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5 Things You Should Tell Your Doctor, No Matter How Embarrassing

5 Things You Should Tell Your Doctor, No Matter How Embarrassing

Stinky smells. Unbearable inner-thigh itching. Foreign objects in rather…foreign…places. We’ve all experienced one degree of embarrassing ailment or another–but when is it time to swallow your pride, buck up, and go to the doctor? Here are five things you should always mention to your doctor…no matter how embarrassing they might be.

1. “I put something where it doesn’t belong and it’s still there.”

X-Ray with Vibrator in Rectum
    Image via Wiki

    We’ve all been there. Crayons in the nose, popcorn kernels in the ear, shampoo bottles in the…wherever a shampoo bottle might fit. Foreign objects lodged in bodily orifices are generally problems we relegate to childhood curiosity and naivety, making it all the more embarrassing and mortifying to talk about. To top it off, revealing your ailment to your physician means also revealing how your situation came to be, a topic many would be apt to avoid. Nevertheless, leaving these objects lodged and untreated, or, worse, doing harm to yourself by trying to extract the object without professional help, can be worse than the fleeting feelings of embarrassment at the doctor’s office.

    Most foreign object dislodgements are accomplished via gentle suction, specialized instruments in accordance with the orifice, and sometimes even magnets. The potential harm of leaving objects stuck in your ear can cause bleeding, discharge, inflammation, and possibly damaged hearing, while objects “lost” up your nose can cause infection, foul odor, and may eventually become a breathing obstruction. While objects stuck in your rectum or vagina might be the most embarrassing to talk about with a physician, they also present the most danger, and if left untreated can cause serious tissue damage, infection, internal bleeding, and even death. Rest assured, patient-confidentiality will protect your identity in these instances–though if you’ve managed to lodge something particularly impressive in your rectum, you may find your anonymous x-ray posted on the website where radiologists share the weirdest things they’ve encountered in people’s butts.

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    2. “I can’t stop itching my crotch.”

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      Image via giphy

      Letting your doctor know of a persistent itch, especially if there are lumps, bumps, or discharge, is a must, as these are common symptoms for many STDs. Fortunately, an itchy crotch is often more symptomatic of tinea cruris, also known as jock itch, a fungal infection caused by friction, heat, and humidity. These infections usually start off as a minor itch in the crease where your legs join your torso, but can soon become red, oozing, crusty, and incredibly itchy. If left unchecked, these patches can spread to your legs, your derriere, and your genitals. In the worst cases, untreated jock itch can become more serious, giving rise to abscesses, ulcers, and even skin infection.

      Despite the name, anybody can get jock itch, regardless of whether they’re an athlete or not, and, though it’s more common in men, women can get it too. Fortunately, jock itch is easily treatable with antifungal medication such as OTC sprays and lotions, or more heavy-duty prescription antifungal pills. Let your doctor know as soon as you notice symptoms as itching, especially when paired with other symptoms such as discharge or an unpleasant odor, can be indicative of other, more serious complications.

      3. “My downstairs smells fishy…literally.”

      something stinks
        Image via flickr

        You might word this one a little differently, but strong, unpleasant, or odd odors emanating from the genitals affect both men and women, and can be precursors to more serious problems–especially if accompanied by discharge or an itch as described above. For those experiencing all three of these symptoms, chances are high that you have a yeast infection. Yeast infections are so common that as many as 75% of women will experience at least one of them in their lives–hardly anything to be embarrassed about. Though rare, men can contract them too and generally exhibit the same symptoms.

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        Other reasons that a woman might be experiencing a strong fishy odor, especially when accompanied by discharge, include vaginosis or trichomoniasis, the latter usually accompanied by green-colored secretions. On the other hand, men complaining of a foul, fishy odor coming from the penis might be suffering from a UTI or, if they are diabetic, ketonuria.

        Most of these complications are treatable via OTC antifungal medication or prescribed antibiotics. It’s worth noting, however, that everybody is probably going to smell different downstairs, and some folks might just naturally smell stronger than others. In the past, women in particular have resorted to dangerous home-remedies such as a pat down with talcum powder to “keep fresh”–do not do this, unless you want to get ovarian cancer. While there are many ways of managing unpleasant odors downstairs, nothing beats good hygiene.

