There’s a lot of literature out there indicating that men hate going to the doctor, or at least try to avoid going at all costs. My husband is one of those men.
As many of you know he had a heart attack a while back and is on lots of medication as well as a strict exercise and diet regime. For the last three days he has had a pain in his chest which he didn’t tell me about because he didn’t think it had anything to do with his heart or that it was anything to worry about.
Seems that this pain that he didn’t think was worth worrying about got him worried enough to visit his cardiologist because he called me from the cardiologist’s office saying he had a pain in his chest and was undergoing some tests. Whereupon I almost had a heart attack, panic attack and temper tantrum rolled into one. I don’t know what bothered me more – that he went to the cardiologist without telling me or that he put up with chest pain for three days without telling me.
Yet Alfie’s bravado is not uncommon. Many men I know will endure high fevers, rashes, coughs and stomach upsets for ages before seeing a doctor. A friend of mine who is a builder had an accident with a nail gun and refused to go to the ER claiming all he needed was a bit of antiseptic. His wife had to threaten and cajole for hours to get him to hospital, fearing septicaemia would set in.
As it turns out Alfie was right, it wasn’t his heart. He was having a reaction to the cholesterol-lowering drug he is taking. One of its side effects can be severe muscular pain which can occur in the chest and shoulders causing many people to believe they are having another heart attack. Doesn’t really sound like the type of drug you should be giving to patients with heart problems, does it?
I’m just relieved that Alfie is fine. He has promised to let me know in future if any further symptoms develop (straight away) and to visit the doctor more readily.
HIM: Don’t worry. I’ll be around for a few more years yet.
ME(in a sulk): Not if I finish you off first.
Aaah, the course of true love never does run smooth!