Men's health: know your numbers

As a registered nurse and Director of Ridgeview’s Surgical Services department, B.J. Buckland has seen and cared for the full spectrum of patients in his 40-plus years working in health care. An avid outdoorsman, runner and motorcycle enthusiast, Buckland took just two personal sick days in his career. “I was in good physical shape, took care of myself physically and mentally, and could do all the activities I enjoyed. I never expected to be ‘that guy,’ that patient who – very quickly – became extremely sick.”

Buckland, who admits he “ignored some symptoms” last fall and should have been more proactive about regular annual visits and screenings, spent a couple weeks recovering and rehabilitating from a hospital stay.

Married and the father of three, Buckland advises his adult children and others to understand your health history and take advantage of the “power of information we have today to help us, especially men. Schedule annual physical exams, have lab work done and pay attention to your numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and more. Get those screenings done, make nutrition or lifestyle changes if you need to and pay attention to your body, every day.”

For someone who never thought he’d have to think about his health, Buckland now carries a copy of “my numbers and lab results with me every day. I’ve made changes to my diet, exercise and other activities to get those numbers to where I want them and need them to be.

Buckland strongly emphasizes the importance of goal-setting when it comes to one’s health. He encourages other men to identify what “healthy” means to you, today and as you move through your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. “Then take those proactive steps to get there and achieve that optimal health you want, for yourself and your family.”

 “Take it from me, guys. You’re not invincible,” Buckland says. “It’s easier to stay healthier than fix a problem or reverse something that could have been prevented.”