To all the men out there, this is my humble plea to you. To all the women out there, as you take care of your families, do not forget to take care of yourself.
Sunday night I lost a cousin who was in his mid forties. He passed on in his home. Could his death have been prevented? Maybe. But we will never know. He was one of those that stubbornly refused to see a doctor when he wasn’t feeling well, preferring like most people to either “let it pass” or self diagnose and self medicate.
He started feeling unwell sometime last year but of course choked it down to the typical stomach bug, and stress. Even when he started losing weight, the answer was always the same; He would even joke about it saying he needed the weight loss anyway. Maybe he could lose his beer tummy.
After all, didn’t we complain he had gained weight? And so it continued. And because of the jovial person he was, everyone believed him and went on their merry way. Also, we don’t like confrontations regarding other’s health so walking away is easier. He did insist he’s fine, didn’t he? His wife tried to get him to see a doctor but all he did was buy medicine and take that and of course continue drinking, because he was just fine.
Sunday afternoon, he met his young brother who upon seeing him insisted he go to the hospital and was met with the usual “but I am fine.” After arguing over this, he relented and agreed to see a doctor but only on Monday. His young brother wouldn’t have it and eventually lured him to the hospital, where after the initial test, the doctor simply told him he was too late. He should have come in months earlier. He was given a drip and then sent home where he later died that night.
This is not the first time I have encountered someone dying in this manner, where one refuses to go to the hospital but chooses to self medicate. My father was another who didn’t go to hospitals. Not that he ever got sick. In all my eleven years spent with him, the only time I actually recall him being sick was the time he died.
He suffered a stroke and died. It wasn’t the acute one that leaves you partially paralyzed within minutes. His was slow, starting on Tuesday when he showed up at home around 3 PM from work because he was unwell. He didn’t go to the hospital, just insisted he needed to rest. The following day went on the same way till much later, at about 7 PM at which time he asked to be taken to the hospital (he refused to go all day that day). He died later around 9 PM.
I am basically writing this to appeal to all men (young and old) to please take better care of you. This goes to you my fellow women as well. Self medicating isn’t always the answer. It could be that there’s a bigger problem within the system and you’re merely treating the symptom.
Go for yearly check-ups. This is preventative care and helps catch anything in its early stages if there’s anything serious going on. Learn what your risk factors are and do your best to prevent from getting that disease by eating healthy, exercising and whatever else you can do. Some of us are born with risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc because of heritage.
Do not ignore symptoms. Yes, there may be long lines and it is expensive sometimes, but it’s more expensive to die a premature death and leave your loved ones unprepared.
This has been my public service announcement. Do better people. If not for yourself, then do it for the sake of your loved ones.