Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Husband With Swollen Ankles Refuses to See Doctor

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband’s ankles swell sometimes -- really, kind of a lot. Whenever I bring this up to him, he shrugs it off.

My husband is big on health food and vitamins that he reads about on the internet, but he is horrible about going to the doctor. I think it has been five years since he had a physical.

I am so worried. My brother-in-law died of colon cancer. His father died of a heart attack. I’m not trying to wish anything bad on him, but I do think there is value in getting an annual checkup. How can I get him to go? -- Against the Doctor, Seattle

DEAR AGAINST THE DOCTOR: Start by doing some research. There are many reasons why a person's feet and ankles swell, and most of them are signs of poor health. Among the causes are congestive heart failure, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, hypertensive heart disease and more. In other words, there are serious health concerns that could be the reason why his ankles swell. For more details, go to:

Point out to your husband that it is worth it to find out if he has a serious ailment that needs treatment, or if it is a less serious situation like a fracture. Remind your husband of how much you love him and want him to be healthy. Tell him you are scheduling a doctor’s appointment for him, and urge him to go.

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