Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Husband Refuses To Go for Medical Checkup

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am really worried about my husband. He seems to be in good enough health. He exercises daily and eats well, but he hasn't had a physical in more than 10 years. He doesn't believe in going to the doctor. Instead he reads about holistic alternatives to traditional medicine and chooses to "heal" himself whenever he has an issue. One time, that landed him in the hospital because he did the wrong thing, but he still didn't get a physical.

Fast-forward to a friend of ours who also doesn't go to the doctor. He was not feeling well and finally did go, and he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I know I am being dramatic here, but I am so worried that my husband might have something awful wrong with him and we won't know until it's too late because he refuses to go to the doctor. What can I do to get him to get at least one physical? -- ANTI-DOCTOR

DEAR ANTI-DOCTOR: Your husband and your friend are not unusual, sad to say. Many men do not go to the doctor regularly. What you might point out to your husband is that Western medicine is excellent at diagnostics. There is so much technology and knowledge around determining the status of one's health that it is worthwhile engaging that system just to learn where you stand. After getting the information on your body's health, then you can make a decision regarding what to do about it.

Many people who prefer holistic or alternative medicine use Western diagnoses to guide their next steps. Suggest this to your husband. You can also remind him that you love him and want him to be alive and healthy. Point out that you are worried about your friend who waited too long to see the doctor to be able to have treatment options for his condition. You don't want that to happen to him.