Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Men and Their Wives

So my husband is six months overdue his yearly exam. Is he calling up to set up his yearly appointment? No. Is he calling me to call and set up his yearly appointment? No. Because he has every intention of going to the doctor tomorrow. When it comes to men and doctor’s tomorrow is man’s best friend. And we wives know this. It is kind of an unspoken rule. Women nag, and men stay healthy.

It’s not that we expect our husbands to be trim and fit like a man in his twenties. We want our husbands to be healthy. So, I made the appointment and my husband kept calling me and saying, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to make that appointment. I’ll get it done, just not now.” Oh, no. I set the appointment, and he would not miss it. 

He calls me and says, “Why do you have to be there?” And I immediately think back to all of the ladies I work with who are much older than me, and they tell me how their husbands let things go until they found themselves in the emergency room or at MD Anderson. 

My husband had been working out harder than ever and still his blood pressure had not budged. It was time for medication. And after all of the years he has fussed at me about not wanting to take medication, he finally had to face the same dilemma. It’s not fun to have to take something every day. Maybe it makes us feel one step closer to getting old. Maybe it makes us feel insecure that there is something about our health that we cannot control ourselves. I’m not sure how he felt, but I know that he was not interested.

And it gets to a point when its not just about healthy choices. It had gotten so bad in our house that my twins went to their Mimi’s house and saw a full plate of gravy and rice and said, “Mimi, we haven’t seen gravy in a year!” Gravy or no gravy, life and age still happen.

Men seem to deal with age in a very different way than women. Women run to the doctor when they feel the first strange sign. Men call their wives and talk to them about it as if a wife can fix it all with Motrin! As I barged into the doctor’s office I explained that statistics show men who live with wives live longer. And our doctor nodded his head in agreement, but he kind of grinned at my husband as if to say, “Yeah, husbands live longer with nagging wives!”

Whatever! A few weeks back I was walking my dog with my friend and her dog, and I was telling her about my husband’s stubborn attitude toward going to the doctor. She has a very dry wit, and she matter-of-factly said, “Callie, just get him to the doctor once a year. I really don’t want to have to buy you a ham.”

I really don’t like the fact that once we get to the “middle age” of life we have to think about things like heart failure, diabetes, strokes, or other middle age dysfunctions. But it happens. And to be totally honest with this column, at times we women just drown ourselves in our husband’s health issues to keep ourselves from worrying about our own. If you are forty and beyond it is time to see your doctor. Get the tests run that are in order. Speak to your doctor. Men, listen to your wives. Wives go to your doctor. It is not just maintenance, it is facing the next phase in our lives and trusting that God educated doctors to keep us healthy enough to see the next stage in the game.