Friends For Life: The Importance of a Physical

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – For most men, going to the doctor is a chore and something they avoid.

But not taking the time to make that appointment and get checked out every year puts you at risk for not catching problems in time to fix them.

6 News’ Uncle Fred let us follow along as he walks us through what it’s like to get a physical and why, in his case it was a good thing he made the appointment and went.

“Most of us men usually groan when it’s time to see our doctor. Many of us don’t bother groaning. We just don’t bother going,” said Fred Heumann, 6 Sports Director.

“Dr. Tom Jamieson has been a practicing physician for 43 years, all in Lansing. Several of his years here he has served as team doctor for various local high school athletic teams. He is also my family physician who started seeing me in 1981.”

“Jamieson says it’s important for men of all ages to keep an eye on their health and have regular physical checkups.”

“Well they’re very important especially starting, some people at the age of 20 other ones at the age of 30, some at the age of 40, but depending on family histories, but everybody at least should start at the age of 40 to start having an annual physical exam,” said Dr. Tom Jamieson, Osteopathic Physician and Fred’s family doctor.

“Yes, once we hit 40 it’s imperative that we do it every year. But- middle aged men are by and large reluctant to schedule yearly checkups,” said Fred Heumann.

“We seem to have a lot of excuses. We’re too busy, can’t get the time off work, don’t like doctors, blah blah blah.”

“I know a lot of guys my age that haven’t seen a doctor in 15 years. How much of that do you run into? Because that stuns me.”

“Well, it’s common. The problem is they may not have someone they’re confident they can go to.

Some people just wait for something to happen or a symptom to occur one of the common things would be the cardiac issues. Sometimes people come in and think they’re resistant to everything and they have have a cardiac issue going on that needs to be dealt with immediately,” said Dr. Jamieson.

“Such was the case with me. I woke up one morning in early June with chest discomfort. It only lasted about an hour. I should have gone to the hospital immediately. Instead I went to work, I played the denial card. I saw Dr. Jamieson four days later. He sent me to a cardiologist immediately,” said Fred Heumann.

“There I failed a standard stress test, was hospitalized and had surgery the next morning. A stent was placed in my heart to correct a 90 percent blockage in one of my valves. Had I not listened to Dr. J, I most certainly would have suffered a heart attack. I was one of the lucky ones. I am now on daily medication and partake in regular cardiac exerciser at least three days a week, should be six days a week. I am not in perfect health, but annual checkups have so far kept me out of serious trouble.”

“Other than 2 or 3 pounds overweight how am I doing?”

Dr. Jamieson: “You’re doing pretty good. You got through an issue that you knew about and you’re doing great from that and you’re doing great with your recovery on your knee. Plus you’re listening to directions to follow better health and you’re doing a good job with it.”

Uncle Fred: “Picture of health?”
Dr. Jamieson: “Picture of health.”

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