It’s Men’s Health Week so I just wanted to share a few words to my fellow blokes!
It’s well documented by myself that I struggle with my Mental Health but one of the things I’ve done to help me manage this is talk about it and share with others in the hope more of us will have the conversation and in turn learn to understand each other’s struggles.
Men’s Health is obviously more than Mental but suicide remains the number one killer of men around our age so I will always bang the Mental Health drum.
But of course, us blokes historically aren’t great at getting checked out when we notice something physical either. Whether it’s blood in your piss, spit, sperm or poo (it’s not embarrassing!) or that lump in your ball sack or pectoral – make an appointment. Your Doctor will never dismiss it and you’ll be seen quickly. 90% of the time it won’t be anything serious but why risk it? For that reassurance it really isn’t anything to worry about.
For that pain in your head that won’t go away, the niggle you get in your back every time you pick your daughter up, the mole on your arm which has started to change colour or that dry, itchy skin on your hands that won’t go away.
Look, I get it. We have busy lives and we don’t like going to the Doctor but they are there to help. Don’t ignore your health lads!
I’ve heard of so many stories where people not only found something early but by doing so they were able to get effective treatment which in the longer term had no real impact on their lives. I have friends who have found lumps and despite my suggestions to get it checked out, not all of them have – or haven’t shared that they have with their friends!
I’m not sure why we avoid going to our GP or Nurse Practitioner. The stats have always suggested we are hiding away and avoiding help. Thankfully a lot of things are not serious so by not getting them checked out, nothing severe comes from it but folk continue to live with that annoyance, niggle or stress. Over the years I’ve been to the Doctors because I found a lump on my testicle (was a cyst which disappeared with medication), another time I went after feeling a lump under my nipple. I was referred to the Breast Clinic at hospital (naturally worried) but scans showed it was nothing abnormal. I’ve been about my mental health and I’ve been when my poo had a bit of blood in it. On every occasion the GP encouraged to return if I experienced or noticed any other changes with my body.
I’m certainly not a hypochondriac or a regular visitor to the local surgery – the above examples have been across my whole adult life and I can name at least one other person I know who has also been to a GP because of the same concern. In most cases there has been a positive outcome but unfortunately I’ve lost a friend to cancer, another needed surgery and various other treatments were required for others.
We only get one life lads, let’s live it without the stress of ‘that thing’ on your mind
2 thoughts on “Typical Blokes”
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I used to get frustrated going to the doctor’s, to the point it wrongly put me off going back. I’d see TV adverts saying “if you notice a change, go to the doctor” or “if you’ve had a cough for 3 weeks or more, go to the doctor” and without fail, every single time, the doctor would dismiss my concerns. I’d present with a cough that I’d had for 4 weeks and they would say “let’s give it 3 more weeks to see if it clears up by itself” brilliant. The next time I had a cough for 6 weeks, I got the same response from the doc, let’s give it 3 more weeks to see if it clears up. It was the same with blood in my poo, when I went, I was told to give it 2 weeks to see if it cleared up by itself. It was this approach that dangerously stopped me going back in the future because I can just give it time myself and hope it goes away, I don’t need a doctor for that. While the “be seen early” advice is absolutely sound, I think doctors need to play a bigger role in reinforcing that message.
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