02. June 2010
I have a terrific husband. He works full-time, volunteers and is a huge help at home. Tom takes care of cars that need service, commodes that need plunging and cat-boxes that need cleaning. He’s neat, thoughtful and washes the dishes. I’m a lucky woman.
But guess who keeps food in the fridge… replenishes the health-care products and makes all the doctor appointments? Without ever really discussing it, Tom has abdicated anything to do with our family’s health to me! Left to his own devices, Tom would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, go without aspirin and floss and wait years to schedule his annual physical. Tom may be a take-charge guy, but when it comes to our health, he’d rather I’m in charge.
That said, Tom’s great about telling me about any symptoms or suspicions he may have concerning his health. For that I’m grateful. But that’s not the case for most men.
Sadly, men are more likely to refuse to see a doctor when they get sick. Studies show – compared to women – they are less prone to take preventive steps to stay in good shape. And they’re far less likely to get help when depressed. According to Dr. Emily Senay, men typically don’t like to admit they’re “vulnerable human beings who can’t always be strong and silent.”
In her book, “From Boys to Men – A Woman’s Guide to the Health of Husbands, Partners, Sons, Fathers and Brothers,” Dr. Senay says it’s the same conditioning all boys get growing up: don’t cry, it’s not masculine to show you’re in pain, just sweat it out, etc. “By the time those boys are grown up, says Dr. Senay, the tendency is firmly ingrained.
Now I think the good doctor may be a little tough on guys. I know many men who take their health and fitness very seriously. But it is true that women are natural caretakers and can’t help wanting to see their families healthy. Husbands… Is that so hard to understand? Selfishly, we don’t want to see you keel over in the prime of your life, simply because you didn’t get your cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked!
So guys, do us a favor. With or without help from your wife or partner… here’s a short list of what women would like to see from you:
Have an annual physical once you reach your 40’s
Check your eating habits
If you smoke… quit
Start exercising regularly
If you drink too much, take steps to cut back
Consider alternative approaches to health challenges other than drugs
If you’ve been diagnosed with something, do some research. Educate yourself. Don’t ignore it.
If you’re sick or in pain, see a doctor
Don’t let job stress get out of hand
Visit the dentist regularly
Hey, we love you guys! It makes us happy to know you’re taking care of yourselves. And remember, when the woman in your life is happy, everybody’s happy!
Palomar Health is offering a free health class, Keeping Your Man Healthy. The class will help men know the right age for certain exams and understand risk or symptoms of specific health issues.
Keeping Your Man Healthy
Thursday, June 17
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion
15611 Pomerado Road
Poway, CA 92064
FREE – Registration required: 800.628.2880 or register online.
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.