Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Going to the doctor is a man's worst nightmare

Men hate making a fuss about their health but a timely check-up may just avert a spot of inconvenient dying. Photo / 123RF
Men hate making a fuss about their health but a timely check-up may just avert a spot of inconvenient dying. Photo / 123RF

It's an ancient story. Man gets older and less healthy but still thinks he's invincible. Get's fat, doesn't exercise, eats crap, gets sick, refuses to go to the doctor and dies, everyone cries. Happens all the time.

Boys hate going to the doctor. We find it hard to ask for help in general but when it comes to our health we find it almost impossible.

The reasons are complex and kind of honourable. We don't want to make a fuss, we don't want to seem wussy but most of all we don't want to spend an evening in a boring waiting room when we could be watching something good like Westworld.

What a great show. Scary, weird, violent, smart. Great cast. Amazing special effects. Classic 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep', stuff.

In real life, generally speaking not making a fuss is the polite option. No one likes a drama queen.

But are you willing to risk your life over it. The answer for most males is 'totes'.

Recently strange stuff started happening to me. Shooting pains, racing heartbeat, light headedness, shortness of breath, confusion, unquenchable thirst and a little smattering of diarrhoea.

As you would expect, my partner immediately pushed for a hospital visit.

Girls love going to the doctor. Maybe it's due to their mysterious plumbing. A system that seems to need regularprofessional assistance from a young age. Maybe they get used to it.

But like so many males before me I refused to go.

She pointed out that my Mum had died recently from a heart issue. I fought back claiming I was fine, while holding my chest in crippling pain.

We males would rather lie and put on a little play than go to the doctor.

I claimed I had indigestion. Stood up and fell over. Said I hadn't. She pointed out that I was being a 'dick'.

So I cleverly hit back by spending two days acting like the symptoms had gone.

Even though at one point during a Te Reo seminar, my heart speed went through the roof, a bunch of oxygen rushed to my head, I forgot where I was and failed to pronounce Kia ora koutou katoa correctly.

Get a check-up. You may feel embarrassed but in the end you'd never forgive yourself if you dropped dead when you didn't have to.

The next day during a competitive Gears of War 4 Death Match things got really bad.

I got chainsawed through the guts multiple times (in the game).

My light headedness ultimately led to a last place finish.

That was it. Reluctantly and grumpily I went to the doctor. Cleverly distancing myself from the visit by saying 'I think it's nothing but she made me come'.

In the end I didn't want to waste anyone's time.

We have all heard the stories. Man rushed to hospital in crippling pain only to be told he is constipated and will be fine after a massive number 2.

Man thinks he's having a heart attack, rushed to hospital turns out he ate his bangers and mash too fast.

Man rushed to hospital with headaches, listlessness, nausea, vomiting. Turns out he's just hungover.

It's a man's worst nightmare. We fear the words 'go home. we have real patients to attend to' more than anything. But the truth is no one ever says that and as my partner said 'isn't being okay the best result, do you really want a face-saving debilitating illness?'.

So anyway we went to the doctor and it turns out I am okay. Some mild problem to do with something or other (I failed to listen properly). But all good.

Not only am I better but I am cured of my irrational fear of going to the doctor.

They don't laugh at you, no one calls you a drama queen, no one thinks you're a wimp. Even if they do, what do you care what they think?

All men should go to the doctor not only when they're sick but every now and then just to make sure everything's fine. Get a check-up. Get your bloods done. If you're over 40 get a finger up your bum.

It may make you uncomfortable, you may feel embarrassed but in the end you'd never forgive yourself if you dropped dead when you didn't have to.

- NZ Herald

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Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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