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Don’t be ridiculous, go to the doctor

Jason Offutt

November 17, 2017 – I have a problem with my health. It’s fine. That, however, is not the problem. The problem is that at any given second my brain may tell me a sneeze, body ache, sudden desire to eat Doritos, or the fact that something splashed on me in a public restroom is a disease incurable by today’s science.

My health may be fine, but I’m not. Not at all. My wife calls this hypochondria. I say I’m living to see another day.

Unfortunately for my gender, it looks like I’m alone.

According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, 60 percent of American men refuse to go to a doctor when they’re ill. Almost 40 percent won’t seek medical attention unless they’re certain they’re dying and 19 percent of those only see a doctor when their wife makes them.

Seriously.

The study also showed guys don’t talk about their health. A man is more likely to discuss sports, work or politics than the growth on his butt that looks like Spiro Agnew.

What is wrong with you people? Do you have a problem with living? I carry a bottle of Purell just in case anyone gets too close because they might touch something I might touch and I don’t know where they’ve been.

This precautionary health fixation is why I should never get on the internet.

My family history is littered with cancer, so the Big C scares the hell out of me. When my mom died of lung cancer I went in for a checkup for no other reason than I spent most of my life breathing cigarette smoke carcinogens, especially in our Buick during the winter because, “It’s cold. Roll up the damn window.”

An X-ray showed a mass in my chest. After further examination, the mass turned out to be a lump of fat. That news was strangely comforting.

So, when the link to “symptoms of a brain tumor” popped up while I was researching something less deadly, I had to click on it because I’ve had a runny nose.

Dear lord, my condition was worse than I thought.

The first symptom was headaches. Yeah, I have headaches. They’re usually caused by my children, but still.

Problems with balancing and walking? Holy, moly. I have that. Usually after a football party, but a symptom’s a symptom.

Memory loss?

Changes in mood?

Loss in concentration?

Changes in vision?

Loss of hearing?

Fatigue?

I have those. Every one. I can’t remember why I walked into this room, I go from singing happily to a song on the car radio to screaming at some moron who can’t work a four-way stop, my mind flits from Ginger to Mary Ann with reckless abandon, my eyesight’s going bad, I ask people to repeat what they’ve just said and fatigue? Yeah, I’m tired.

Geez, I need to go to the hospital.

But, as I logged off, I realized something. I’m 52. These aren’t symptoms of a brain tumor, I’m just old.

I think I may be better now. I’m going to walk away from the internet and go work with power tools, but if I have an accident, I’m going to take care of it.

Come on, guys. Go to the doctor. That finger’s not going to reattach itself.

Jason’s newest novel, “Bad Day for the Apocalypse,” is available at jasonoffutt.com.

By Jason Offutt • shadowpeoplebook@gmail.com

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