By Dr. Janet Seabrook
“I feel fine. I don’t need to see a doctor.”
“I’ll make an appointment, when I get a free moment.”
“I’ll be alright. It’s probably nothing.”
These are all some of the responses and excuses that wives, significant others, partners and family members might hear when urging the men in their lives to go see a physician. Even a routine check-up seems to be one of the things that multitudes of men are most likely to avoid.
So what’s the big deal? Is it fear? Anxiety? In many cases, it’s neither. Since pre-historic times, the “traditional role” of the male was defined as the provider and protector of the family. He was to be strong, fearless and invincible. Fast forward to 2018, many of those stereotypes still exist causing some men to let their pride and “invincibility” get in the way of going to get checked out!
While you may want to give in to their reluctance, I urge you to be persistent with the men you love about getting routine medical check-ups. It just may save their lives. I can’t tell you how many cases I’ve seen where if the patient had only come in when the symptoms first began or just adhered to a regular exam, their prognosis would have been avoidable, treatable or even…curable.
If you really want to help that “stubborn man,” appoint yourself as his health advocate.
Here are a few easy assignments to get started:
Stay on top of all of the medical appointments and try to accompany him if you can.
Make a list of medication, physician/insurance information, and make sure you each have it with you at all times.
Monitoring any changes in your loved one’s condition – weight gain, weight loss, not feeling well, etc.
Don’t hesitate to contact his physician if you think something is wrong. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
This all may sound a bit overwhelming at first, but if you remain consistent with your “duties,” there’s a chance that the “patient” will get on board and be more open to making his health a priority. Remember, his health matters!
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