Many times over my life, especially since my mid to late thirties I have taken a tac towards maintaining a healthy respect for my well-being. We all know the general perspective of men is that they don’t go to the doctor unless they are really down and out sick. Why is that? Is it the idea they don’t feel the need because “I’m a man”? Of course we have also seen the perspective of women over when a man gets sick and it becomes a major catastrophe compared to a woman with the same ailment. Point is, just what are men supposed to do.
My wake up call was when I went for a job physical in my late thirties and the nurse took my blood pressure and sat back with a look of astonishment. She asked me did I feel okay. I said yes, but she retorted that my BP was 196/125.
Well, yes, I would say that is high, but I had recently been fired from my last job and I needed work badly. I told her I wanted this job and with the new employer’s BCBS insurance I would definitely have this looked into. The doctor was even more concerned, but passed me for the job and eventually I went to a doctor after I got health coverage.
I spent the next two years going from one medication to another trying to get my BP down. Ace Inhibitors, water pills, etc, never seemed to work. My BP stayed around 168/118 during this whole time. All this time I wasn’t feeling that bad or so I supposed. I had headaches and such without correlating the two as the reason why I felt this way. I had eye twitches only to realize anxiety played the bigger part to all this.
I finally reached a point where I could relax more from the issues and circumstances around me. My BP finally settled down to a respectable 125/80 and stayed there for several years. I maintained diaries of my readings per the doctor’s request. Once I settled down I was beset with missing/skipped heartbeats. It would sometimes last for several days leaving me tired, but I struggled through trying to maintain a semblance of regular life.
Over the years I have recognized the patterns and with the help of God I have averted many attacks of anxiety and even panic attacks in my fifties. BP has at times tried to rear it’s ugly head, but I have overcome it time and time again. Anxiety has been my biggest problem. I’m an analyst by nature and in doing analysis of circumstances causes the onset of high BP.
The good part is I have learned to rely on God to get me through. Bad part is I relapse from forgetfulness of following through at some point and fall down on this knowledge and have to battle once again with it. I really am much better at dealing with anxiety now than in my earlier years.
I remember once many years ago my dad went for a job physical with Texas Gulf Phosphate Mining Company. He came home telling mom the doc told him he had very high BP. His failure to follow up is what caught up with him at the age of 53 when he had his first heart attack. The doctors that treated him said he was not a candidate for any type of surgery because of unchecked high BP had enlarged his heart to the point of no return. He would eventually die of congestive heart failure. He tried to tell me this would be my lot in life as well. I told him I was not buying his predictions and it would not come to pass for me being gone by age sixty.
I’m telling this story for one reason. We only have one life in this time. We have only one body. It’s not wise to sit around with a macho attitude thinking we can conquer or evade deterioration of our health. It can’t be done.
From the youngest of years in life we need to look at and realize to live long and prosper, so to speak, we need to know maintenance of our bodies is of utmost priority. It’s good to have this, but still there are many who have invincibility in our makeup and don’t heed signs of ill health causing habits and neglectfulness.
So, this writing is to you young men. It’s time to go to the doctor. Even if you don’t think you have a problem, go anyway. Get the physical check up. Blood work. Get it done. See what may be going on that you take for granted or may not even know about. Men, if you take care of yourself like some of you do your favorite car, gun, truck, dog or whatever, you may just live to an age that you may have never seen otherwise.
The first part of seeing to your bodily health comes from a good spirit. It comes from containing the urges of the soul that affect the body. It comes from recognizing that God needs to be a priority. From this top down approach you will find yourself living longer than others might predict for you. You are your only connection that can prolong your life by making good, solid choices. I found this to be so true. The Spirit of God in your vessel gives your soul discipline and direction and the natural body will naturally follow suit, resulting in longer life.
I hope some guy who reads this will take heed. Especially if you are young. Don’t wait for a crisis. Avert that by starting now setting priorities in life and working towards a goal that will lead to a long life with purpose.