“For the men out there. Here is why visiting the doctor is important” – by Terry Foster
I tell people that I nearly died from a stroke seven years ago.
That is not totally accurate. I nearly died from two strokes, two seizures and another scary incident I am still not sure of seven years ago.
That was the old me. That was the guy that did not go to the doctor for five years and did not want to know what was going on in my body. It was the wrong tact to take and my new approach to good health has paid dividends in the seven years since I spent eight days in the hospital.
I became sick because of sodium build up in my body. The sodium attacked a weakened blood vessel on the left side of my brain. It left me weak. I lost control of my fine motor skills, and it zapped me of my vibrant personality. The blood flow in that part of the brain became sluggish. If it clogged at any point I’d either be dead or paralyzed.
Doctors said I could have avoided my hospital stay with blood thinners and blood pressure medicine. Of course, they would never know to prescribe me because I avoided them like the plague. I was not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic 60 percent of men do not schedule regular visits to the doctor even if they suspect something is seriously wrong.
Now I visit my doctor twice a year. My annual physical is scheduled for October.
Men say they don’t want to know what’s going on inside their body. Oh yes you do. Here is why.
During an exam two years ago, my doctor discovered I was losing blood. My levels were getting dangerously low, but were not at the critical stage yet.
After my doctor told me the problem he pointed at my wife and said: “Young lady. Do not go on the internet and look this up.”
Of course, that’s exactly what she did. After we got home, I retreat to the basement when I heard a screech from upstairs.
“Babe,” my wife said. “You are going to need seven hours of surgery to treat this.”
Oh snap. Bad news.
I dreaded my return visit to the doctor.
He was in a cheery mood when we returned, however.
“I know how to fix this,” he said.
This is when he’d lay out preparation for my seven hours of surgery.
“We caught it early,” he said. “This is what I want you to do. I want you to take 65 milligrams of iron every morning.”
“That’ it,” I asked.
‘That’s it,” he said.
Man, was I relieved.
“Did your wife go on the Internet,” he asked?
I told him yes.
“They always do when I tell them not to.”
Reason two to go to the doctor.
A few months ago tests showed I had declining kidney function. If I continued down this path dialysis was in the cards. Once again doctors said they caught it early. I was told to follow a low-fat diet and drink more water.
Doctors took a cat scan of my kidneys, gave me more tests. In a follow up visit I was told the kidneys were fine. No dialysis. Again, the benefits of visiting the doctor regularly paid off.
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