Visiting your physician for an annual checkup is a simple – and essential – step to keeping your heart healthy and your self healthy.
Why, then, do some men refuse to go to the doctor regularly? Here are 10 reasons why many men skip this important appointment. (And, more importantly, 10 ways to counter those reasons and get yourself or a person you care about to see a doctor.)
- You don’t have a doctor. Step one toward staying healthy is finding a doctor you trust. But you’ll never know if you trust one unless you try. Check your insurance company or local listings for doctors in your area. Call their offices and ask questions, or check around online. It’s also a good idea to check with friends and family for recommended doctors
- You don’t have insurance. You can call doctors’ offices and ask if they’re accepting new patients and what payment options they have for people who don’t have insurance. They may offer discounts or charge using a sliding scale. Also, the federal government funds health centers where you can get checkups even if you don’t have insurance. You pay what you can afford based on your income. Every state also has an agency to help eligible families meet their medical expenses.
- There’s probably nothing wrong. You may be right but … you’re not a doctor. That’s why you need one, to be sure. Some serious diseases don’t have symptoms. High blood pressure is one, and it can cause heart attack and stroke. (That’s why they call it “the silent killer.”) High cholesterol is another often symptomless condition. Ditto diabetes. Finding a health problem early can make a huge difference in the quality and length of your life.
- You don’t have time. There are about 8,766 hours in a year, and you want to save … two? When those two hours could save your life if you really DO need a doctor? If you want to spend more time with your family, these two hours aren’t the ones to lose.
- You don’t want to spend the money. It makes more sense to spend a little and save a lot than to save a little and spend a lot. If you think spending time with a doctor is expensive, try spending time in a hospital.
- Doctors don’t DO anything. When you see a barber, you get a haircut. When you see the dentist, your teeth get cleaned. But when you get a checkup, the doctor just gives you tests. It may seem like you don’t get anything, but you do. You get news and knowledge that can bring better health, if you act on it.
- You don’t want to hear what you might be told. Maybe you smoke, drink too much, have put on weight. Even so, your doctor’s there to help you. You can deny your reality, but you can’t deny the consequences. So be smart: Listen to someone who’ll tell you truths you need to hear. Be coachable.
- You’ve got probe-a-phobia. You don’t need a prostate cancer exam until you’re 50. Even then, remember that your chances of survival are much better if it’s caught early. So it’s worth the exam. But it’s only one small portion of a physical. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual physical.
- You’d rather tough it out. If pro athletes can play hurt and sacrifice themselves for the team, you ought to be able to suck it up, right? Wrong! The Game of Life is about staying healthy for a long time – a lifetime.
- Your significant other has been nagging you to get a checkup. OK, so you don’t want to give in. But isn’t it POSSIBLE you could be wrong? Give in on this one. See the doctor.
When it comes down to it, there are no good reasons not to see the doctor, only excuses. Don’t wait. Schedule your annual physical today.