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.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I would like to improve my productivity at home. I cannot resist the comforts in my home, whether it be the sofa, the bed or even my desk. What are some tips I can implement to keep from getting distracted and lazy when I need to work? I am an independent contractor, and I do most of my work from home. -- HOMEBODY

DEAR HOMEBODY: You may need to identify a different workspace to use so that you can be more productive. Consider your public library, your local coffee shop or another local business that offers Wi-Fi. Research co-working spaces to see if there is one that you can afford to go to during the week. Even if you do this temporarily, you may discover ways to step up your work game so that you can stay focused.

At home, set up your desk as your office. Put only essential work items there, and use it only when you are to be formally working. Do not go into other areas of your home to perch during your workday. Make your desk the focus of your business and treat it as a private office. When you get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed as if you are going out to work, and then go to your desk. If you can develop the discipline of using your desk as a formal workspace, you may be able to solve your focus issues.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)