as possible. I want to be healthy and without pain. I know that there are possible medical issues that cannot be predicted, but on the other hand, there are plenty of medical issues that can be prevented before they become a concern.
And so far, so good — I will continue taking care of my body, and I hope that body will appreciate it and will last me a long while with no breakdowns.