As many of you know, I'm a lawyer and I worked for several years in medical negligence. I'm going to tell you about a client of mine, with details sufficiently obscured. He was in his late 50s, and came in to the initial appointment with his wife. His wife was obviously the driving force behind the claim, and I had the impression he was a bit embarrassed to be there. The claim was for delay in diagnosis of stomach cancer.
As part of investigating the claim I obtained his medical records. These showed that he first attended his GP after several weeks of symptoms consistent with stomach cancer, as well as a few other possible diagnoses. The GP correctly prescribed him a PPI medication with instructions to come back in a week for another appointment. In hindsight we know it was stomach cancer, and the medication would not have relieved his symptoms. However, when he duly attended the appointment a week later and the GP asked how he was he said "I'm fine". He said he was pretty sure the medication had helped and he didn't want to cause a fuss. The GP therefore made the decision not to refer him for an urgent oncology appointment. After several more weeks of symptoms and a large amount of badgering by his wife, he went back to the GP, was referred to an oncologist and received the diagnosis. Unfortunately by that time the cancer was terminal.
Over several years of doing this work I knew to keep an emotional distance, but this client and his wife were definitely my favourites. They were polite, cheerful and kept telling me bad jokes when I phoned them. I had to break the bad news to them though that his claim wasn't likely to be successful. By his description of his symptoms in the second appointment the GP did the right thing in not making a referral. He said he was feeling better, and he thought the medication was helping. He put off going to the doctor and talked down his symptoms because he didn't want to worry anyone. I found out he passed away a couple of days after we spoke.
Now the reason I'm telling you this horrible story is as a lesson. Society tells you "be a man", "be strong", "don't make a fuss". I'm telling you screw that, look after yourself first and foremost. Your health is important, and if something is not right please seek medical attention. Don't avoid it or minimise it because you don't want a cause a fuss, or feel like you should "suck it up and be a man". There's nothing 'non-manly' about seeking medical attention, and even if there was, who cares. Look after yourself so you can be around for and with your loved ones.
Finally, if you have been putting off dealing with a medical issue, this is your sign. I am your stand-in nagging spouse. Go to the doctor.