DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband considers himself to be health conscious. He watches YouTube shows endlessly about alternative medicine and health regimens. On the flip side, he does not believe in going to the doctor. He thinks that high blood pressure is a myth made up by the pharmaceutical industry to push drugs on healthy people. He refuses to believe that any of the recommendations by traditional health care officials about how to care for the body are worth considering because they are all fueled by “big pharma.”
Meanwhile, I have a series of health issues that require me to take certain medications. Whenever he notices that I am taking medicine, he criticizes me and says that I am blindly buying into “the system.”
How do I navigate this? I feel like I’m constantly being judged for how I take care of myself, while I’m also worried that my husband may drop dead from a stroke because he won’t address his high blood pressure. -- Lost in Space
DEAR LOST IN SPACE: Take a deep breath and review your situation. Rather than believing that your husband is all wrong, figure out if anything he’s saying makes sense. For example, lifestyle changes -- including diet and exercise -- can be more effective in promoting long-term good health than medication (for some people). That doesn’t mean you should stop taking your medicine. It does mean you could consider adding a healthy activity to your schedule that you invite your husband to participate in. Look for bridges that can bring you two together and make you both healthier.
Do not stop taking your medication no matter what he says. Follow your doctor’s guidance. You can also ask your doctor about alternative means of addressing your concerns. Similarly, go on YouTube yourself and find some videos on dealing with high blood pressure. Recommend that your husband watch those. Perhaps it will open his eyes a bit.