        4. “I have a heavy flow.”

        giphy (1)
          Image via giphy

          If Mean Girls made one thing clear to viewers around the world, it’s that women can’t help it if they’ve got a wide-set vagina and a heavy flow. However, what Tina Fey and Lindsey Lohan didn’t mention in their comedy romp is that women experiencing a heavier menstrual flow than normal may want to let their doctors know, despite the myth that periods simply become heavier as women age. “As menopause approaches, your periods may come closer together or farther apart, but they shouldn’t necessarily be heavier,” says Suzanne Kavic, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. While heavier flow can sometimes be attributable to a simple hormonal imbalance or change, it could be a sign of more serious problems such as uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, or infections such as pelvic inflammatory disorder.

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          If it turns out that your period is heavy due to a hormone change, a doctor will most likely prescribe hormone supplements or a switch-up from your normal contraceptive. For infections, on the other hand, physicians will most likely prescribe an antibiotic treatment, while the most severe ailments such as uterine fibroids or cancer will range from a uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) to more serious surgical procedures and chemotherapy.

          5. “I smoke, drink, and do drugs.”

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            Image via YouTube

            While the others on this list are inherently embarrassing in nature due to physiology and our levels of societal acceptance concerning genitalia, admitting to your doctor that you smoke, drink, or do drugs can be embarrassing for different reasons. Stigmas surrounding addiction and mental health are still pervasive today, causing even light users of illicit substances to forgo informing their physicians of use–not to mention the negative stigmas attached to anything bordering on the wrong side of the law.

            Regardless of whether you’re a hardcore habitual user or just a social smoker or drinker, your risk of complications due to various diseases rises significantly. Those who smoke between just one and four cigarettes a day, for example, are two to three times more likely than a non-smoker to be hospitalized for a major heart-related event. Drinking responsibly is much less harmful to your health, but still may increase your risk of complications such as cancers.

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            More serious users of drugs and alcohol may be suffering from addiction, and should never feel embarrassed about seeking help. Some types of addiction can be inherited, and addiction is often times coupled with other psychiatric problems, with some statistics showing that people with drug addiction are roughly twice as likely to suffer from other mood and anxiety disorders. If you think you need help, do not hesitate to get it.

            “This is uncomfortable for me to talk about, but…”

            In the end, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about your health problems, and going in with a strategy can help. MI Blues Perspectives lists five tips for talking to your doctor about embarrassing topics, including being honest about your embarrassment, using a note or letter to communicate in writing if that works for you, or remembering that this is most likely not the first time the doctor has dealt with your particular problem.

            Remember, staying alive and healthy generally beats the brief pang of embarrassment. Embarrassing situations, provided they turn out all right, are often opportunities to look back and laugh. I leave you with this quote from English actress and comedian, Miranda Hart:

            “The embarrassment of a situation can, once you are over it, be the funniest time in your life. And I suppose a lot of my comedy comes from painful moments or experiences in life, and you just flip them on their head.”

            Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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            Andrew Heikkila

            Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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            Last Updated on February 18, 2019

            13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

            13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

            Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

            Why is this so critically important to you?

            The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

            Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

            1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

            Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

            When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

            • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
            • The man facing the judge.
            • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
            • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
            • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
            • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

            These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

            Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

            Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

            2. Accept Your Fear

            Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

            We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

            And here’s what can be done.

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            3. Get Some Perspective

            I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

            And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

            That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

            We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

            So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

            • Are you really at risk?
            • Will this kill you?
            • Which leads us on to..
            • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

            4. Hold a Hand

            As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

            Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

            We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

            Ask yourself:

            • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
            • Could that really happen?
            • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
            • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

            By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

            5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

            This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

            Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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            The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

            It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

            For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

            Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

            6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

            I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

            Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

            Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

            Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

            Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

            Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

            7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

            Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

            I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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            It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

            One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

            Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

            It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

            8. Assume the Worse

            If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

            Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

            • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
            • Think about how they feel about champagne?
            • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

            And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

            When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

            Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

            9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

            If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

            Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

            Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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            10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

            One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

            11. Go with Fear

            When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

            I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

            Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

            One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

            However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

            We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

            12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

            And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

            The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

            What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

            13. Own Your Fear

            Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

            We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

            You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

            More Resources About Fighting Fear

            Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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