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?
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!