Men’s Health in the Time of COVID-19
By Dr. Matt S. Ashley, SMGOR Urology
June is men’s health month, and it’s coming on the heels of what can be considered the least manly period of our recent history. We are facing an enemy that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, tanked the economy and put Joe Exotic at the forefront of our national consciousness. The problem is that in this extraordinary moment, with everything we hold dear in jeopardy, what are we told to do? Nothing. Literally nothing. Don’t go to work, don’t leave the house — and whatever you do – don’t assume your current toilet paper supplies are enough. Not exactly the stirring call to arms we’ve seen in previous global crises.
The anxiety and frustration that builds from this inability to act highlights one of the most important concepts in men’s health: purpose. The best example of this is seen in patients being treated for low testosterone. In replacing a man’s testosterone, we are typically treating symptoms of low energy, decreased libido and lack of vitality. After caring for hundreds of these men I’ve learned that simply manipulating the hormones is only the beginning of achieving the desired outcome. Testosterone is just the spark. If the patient doesn’t use that spark to get active and get engaged – to find purpose – the benefits will quickly fade away. Therefore, I encourage men to view their testosterone replacement as the fuel to start working on the things that bring them fulfillment, not just a number that needs to be raised.
Men’s health is a realm of medicine that is divided equally between the mind and body. In the era of COVID-19 we must remember that while purpose cannot be measured with a nasopharyngeal swab, it is as critical to our well-being as any lab value. It seems counterintuitive to find your purpose in staying at home on a weekend and binging another season of Fuller House, but these are counterintuitive times. By adjusting your perspective on purpose, we can all get through this with a little more sanity. And incidentally a lot more John Stamos.
I invite you to become curious about your purpose and how it can shape and spark a healthier, more fulfilling life. To schedule an in-person or telemedicine visit with a SMGOR urologist, please call 541-706-2319 or go to www.smgoregon.com