Men are notoriously bad at looking after themselves. So much so, in fact, that 4 out of 10 men haven’t seen a doctor in over a year, and 1 in 10 men can’t even remember the last time they spoke to one.
But while it may seem like a pretty bleak picture, the rise of digital healthcare is paving the way for a new type of man. The type of man who takes responsibility for their wellbeing and tackles their health issues head-on. The type of man who orders a blood test to their home, takes the test, gets the results, and makes changes to better them.
One such man is Richard, a 43-year old ex-trader from Yorkshire, who discovered Numan this year. We caught up with him to learn more about how he came to discover our at-home blood tests and his experience with them so far.
Why did you decide to take a blood test?
My father and his brother each had heart attacks while they were pretty young which were both fatal. My eldest sister also had a heart attack when she was in her forties, so I’m very aware that I’m also at risk. I’m the primary carer for my wife who had a stroke seven years ago - and I can’t help but think that if I were to go, who would she have to look after her?
My wife saw the Numan blood test adverts on TV which was the catalyst for her to put her foot down. She decided that we needed to do some budgeting so that I could take a blood test and get to the root of what was going on with my health.
I initially took the traditional route of going through my GP, but with the constraints around COVID-19 and the difficulties with booking an appointment, it was looking like at least a 10-week wait for a blood test. I kept thinking about the lifestyle changes I could make in that space of time when I would otherwise just be waiting around. I wanted, and needed, to do something about it sooner.
What were your biggest concerns prior to getting your results?
I’m the worst eater in the world; I’m the first to admit that I eat like a five-year-old. Chicken nuggets and chips are a go-to, and there’s rarely a fruit or vegetable in sight. Because I’m busy with work, I prioritise convenience and tend to just eat one big meal each day.
I knew that this wasn’t good for me and that it was probably impacting my general health, including my cholesterol levels, so I just needed to take a test to see what the damage was. I knew, deep down, that I needed to make some lifestyle changes, especially with my diet, but I needed to see the results for that “kick up the arse” moment to spur me on to make the first move.
What was your experience like with the blood test itself?
It took us about 4 weeks to save up for the blood test itself, but once we ordered it, it came in a matter of days through the post. My wife helped me draw the blood which was a very simple process. There was no fuss, we sent it off, and it was done and dusted.
It’s definitely a bloke thing that if you don’t go to the doctor, you can easily just tell yourself “there’s nothing wrong with me”. When you get the test through the post, however, you can’t ignore it. It’s there, and you know that this is what you need to sort yourself out.
What happened after you got your results?
Unsurprisingly, my cholesterol was extremely high. I spoke to a doctor through Numan, who took me through my results and explained what I needed to do to turn my health around. He was such a nice person. I didn’t feel judged, and he didn’t make me feel stupid. Most of the lifestyle advice was stuff I already knew, but hearing it from a doctor just makes you realise you’ve really got to do it.
Once you’ve got your results there in front of you in black and white, you can’t ignore them. You’ve got to listen.
Afterwards, my wife helped me put together a 6-week programme to overhaul my diet and I’m now getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in daily smoothies, eating nuts, Weetabix, and porridge, and I’m also doing a HIIT workout every other day.
When I first found Numan, my resting heart rate was 80. Within a week and a half of getting my blood test results back, it came down to 63. I’ve also lost 2lbs in weight and an inch off my waist.
What advice would you give someone who is in your position and is thinking about taking an at-home blood test?
Taking an at-home blood test can save your life. It gives you time. I, like many other blokes, often find that I don’t have time - time to look after myself, time to get to the doctor, time to prioritise my health. But by taking this test, I have given myself more time. Time to stick around for myself and for my wife.
We had to save for a few weeks before we made the decision to purchase the test through Numan, but it’s the best money we’ve ever spent. And although it’s not an easy journey to get back to better health, once it’s done, it’s done. You just need to take the plunge. You’ll thank yourself for it.
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