18 July 2011

Go See a Doctor

"I got the bill for my surgery.  Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for."  
~James H. Boren

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In several of my posts, I've confessed that I am sometimes talking to myself when I start dispensing "words of wisdom". Some of those little nuggets come from conversations I have with other people who either share blog content-worthy material or they may bring up a point that I think is good to pass on. In this case, its another one of my own personal experiences that make me wish I was smarter and learning this stuff PRIOR to making the mistakes. I've been talking about things you can do to improve your stature in life and offering suggestions that can aid you in your endeavors. Maybe this is particularly a man thing, but I've had a problem, pretty much all my life, going to see a doctor. I can not give you any sane reason for my lack of visits, but unless something is broken or causing me no end of grief, I tend to bear down and deal with it.

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Its the same with medicine. Its hard for me to put a pill in my mouth that can quicken my recovery, not because my mouth is too small to insert the danged capsule, but rather because it simply does not cross my mind. If I get a headache, I may let somebody know. I might complain that its excruciating. They'll ask me what I've taken for it and the answer is pretty much the same. Nothing. And I cannot give them any plausible excuse as to why I haven't taken anything. I see that look on their faces as if they want to call me an idiot and I cannot even justify any form of reply to defend myself. I called in today to see if I could get a same-day appointment and got one within the hour, surprisingly. I was actually 10 mins late getting there even though I left right away. I told the doc my ailments and she asked how long the I had been experiencing the issue. I told her a few months and she stopped her examination to stare me in the face. Before she could even say anything, I just blurted out, "I KNOW...". What was her reply to that? "MEN..."

"You are afraid we will put our finger in your butt." - No 1 reason why men don't go to the doc, Dr. Sharon Orrange

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As a kid, I didn't see a doc too much either. I rarely got sick and if it wasn't for the required routine inoculations, I'd probably never have seen the inside of a doc office but once every so many years. I broke my fingers once and it was a whole week before I saw a doc. Prior to this, I spent that week "working" my fingers out, by forcing them open and closed until my hand swelled up to the size of a softball. My step-dad looked came in my room and saw me bending it back and forth and asked if I thought they might be broken. That had never crossed my mind as I had never broken any bones. I was in 10th grade. He took me in for x-rays and sure enough two fingers had really nice fractures. It was amazing to see my x-rayed hand and the bones broken the way they were. One finger bends toward the inside now when I type on a keyboard.

Being in the Army didn't help my cause in this manner either. Airborne Rangers were supposed to be indestructible. If you can  maintain consciousness and can walk, then you shouldered your weapon and moved out...pain be damned. I'm now paying the price for subscribing to that concept. Its also been a recent thing in that I've learned how serious some of my ailments really are. I've got tinnitus which is a ringing in the ears from all the loud guns and explosions I was involved with. NPR today had an episode on Tinnitus that almost made me stop my car and listen to it. As I drove to my doc appointment today, I heard about a man who was driven to leave his own start-up company because he could not concentrate on his work and was plagued with panic attacks because of the constant and incessant ringing. I had never even heard of anyone else with Tinnitus am not conscious as to whether any of the other things I deal with might be as of a result of my hearing impairment. I still hear well enough, but have to filter out the "other noise". Sometimes it can be difficult and I think I'm hearing something that isn't there because my brain tries to make sense of it and may incorrectly fill in the gaps for the imperceptible parts. I've never been treated for it. Apparently, according to the VA, (Dept of Veteran's Affairs) there is no treatment...you just deal with it. Which is what I've been doing for most everything I have military ailments for all along.

"You are afraid we will examine your balls." - No 2 reason why men don't go to the doc, Dr. Sharon Orrange

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You definitely have to fight with the VA sometimes and it can be a very long process. You can realistically expect to wait a year for treatments when you submit a disability claim. But I can honestly say, its worth the fight. VA or civilian-based, GO SEE A DOCTOR! Don't let stuff fester inside your body. Your health is more important than anything else you can attend to outside of your family or religious affairs. It does you no good to be optimistic concerning your job prospects or living a better life if you're going to be dead in a few months. See the doc. Take the meds and live. The financial stuff come second to that. Quality of life first starts with health. Take care of it. Be smart about it. Don't do the stuff you already know you shouldn't. Drop a few pounds. Lay off the sweets and salts. Check your prostate, breasts and get your paps done. Watch those spots on your skin. And by all means, if you're not feeling right, get yourself checkout out. And even if you feel fine, do the routine examinations. Young or old, man or woman, schedule a doctor's visit. Please.

Top 10 Reasons Men Don't Go to the Doctor - Daily Strength, Dr. Sharon Orrange
Top 5 from AskMen.com
4 Reasons Why Men SHOULD Go to the Doctor - Healthy Living

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