Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Men: We are Not Superman. We will Never Be Superman. We are Mortal. | #LiveALittle

**Disclaimer: Some of what I'm about to tell you is hearsay but I tend to believe all source where my information came from.** I heard of the death of a man I have known about for approximately 20 years. He was 49 when he died last week. His funeral is tomorrow. His name was Joe. He was a nice man. We had worked in the same bar & restaurant industry back in Topeka. We didn't know each other well but in passing we would say hello and call each other by name. When I learned of his passing I was curious of what killed him so I reached out to some mutual friends and the information I received blew my mind. Apparently Joe died due to complications of cancer. What blows my mind is that he just learned of his stage 4 lung cancer 3 to 4 weeks before he died. He apparently went into the hospital with stomach pain and got diagnosed with lung cancer that metastasized through his liver and pancreas. He didn't even have the chance to fight the cancer. He was too late. One thing about Joe is, he didn't go to doctors. He felt as though they were "over-rated".
Middle aged men don't go to the doctor because we are afraid that we are going to told we are not Superman. That we are mortal. That we can get sick. But this is silly. We can fight. We can get treatment. We can beat or control cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
Go to the doctor. Ellen made me go. She nagged, and nagged, and nagged, and nagged until I went. When I finally went I was told bad news and I was told I was not Superman but I'm doing everything I can to live better and healthier. I encourage you to nag that man in your life. Don't stop nagging. Get him to go. Tell him to "Man the fuck up" and go to the doctor.
Tell him about Joe. Tell him how Joe's family wishes they could nag him but they can't.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fear of Death is Fear of Regrets

My biggest fear is death. Apparently a lot of others are just like me. Public speaking is the #1 fear of Americans with death being a close #2. That means more people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy. But death really isn't my biggest fear, its actually the 5 minutes before you die, assuming I'm going to die of old age in a nursing home somewhere. That 5 minutes before I die will be my time to face all my regrets. That's what scares me. Those regrets. At that time before my death I won;t care what people think about me, what people are saying about me behind my back, I won't be worrying about small dumb shit that doesn't matter, but I will be thinking about about all the times I did. How I let others effect me negatively. How I missed out on amazing crazy opportunities because I was worried I would look silly in the eyes of others. How I stayed at a job I hated because I was worried about truly finding something I loved and took a chance and went for it. My worry is that I will spend my entire life worrying but the last 5 minutes sad because I worried. That last 5 minutes scares me to death, literally.  I want my last 5 minutes to be thinking about the amazing things I did, the loving people in my life, and having no regrets.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Why Am I So Afraid of the Doctor? | #LiveALittle Journey

I avoided doctors like bad warm beer. Never went. Didn't want to hear bad news. If I had something bad I would first try the Minute Clinics but other than that things would just heal themselves right? Apparently I was just like the majority of middle aged men, "I'm not going to the doctor. I'm fine." Its true that the majority of middle aged men who don't go to the doctor haven't gone for the same reasons I didn't, scared of results. I'm not here to offend any non doctor going men by lumping you all into my excuse pool but I'm sure what I am about to say will hit home close to a lot of you.
You're absolutely scared. You don't want to hear the bad news. Shit, you don't want to hear anything close to bad news. Out of sight out of mind. Thinking, "If I don't know about any aliments then they don't actually exist." I can't believe I thought this exact same way. It was like I was some kind of Superman who never would get sick.  This way of thinking can kill you. When I was younger hearing about older guys in their late thirties and early/mid forties dying of natural causes would scare the shit out of me.
Little did I realize but a lot of those deaths could have been avoided if those dudes went and saw the doctor earlier. We live in the 21st century, these things can be avoided.
I used to work in the nightclub entertainment industry. I lived a fun and hard life from the age of 20 to about 28. Eight really hard years on my life. Never went to the doctor once in those eight years. Drinking, smoking, basically having way too much fun. When you're you're having too much fun your body is usually paying for it. When I walked away from the lifestyle of partying 24/7 for eight straight years my family made me go to the doctor, no question I just had to go. They were worried about me and rightfully so. Made the appointment, but wasn't happy about it, and found out nothing life threatening but terrible sleep apnea. Going untreated sleep apnea can cause some pretty scary shit. Shit, one of my NFL football heroes, Reggie White, died from complications due from sleep apnea.
After being diagnosed with sleep apnea a smart person would continue going to the doctor for follow up visits and make sure everything was under control. Hell I've had health insurance my entire life so its a no brainer, but I didn't.   I didn't go back for almost 15 years. Fifteen years between doctor visits to check up on a serious medical condition that has killed people. Why am I so stupid? Oh yeah, because I'm a middle aged man afraid of bad news from doctors. Some how I think that if a doctor takes my blood or looks down my throat he or she is going immediately tell me with a somber face, "You have cancer." This is ridiculous, I mean it's not ridiculous that a doctor might one day tell me that, it's ridiculous that's my worry. Seriously if I did have cancer wouldn't I want to know right away? Enough time to fight it? I say cancer but there are plenty of other aliments that scared me, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
When I went to the doctor, again finally after almost 15 years, 6 months ago I did get bad news. In fact I got horrible news. My blood tests came back that I indeed did have diabetes. The moment that I had been avoiding for almost 15 years happened. The doctor looked at me with his somber face and told me I had diabetes. I fucking sucked but it happened. He also told me of some other problems that my blood tests showed, like extreme low testosterone (which I'm also currently fixing). But he insured me that I wasn't dying, well at least ahead of schedule at the moment.
I could ramble on and on about not going to the doctor for 15 years and being old wussy for not going but that would get tiresome. The main point to this blog was to encourage guys out there just like me to stop being a scared pansy-ass and go to the fricking doctor. We've got to break this cycle. We've got to get healthy and stay healthy.