Random Saturdays – Men and Their Crappy Health

My dad started complaining about this thing poking out of his belly button over seven years ago.  “It hurts and it pops out, so I have to push it back in,” is how he described it.  You’d see his face in pain and he’d rub his beer belly like a pregnant woman rubs her tummy.  I don’t remember exactly how, but he found out it was a hernia, and then did nothing about it.  At one point, the neighbor across the alley told my dad that he had the same problem and it’s a simple outpatient surgery.  I volunteered to take time off to drive my dad to and from appointments, take care of him while he recuperated, whatever he needed.  He just had to make the phone calls.  He claimed to have made them, but always had excuses for why the doctors were jerks who didn’t have time for him.

Cut to last summer when my step-mom finally made an appointment for my dad to see a doctor because the hernia caused my dad so much pain.  Before my dad made it to the appointment, I got a call from the ER.  My step-mom called an ambulance because my dad was in excruciating pain.  The doctor there gave my dad some pain pills and sent him home since my dad was due for surgery a few days later.  It was supposed to be outpatient surgery, but the surgeon saw, in medical terms, “a hot mess”.  The hernia had morphed into diverticulitis and perforations in the colon, which required a colostomy.

Even after all this, my friend, Cathy’s, boyfriend has a hernia and put off seeing a doctor for months.  Seriously???  Men – why do you hate being healthy?!  Why do you people do this?  Why do you wait and wait and wait to see the doctor?  Is it because you enjoy hearing the doctor say things like, “From a medical standpoint, you’re officially dead.”  Does it have something to do with zombie fantasies?

A slightly more whimsical metaphor for a man's festering gut

A slightly more whimsical metaphor for a man’s festering gut

I like my doctor, but I don’t like seeing her.  I see her because I have to for my health.  Taking care of your health is like doing yard work.  The longer you wait to take care of it, the worse it’s going to be.  If you wait too long, you’ll be forced to let others take care of it, at which point, they might have to chop down the big shade tree in your front yard because it’s diseased because you didn’t keep the pests away from it, so now you’ll be without shade and you have a gaping hole in your hard.  Good going men!  Hope you enjoy your crappy health and your ugly yard!

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2 thoughts on “Random Saturdays – Men and Their Crappy Health

  1. Men don’t seem to like to admit there are problems they need help with, and usually, they’re able to have a plan of attack to solve their own problems. That’s what’s great about them – whereas many women have a tendency to talk something to death before finally getting around to solving a thing, most guys tend to be like “OK, here’s the problem. Here are the steps I can take to solving things.” Boom. Done. Thing is, medical problems are totally out of their hands, and whereas women tend to be less stubborn about accepting help when needed, men are like “I don’t need no stinkin’ doctor!” The awesome thing about women is that we see that solutions come from community – they don’t all have to come for ourselves. Many men are preoccupied with appearances and don’t want other people to think them weak, which is silly, because admitting one needs help, of course, doesn’t make one weak. I wish more men saw going to the doctor not as an admission of defeat, but as a step toward solving their problem. I think many of them see it as giving up, when it’s not.

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