Real Men Care for Their Health
I guess it is natural to think at this time of year about all the past Christmases, and naturally about all the family members that have passed on. I have increasingly seen more people die as I have gotten older of course... the longer you live the fewer people around you and all that.
I think about my father at this time of year... who did succumb to cancer way too early; he was a tough man. He wasn't a big part of my life... and unfortunately the year he decided to take part in my life he died. My stepfather, who was a big part of my life and upbringing also died; a few short years later. Two tough men who are gone that shared not only a mutual toughness; but an incredibly stubborn attitude about their health. My stepfather in fact bragged about never having went to a doctor. The sad fact of the matter is that I never can remember him going ... ever. What is even sadder is that when I was married I bragged that same thing. I was a responsible , reliable, trusted, and "tough" husband and father. No time for sickness or any other less than manly concerns. The sad part about that is that I used to work in hospitals. I preached to others about their health and ignored my own.
Reasons Why Men Don't Go To The Doctor...
Many of us were raised to "be tough", and never show weakness
Quite often it is out of financial concern, and the fear that being "sick" will cost too much
A so-called routine exam for most of us seems pointless if we are not in pain or discomfort
Many men just don't trust the medical "system" or any of its' components
Quite often women too who are caught up in the societal push toward male "toughness"; sometimes telling their men to "man-up" upon the slightest complaint. Although a tendency toward auto suggested illness or a need for attention is common amongst both sexes, it is less likely men will want to ever appear less than "God-like" and their complaints be unfounded.
Why we should be going...
Men typically live and work in more dangerous environs then women
Men smoke more and drink more than women
Men seek medical attention far less than women
It was found by a nationwide study in 2009 that 100 out of every 100,000 deaths in America were preventable; with certainly the most significant number of those being men
Millions of men die every year from treatable diseases like prostate cancer
Almost half of men according to a report published in the Chicago Sun Times 18 to 50 don't have a primary care physician.
40% of men in their 40's have never had their cholesterol tested, and 70% of us have never had a prostate exam.
There is a sadly ironic thing about us men wanting to be tough and protective of those we care for the most. Often, our ignoring our health and being ignorant of our own bodies, can wind up hurting the very ones we wish to protect; because they wind up burying us way too soon.
I have been blessed that as a veteran I get to go to the V A hospital for a yearly drill of testing; which I complain about, and dread going to, but I go. I pray that all my brothers out there will take care of their health, or that wives, daughters , siblings, and sons can convince the toughest of us to go see about ourselves.