All of us know someone – or are someone – who hates to seek medical attention. The reasons why are familiar to us all, of course. Among them are some true doozies, like “I don’t want to bother anyone.” Oh, you don’t want to bother the doctor, whose job is to treat people like you? Or your family, who would sooner run a thousand miles than see you in pain?
Another reason that people give is “I don’t need to go to a hospital. Those places are full of sick people”. Which is just a semi-comedic way of saying “Stop bothering me, I’m being stubborn.” But, perhaps the most pointless way of escaping a trip to a doctor is the statement. “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s probably nothing!”
Step back and consider that statement for a moment. Imagine you went to a doctor and explained your symptoms, were examined, and then sat down and asked “Will I be OK?”. If the doctor said “Probably”, you’d jump out of your skin. In health, there is no room for “probably”. If a health concern is “probably nothing”, then it might be something. It’s better to stay healthy than appear brave.
“I’ve Been Having Headaches For Awhile … It’s Probably Nothing”: We don’t talk about symptoms in and of themselves unless we’re concerned about an illness. However, each thing you notice that’s not quite right about your health is a symptom. It may just be a symptom of dehydration because you haven’t had enough water. But it is a symptom. If you’re having headaches over a period of time, it could be for any number of reasons. It might be that you need new glasses, or indeed because you’re not drinking enough water. It might also be something more serious. Without going to see your GP, you’re not going to know.
“I Fell And Now My Ankle Hurts … But It’s Probably Nothing”: All of us have little accidents and small strains every so often. They hurt – sometimes a lot, and most of us just let it go. This isn’t the smart way to deal with it, not by any stretch of the imagination. Experiencing pain after falling means you’ve injured yourself. Maybe it doesn’t hurt enough to be broken and there may be merit in saying you don’t need to go to a hospital. If you’re not in immediate danger of death or serious acute injury, not going to a hospital is fine. Wait times are long enough and it is important that people with serious issues are seen first. But services from Our Urgent Care and similar can stop an injury from becoming chronic. You should certainly seek treatment from them.
“This Bleeding Won’t Stop, But I’ll Leave It, It’s Probably…”: Let’s stop you there. If you are bleeding profusely then a GP surgery or even urgent care aren’t the places for you. You need a hospital and you need it now. If you’re still bleeding ten minutes after sustaining a cut, then it’s not nothing. At the very least, it’s a serious cut and will probably need suturing. You definitely should not leave it to clear up on its own – the blood loss alone can be seriously unhealthy.
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