Chronic Illness, Support Network

Guys Need To Be More Proactive Managing Their Chronic Illness – 2.5 Minute Read

“Go to the doctor” is what my wife tells me to do every single time I get a cold, allergy attack, or anything mild, and while I would love to tell her she’s right like all women are, the fact is…well, she is right.

Recently I had a cold/allergy attack which lingered in my lungs for about 7-10 days. I was constantly coughing, blowing my nose all the time, my asthma kicked up a bit, and of course, the resulting mucus was super sexy for her to see all night after a long day of work.

After the week plus of all-out attractiveness on my part, I mean she couldn’t keep her hands off a guy who sounded like an elderly man who had been smoking his entire life, we talked about how I didn’t go to the doctor in more detail.

My argument:

  • Since I know it wasn’t Crohn’s related, my ostomy was perfectly fine, and I had been through much worse, why bother going to the doctor?
  • We all know what would have happened! My doctor would have prescribed me an expectorant maybe even an inhaler, put me on antibiotics (or tried), and told me to go home and rest.
  • The end result would have been the same and me waiting for everything to run it’s course through my system.

Instead of doing this, I stuck it out. Knowing that while I didn’t feel well, each day would get a little better and before I knew it, things would be back to normal. The other part of my argument was that I wouldn’t want to take any antibiotics, and there wasn’t much the doctor could do for me.

Let’s be honest here for a minute also, I’ve had countless surgeries and procedures, spend not only days but weeks in the hospital at a time, and been through so much that I could grind my teeth and get through something like this. It might take a little longer because I’m on Humira, but it can be done.

Now her end of the argument:

  • What if it turned into something bigger or more dangerous?
  • What if I coughed so hard that something happened to my stoma?
  • What if I got a respiratory infection from this and needed to go to the hospital?

The reality is the list of possibilities are endless, and as a chronic illness patient, we never know when the common cold or flu, can turn into a situation that no one wants to see. We have to protect our bodies and make sure we are giving it the best chance possible. This might be eating right and making sure we do everything we can while we are healthy, and it also means taking swift and proactive action when we aren’t feeling well. EVEN IF IT’S JUST A COLD.

I’m a guy, and it’s easy for me to say some of us (ALL OF US) are stubborn creatures. We are taught by society, Hollywood, and others that we shouldn’t show weakness. This puts us guys in an interesting situation because as a patient with a chronic illness if I showed weakness, I’d be at the doctor all the time. It’s a fine line we are walking, and we have to figure out a balance to make sure we are doing what’s right for our bodies.

I want guys to know that we don’t have to be tough ALL the time. It’s okay to show a little vulnerability. It’s okay to talk about our problems. It’s okay to get sick. It’s okay to be proactive. IT’S OKAY TO GO SEE A DOCTOR.

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