This applies to all men out there, young or old. A friend told me last week of a friend of hers who was too much of a ‘man’ to go to the doctor. This man had an 11 yo son (the only child I know of, she told me an abbreviated story) whom he took to football practice every week. And for all intents and purposes he loved his son.
Here’s the rub. He had an ulcer. He knew he had it, for 13 years this ulcer was a part of his life, his health. And yet, he ate aspirin like candy, according to my girlfriend. Guess what! Ulcers do not like aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner. And if you are in pain enough to need that much medication, you need to take yourself to the doctor because there is something wrong that you need to have checked out. He was at his son’s birthday party a week ago and wasnt’ feeling well. Two days later that ulcer perforated. Can you say bad, very very bad? In the 40 minutes it took to life flight this man to the nearest major hospital he bled out. In case you don’t know what that means, all of the blood in his body drained through this ulcer that has now basically ruptured and into his abdominal cavity. When he arrived at the hospital he was clinically dead. DOA. Ever heard that one? At the ER they pumped 19, NINETEEN, units of blood into this man, and were able to get his pulse back, but it was too late, there was no brain activity. He was on life support for a couple of days before they decided to take him off.
How sad is that? Something that was preventable and needless and didn’t have to happen, all because he was a man and didn’t think he needed to go to the doctor. His son is now without a father. His dad can’t take him to football, teach him how to drive, see his son graduate high school, or college, or get married, or see his grandchildren. That boy’s life will never be the same. Can you imagine what life would have been like if you had lost your father at an early age? I almost lost mine, not from something preventable, but to cancer, when I was 13 and I have no idea how differently my brother and I would have turned out if we had been raised by my stepdad alone. dont’ get me wrong, he’s a good man, but completely different from my dad.
I am writing this because we really don’t like statistics like this. Pain is your body’s warning signal that there is something wrong. Here’s a comparison for you. If your car’s ‘check engine’ light comes on and you just put a piece of tape over it and ignore it, eventually the car will poop out, or fall apart, or blow up, or whatever. That is what pain is, your body’s ‘check engine’ light. If you ignore it, or mask it with pain meds, eventually you will end up in the doctors’ office, in the ER, in the operating room, or in the morgue, take your pick.
So I say to you today, if not for yourself, for the ones you love, suck it up and go to the doctor. I have a newsflash for you, no one will think less of you for going. No one will think you’re being a baby, or a whiner, or a wimp for doing it. They will think you are responsible and smart for going. And while I’m giving newsflashes, doctors don’t think you’re complaining when you tell them what’s wrong. When you see the doc and they ask ‘How are you?” IT IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION! Tell them what is going on and why you are there. They need all the info you can give to best help you. It is not complaining when you are asking them for help. I promise, no doc will laugh at you, look down at you for being there, or consider you to be a wimp at all. This I know for a fact.
Take care of yourself and never ever say this again:
“MAYBE IT WILL GO AWAY” Those are the five most dangerous words in a man’s vocabulary.