The speed of light is fast and according to a new discovery by an international team of physicists, a neutrino beam is even faster. Yet in my estimation, faster still is how quickly most men reject the prospect of scheduling a routine physical examination with their doctor; that is of course if they even have a doctor.
This should come as no surprise to many people. Women across the globe can openly relate to the frustration of trying to convince their mate, relative or friend that a doctor’s visit is necessitated either because of a health concern or as preventative care. All too often, they will be rejected with a shrug, a lame excuse or even anger. The bottom line is that most men would rather drink out of the toilet than visit a doctor. Men typically wait until there is no question that they cannot walk off a gunshot wound before they will agree to an appointment with a doctor.
Why is there a universal rejection of medical care among men? Some theorize that it is an affirmation of virility, as in a Boris Badenov declaration of, “Nyet, I am strong like bull!” It could also be a fear that the doctor will discover a very serious and perhaps untreatable condition. Additionally, the area of concern might be embarrassing, as in, “Well Doc, it kinda burns when I pee”. There is a third theory, one that I strongly believe to be the REAL reason . . . it is the anxiety over the rectal exam.
To me, the anxiety over the rectal exam splinters into pain, discomfort, humiliation or the fear that they might actually enjoy it and want more.
Medical concerns and overall health is usually not a discussion topic with my friends Frank, Paul, Mike and Gary, however on a recent guys-night-out at a local pub, we abruptly deviated from our requisite dick jokes and sports talk and got all women of “The View” and “The Talk”. The source of this deviation began when Frank mentioned that a mutual friend had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Frank related that our friend had experienced a tremendous loss of weight and was now undergoing chemotherapy. His prognosis for recovery is uncertain.
“What type of cancer does he have?” we asked.
Frank replied, “Lung cancer”.
“He wasn’t a smoker, was he?” we inquired further.
“No, but he used to be. He quit about 15 years ago”. Frank said.
This news created a bold sense of worry for him and we each mumbled words such as “Man”, “Geez” and “Shit”.
Our combined disbelief triggered our friend Paul to relate his own recent doctor’s visit.
Paul said, “Wow, you never know. I broke down last week and went to see the doctor. He told me my cholesterol level was extremely high”.
“How high was it?” we asked
“Let me put it this way”, Paul responded, “I could easily be mistaken for a Hormel packing facility”.
Gary chimed in, “At least you’re addressing it. I haven’t been to the doctor in . . . I think Bush was in office”.
I said, “That’s not terrible”.
Gary followed up with, “I mean Bush, the father”
We all let out a collective, “Oh”.
Just then, a waiter approached our table to take our food order. Paul immediately declared, “I’ll have the bacon cheeseburger!”
Each of us subsequently followed up with our own version of things-that-will-kill-ya. I also began to wonder if it might be time for me to visit the doctor myself for a little check under the hood. At our age, some fundamental maintenance should be addressed. Thinking aloud, I asked, “Have any of you guys ever had a colonoscopy?”
Their shared reaction was one of dismay, as if I had asked how much they dreamed about prison sex. I supported my question with, “Aren’t we supposed to have this done for some peace of mind?”
What I received in return were variations on, “Yeah, some day, but that’s nowhere on my radar screen”.
“Paulie”, I asked, “At your doctor’s exam, did he recommend a having a colonoscopy?”
Paul shrugged and said, “Sure, but I managed to change the topic by asking him if his assistant was single”.
With that, we quickly returned to dick jokes and sports talk. While we joked and laughed, I silently pledged to myself that I would schedule an appointment for a full physical and envisioned a future of salad, chicken and fish.
(Part 2 will be posted after my doctor’s appointment.)