I got a comment last week and it got me to thinking…why don’t guys talk about health issues? Especially ones that are traditionally considered “women” health are very taboo. Guys get lymphedema…guys get breast cancer…guys get depression. It sucks, but it needs to be talked about more.
I grew up in an age where you “walked it off”, “rubbed some dirt on it”, “only sissies cry”…etc. I’m an Xenial, my parents were baby boomers, raised by the “greatest” generation. Got a scraped knee? Lets pour liquid fire on it, but don’t you dare cry, because only girls and sissies cry. Stuffy nose and cough? Drink some burning hot tea with honey and whiskey in it, then shut up about it. The thing is, this attitude is killing us.
Us dudes don’t like to talk about what is wrong, especial to our pals or the doctor. I will admit I am more comfortable talking to a female doctor or my gal pals than my male counterparts. I was reading this article… 53% of the guys the surveyed were not comfortable talking about their health. Around 60% only go after a symptom/problem is unbearable and 20% go because their significant other nags at them. I’m thinking the number would probably be higher if they had surveyed more people. If I had went to the doctor or talked with people sooner, I may have not had my brush with death and a PE back in 2007. I still probably not known about lymphedema, but I would have started seeking answers sooner.
I’ve gotten better about talking about health issues since then. My wife is a healthcare worker and I ask her questions all the time. I have a female doctor now as well. I was weird about it, at first, but I have discovered female healthcare workers LISTEN. That’s a very important thing when seeking healthcare. I think most people except this as a norm. It shouldn’t be. Your healthcare professionals job is to LISTEN and come up with a fix for your health issues.
Men in general need to break this taboo. I promise it won’t kill you to tell your buddy you are having chest pains or you are feeling a down. The world isn’t going to end if you go to the doctor and tell them you don’t feel good. (This goes for mental health too!!!) I went to the doctor earlier this year and flat told her I was having issues when I was in the bathroom. I suffered the indignity of a colonoscopy, but I have the satisfaction of knowing I don’t have cancer. You need to take care of your health. The silence has to end. It’s killing you, dude!