Dr. Qaadri

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by Dr. Shafiq Qaadri
  A MEMBER OF the First Wives Club, Christine, 46, is one of my favorite patients. I enjoy her frank and open conversation, which has a dark and biting humor. She was divorced last year after three kids, two dogs, two renovations, and 15 years of marriage. "Hey, doc, did you hear about the three kinds of sex?" she asked me in my clinic.  
        "No, Christine," I replied with a smile. I could see the mischief in her face.  
       "There's three kinds of sex: house sex, bedroom sex, and hallway sex. House sex is when you're just married. Everything's hot and bothered. You have sex in every room of the house, in the bathtub, in the kitchen, on the dining table, kind of like inaugurating each room. After a while you settle down into a routine. The passion kind of goes, you know what to expect, it's a habit, so you only have sex in the bedroom. Hallway sex happens after many years. By then, you're barely speaking to each other. So when you pass each other in the hallway, you just say, 'Fuck you.' "  
        Women deserve more. Over the years, so many women have come to my clinic wondering what was going on with their men. So many women have endured their men going through andropause. It's not always dramatic; men will have mild, moderate, or severe experiences. But knowledge helps. By knowing what a midlife andropausal man may experience, women can better anticipate, prepare for, and survive his changes.  
        There's something slightly warped in men when it comes to getting help. As Christine said, "My husband would only go to the doctor if something were bleeding or falling off. That's it." Of course, by that point it's a bit late. Doctors know that men generally don't like to come in for check-ups, blood tests, or any examination at all. One of the frustrations of family medicine is that we could help far more people if they came in for health check-ups, just general screening tests, earlier than they do. We want you to give us a chance to prevent problems, and to let you know what changes may be in store for you. But men don't see doctors; their women do it for them.  
        For example, the number-one medical killersheart attacks, high blood pressure, sugar diabetes, cancers, all of these conditions are out there in the community, mostly undetected, mostly undiagnosed. What's tragic is that most of these conditions and their consequences are preventable. Men die about eight to ten years earlier than women do, and hiding from doctors plays a part in this.  
         One of my medical colleagues asked, "What's wrong with men? Maybe it's the same gene that says we won't read the manual, we won't stop to ask for directions, and we won't see doctors. It's the stiff-upper-lip and grin-and-bear-it thing." I guess it's part of the expectation that men suffer in silence, that Real Men don't crybut, unfortunately, they and their partners do.  

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