He Knows (Before He Really Knows)
Every guy knows. Every ace who makes his way across my threshold knows that he is tardy – usually by months and often by years. And each of the brave ones knows that his priorities are out of whack when he shuffles into my office.
How? There is a voice inside of him. I don’t know from where the voice emanates, but I know it’s there. I know it’s there because I was once there, in his tattered leather loafers.
There are feelings that accompany the voice. The feelings go away in short stents if he pacifies the voice:
with diets and gadgets,
Most of my guys are tardy because, like me, they gave the voice and the feelings a part in their tragic story called Others Are to Blame.
If he is lucky, the man in our clinic spotlight has lab results slapping him in the face with their little black and white hands saying “come on amigo! You should be scared. This can’t go on.” (I don’t know why their voice has a Spanish accent but it does).
“Right!”, the man thinks, seizing the pivot power of a diagnosis. “Hypertension? Diabetes? Low T?! – Not me!”
Lean in now. This is the Anatomy of a Turnaround.
The man comes into agreement with me that what’s wrong must be made right. And before my very eyes he flips the shame turtle on its back and a steely-eyed bounty hunter comes strutting out from under his carapace of comfort.
Drinking buddies, and others of a similar kind, like the Sally-ass at work who’s always “force-feeding” our guy donuts, must be stopped! Says this newly emerged bounty hunter. But, really what he’s out to capture is his better self. The bounty may be more money – health breeds productivity as we know. But, it’s self-respect that is his bigger payoff.
Our guy in transition starts a blog, forms a community around heart-healthy living and rewrites his mission statement. He is adding a heroic chapter to his life story. He’s re-reading Herman Hesse on the can after dinner. His fat often melts. His LDL lowers. His sugar improves. His testosterone is resurrected.
Short algebra: our guy gets more mojo. And not the new shirt and Drakkar brand of mojo. I’m talking about durable machismo.
The silently suffering suit turned bounty hunter didn’t just talk about this and that. He did the work. And that’s what makes his mojo military-grade.
He entered the fitness competition and downsized his McMansion. He water-fasted for five days and swam in icy waters. Our guy biked from Milwaukee to Miami and…got a therapist.
He walks and talks and dresses and drives and makes quick decisions, boldly now. Our guy is, finally, self-assured.
This out-of-ashes come-hither story often produces what would have prevented his beer belly and high cholesterol in the first place: Self Love
And maybe that’s the function of physiologic dysfunction. Disease dips the toes of one’s soul into the icy river of mortality. Our guy shutters, and jumps around as his teeth chatter and his belly convulses, “sooo coolllldd!”, he says about the bone-chilling waters of death, “I’m not ready.”
Instinctively he gives himself a hug. It’s a real squeeze. He needs warmth. He’s choosing to live.
Our guy acted surprised by his poor lab results for a minute. But he knew, before he really knew, that his numbers would be bad. I’ve been this guy. I love this guy and I really love this next moment.
He pauses, and then with the slam of a fist on the table marches towards bounty hunter U., still hugging himself, which is the real key.
Rx: What aspect of your health are you putting off testing?
Attack it – stat.
Real men test*
I AM A PATIENT TOO
Before I really believed in integrative, anti-aging medicine as the rightful new order for healthcare, I was a stubborn surgeon and a terrible patient.
Several years ago I made a trip home from Borneo and somewhere between Paris and London had a sizeable clump of my hair fall out. I was certain that wasn’t a sign of peak health. Rather than deal with what was wrong “under the hood” I got the hood refinished so to speak.
I got a hair transplant by my friend Dr. Sam Lam of the Lam Institute for Hair Restoration. I’ll share how life after the transplant went in my next letter, and how I knew, before I really knew.
Stay tuned! Also in part two of The Anatomy of a Turnaround, I’ll share conversations I had with a US patient, a patient from Borneo, and a note from my financial advisor that all collided on one day to produce this letter, He Knows (Before He Really Knows).
I learn from you,