Men in general (including me!) think they are invincible when it comes to their health


Men tend not to talk about their own health, I know I don’t.  Most are reluctant to ask for help or admit they have a problem about anything.  Did you know that more than one in five men have not visited a GP or healthcare professional in the last 12 months, according to a recent survey?  Included in the survey was the fact that a third of men will only go to see a doctor if their partner encourages them to, or if they really have to go.  Women are far better at looking after themselves.  We really should take a leaf out of their books!

When I first read these statistics I was shocked but after thinking about it I have come up with all kinds of excuses over the years.  Anything from I will see how I feel tomorrow or I am too busy to go.  In fact 12 months after leaving the Army, I still haven’t registered with a doctor.

New Year’s Eve 2018 – My Story

My latest excuse was “It’s just a headache, I’ll take a paracetamol and I’ll be fine”.  I woke up at 0300 with a headache that came on like a hammer to the head.  I couldn’t open my eyes or stand any light at all, my chest was tight and I couldn’t stop peeing.  My temperature was high but I felt freezing cold and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I spent 36 hours in bed unable to move, talk or eat.  My wife wanted to ring the out of hours but I wouldn’t have it.  Eventually she ignored me, rang 111 and described my symptoms. 

Before I knew it the paramedics had arrived.  With a temperature of nearly 40 degrees I was whisked away to hospital on New Years Day.  I kept telling them that I was fine and there were sicker people who needed their help.  I was told that my symptoms pointed to an infection and a possible bleed to the brain.  What followed was a 4 day hospital stay consisting of a CT scan, a Lumbar Puncture, a MRI scan and hours on various drips/painkillers.

The Outcome

Thankfully there was no bleed to the brain and I was diagnosed with a severe infection.  The doctor said if I been carrying any excess weight or my heart wasn’t as fit and healthy as it is, I would have been in a far worse position.

Putting it bluntly being told I could have a bleed on the brain was pretty sobering and it scared the crap out of me.  I should have known better.  Whilst I’m not going to rush to the doctors with every sneeze or cough, I will be registering with a doctor next week and I won’t come up with every excuse not to see them.  I was lucky on this occasion, others aren’t.

Don’t be stupid, if you feel ill see your doctor.  Prevention is better than cure, no-one is invincible no matter how fit and healthy you are.  Treat yourself like you would treat someone or something that you really love!

I am hoping the second week of the year is better than the first!

Make the Change


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