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Brother to Brother Health

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I remember as a young boy I used to ride in the car with my brother and for some reason I would ask him about car accidents. He always avoided the conversation or forbade me from going too far with the subject. I recall him saying, “If you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen.” 

I was young; he was my big brother, so I believed him. Don’t mention it and we’ll always be safe in his car. Sounded reasonable to a seven year old.

 

What’s not so reasonable is that I’m meeting adults these days that seem to share that same notion about sickness…don’t talk about it and you won’t have any problems. Goofy. 

To paraphrase a character in one of today’s popular television commercials, “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.”

Not talking about illness won’t magically keep you well. Ignoring health issues is a surefire way of exacerbating the problems. Most illnesses only get worse if we do nothing to remedy them or, at least, attempt to arrest the problem. We certainly can’t cure them by looking the other way or turning a deaf ear to them.

At Brain Brawn & Body we host sessions we call Brother to Brother. We are proud to say these sessions have proven to be an invaluable resource for those who attend them. And they have been wonderful for us as we’ve worked to help people deal with sickness and learn to live healthier lives. 

The sessions allow the men and boys who attend to hear from healthcare professionals and everyday people who are empanelled to shed some light on what can seem to be the mysterious world of medicine. Hospitals can be scary places and doctors appear wizard-like to those entering the wards and exam rooms for the first time. 

“What do I ask?” “I don’t understand those points, doc.” These are common reactions to what goes on in hospitals and doctors’ offices all the time. Sometimes nothing at all is uttered by a patient. He may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the relationship the doctor is trying to establish – that is – if the patient is fortunate enough to have a doctor who truly understands and appreciates the establishment of a solid doctor/patient relationship.

When we host Brother to Brother sessions we break down the barriers through conversations with men who may have never visited a doctor as adults. Yes, there are men who haven’t seen a doctor since they were young boys, taken to the doctor’s office by their mothers. 

Many of those men believe that they are in good health for no other reason than they haven’t “needed” to go to the doctor. The truth, in some cases, ii they don’t know their condition and there could be something really serious brewing inside their bodies. They need to go to get checked out; we all do at some point.

Brother to Brother serves as a reminder for men to check themselves out. It also serves to tell them that it’s okay to have an ailment. What’s not okay is to ignore an ailment, or not know that you are, in fact, in good health. 

The sessions also do something else that is vitally important for men and boys: it allows men to come together and share experiences – experiences that can benefit those who may not have walked a path that another brother may know well. In Brother to Brother, men open up and talk to one another about those things that trouble them, as well as those things that they have triumphed over. The conversations give strength to the men as they face some of life’s tough and new challenges. 

Dealing with illness is never easy, but being able to share the burden with a brother can make the load a bit lighter.

 

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Eric Von is a former radio talk show host and a publisher of Brain Brawn & Body (brainbrawnbody.com). You can contact Eric at eric.von@brainbrawnbody.com.

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Guest Monday, 20 November 2017