posted Sat, 29 Jan 2005
One of the things I crossed off my list this week (of course I keep a list – don’t you?) was making dentist and optometrist appointments for Harpo. I wanted to make him an appointment with his regular doctor, too, but Harpo is convinced that his malaise is of his own doing.
He asked, “What would the doctor tell me that you haven’t already told me?” I am always telling him he needs to rest more, eat better, and take care of himself.
I suggested he might have a virus or an infection – maybe mono.
He just looked at me and rolled his eyes.
I don’t understand this aversion men – well, maybe just Harpo – have against going to the doctor. He did finally go to the dentist last year after I nagged him for months, found a dentist for him and made the appointment.
With the dentist, it can’t be a money issue because dental exams are free with most dental insurance. It’s not a pain issue with Harpo because he endures more physical discomfort without complaint than most people. He’s pretty tough. So I don’t know what it is.
I myself am paranoid about my teeth and have not missed a dental exam since college, when I told my mother I was not going to the dentist with whom she had made the appointment because I didn’t like him. In my defense, this is the guy who started to extract my wisdom teeth but had to stop his prep when I passed out. It turned out that I needed to have the extraction done under anesthesia, so he was not the guy to do it.
Anyhow. Even when I was in grad school and in the grips of post-Peace Corps job-search poverty without dental insurance, I still shelled out that $85 once a year (not every six months) for a dental exam because I was so scared of something horrible happening to my teeth. Some of my fear came from stories I’d heard from an old boyfriend who had been a dentist, but some of it was entirely rational – I have had teeth break apart in my mouth with no more provocation than my flossing them.
Maybe Harpo doesn’t worry so much. I know he doesn’t. He is not the worrying type. I do enough of that for both of us. But I do wish he would go to the doctor. Even if there is nothing wrong except that he is not eating right or resting enough or taking care of himself, at least then we can rule out something awful, like beri-beri or mange. And maybe he would start eating right, resting enough and taking care of himself.
The end of the line
2 years ago