Mens Health: If You're A New Dad Don't Forget To Schedule A Checkup For Yourself!
With so many doctor’s visits for your baby making partner (BMP), a future dad to be really needs to take the time to get a health check himself. I know, I know, there is no possibly way you can get out of work anymore seeing as you must go to EVERY Doctor’s appointment, EVERY ultra sound, EVERY parenting class, EVERY breastfeeding course.. Wait What? Why should a Dad need to go to a breastfeeding course? We have absolutely nothing to do with that process! (I’ll save that for another article I suppose…) So you get my point, I know your schedule is horrible and you are trying to cram in every last night of restful sleep, nights out with the guys, and you’re still trying to finish Modern Warfare 3 on the X-box, but your health is important also.
In my professional career, I see men who wait until the last minute for healthcare and are forced to go to the emergency room for a situation that could have been easily prevented. Now I’m not saying head to your closest ER for a routine checkup as it will cost you more money, and if it’s not an emergency you may even be turned away, wasting more of your precious time. What I am advising is that you need to go to your regular every day primary care doctor and get the regular stuff done. you know, oil change, check the tires, oil levels and paint job, and of course that awkward cough you must do once a year (unless your doctor is female, you can take pride in the fact that another woman groped your junk, even if you technically had to pay her to do it…)
Now I’m not one for doctors, as I try to spend as much time away as I can from the cold unforgiving locations, but I’ll admit I actually just went to see my Primary Care Physician (PCP in medical lingo). I had never met the guy, and he was my assigned PCP for over 6 months after our insurance changed. It turns out he’s actually a pretty nice guy and made me feel very comfortable and at ease. When he asked me what I was in for, I laid it all out on the table for him. I told him I was going to be a new Dad and actually wanted to ensure I was around long enough to at least be able to kick my child out of the house at the tender age of 18. To my surprise, he was more than accommodating, and we discussed issues about my health that were important to me.
For starters I’m a big guy. Unfortunately when I step up on the Wii Fit Balance board it says, “Oh My That’s Obese” which demoralizes me more than I care to admit. Now I’m not quite ready to go on Jerry Springer with a need to be cut out of my house, but I have always been a big guy. As my dear friend will tell you, the label is “Portly”. The doctor prescribed for me a weight loss plan pretty much that I get to choose, and advised I needed more exercise. In short he doesn’t care how I melt the fat away, he just wants to see some steady improvements. Finally a doctor that didn’t make me feel like a fat bastard! I’ll admit it is taking some time for me to get into the groove of the exercise and diet thing, but I plan on starting today, on my way to a healthy new me.
In addition, he referred me to a dermatologist, as well as a doctor to help with my sleep apnea. Which I’m actually hoping will go away with some weight loss. Bottom line it wasn’t all that bad. He also ordered some blood work with will be critical when the baby arrives. I want to make sure that there are no preventable issues that I may have passed on the the little one. Overall it’s also not a bad idea. It was probably the most thorough exam I have ever had. Either because the doctor enjoyed my company or was impressed that a new dad took the time to come see a doctor, I’m not sure which.
But what’s this, you can’t afford to see a doctor? Suck it up Mr., this is one of the expenses you’ll just need to deal with. It’s like paying taxes and buying diapers, you’re just going to need to do it. If you have insurance coverage, you have a few choices. Never been to a doctor? Have no idea who your PCP is? No sweat, just call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask to speak with customer service. They will gladly guide you in the right direction. Besides they’ll be happy you are using your insurance and you should be too, After all, in a few more months, you’ll need to upgrade to the family plan, which inevitably will cost you more money out of pocket. It’s just too bad they don’t offer rollover or free family plan calling… and your BMP will be so impressed that you took matters into your own hands, she may just show you some affection.. You know… Wink Wink… By allowing you to assemble something like a crib for the baby.
If you don’t have a doctor or insurance don’t panic. You do have some choices. check with your local hospital and see if they run a clinic. Often times, the “FREE CLINICS” that you see on TV shows don’t really exist or are loaded with people you don’t really want to sit next too for hours on end while in the waiting room. You may actually pickup a new symptom just by being there. Instead, call your local hospital and see if they offer a low cost clinic or men’s health exam. Another option would be to contact your county health department. Worst comes to worst, call around in your local yellow pages to see if you can find someone who can squeeze you in. Be sure to ask some of the magic words like “What payment methods do you accept?” and “Do you offer a prompt pay or cash discount?”. Odds are they can hook you up for a reduced price if you are up front and say that you don’t have insurance but would like to pay out of pocket. Yes, they will usually cut you a break. Just be sure to have cash in hand as a doctor’s office will not bill you for your first appointment. Just like prostitutes, they want to be paid BEFORE they get a chance to see you naked…
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