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.