I’ve left it a little late in September to talk about the blokes and Blue September – but you know as long as they don’t leave it till the last minute to sort out any men’s health issues like prostate checks, that’s the real message here.
Yep, blokes and their health. They are often not that well introduced. While I know it’s not helpful to make big, broad generalisations, I do think that women are often better at talking about their boobs and bits and private stuff than men are because they’re simply more practiced at it. What’s more not only do they talk about it – they go and get them checked out to make sure they are all in good working order.
Menstruation as a young thing makes us immediately in the game of getting up close and personal with our nether regions, then there’s pap smears once you’re sexually active so the need to ‘share’ starts there, and then once you’re pregnant there’s even more people interested in looking at that part of your body – not that one even really cares who at a certain point in delivery I reckon. Post baby you’re even sharing your boobs in all their lactating glory with midwives as you try to get the breastfeeding underway. Then before you know it, doesn’t seem too long before it’s time to get them squashed in a mammogram machine to make sure they are cancer free for the duration.
Men on the other hand are altogether less exposed in the private bits area. Talking about prostate cancer at least seems now to be quite acceptable – albeit it might have to be with a joke or three – but at least it’s being talked about. Then there’s the checking – the actual going to a doc and saying ‘yep, I’m here for a men’s health check’. That’s the trick – moving awareness into action. I reckon guys need to book themselves in at the doc just like they do their car for an annual check-up. I know when I took my car to the local garage for the annual service and WOF recently the staff all had blue ribbons on and offered them to customers using it as a conversation starter to say they supported men’s health and Blue September. Most of the staff and the customers were men. Good on them I thought as I looked at all the men getting their blue ribbons as they paid the bill and had another bloke bring the subject up. Yes check off the car annually, and then make your doctors’ appointment to take as much care of your own body and mind as you do the car. The doc can check out the prostate, the ticker, the stress levels, the general state of health, and even how you feel. It might be a foreign thing to discuss how one feels not after a few beers in the pub with a mate, but actually sober with a GP about things that really matter deep down. Could be scary… could be life changing, even life-saving though.
As they say on the Blue September site – face your fear, getting a prostate check should not be one of them. I’ll add that once you’re there with the doc – just get the whole WOF done.