…or your man, as the case may be? I have some great ideas. This post is inspired by my magnificent friend Le Clown over at A Clown on Fire who enlisted my help with Bloggers for Movember. And since I am, like his beautiful wife Sara who blogs at Laments and Lullabies, a procrastinator, here is my 11th-hour Movember men’s health shout out to the boys and men of the world…
You wanna make your signficant-other really happy? Then why not take care of your bad self! Why wait for her or him to get mad ‘atcha? Why wait until everything is falling apart and your body/mind/spirit is in shambles and you have no choice but to turn yourself over to the capable but dire hands of radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, rehab facilities or the medical examiner’s office for that matter!? Here’s a couple of thoughts from a woman who works as a “clinic manager” (Read: nurse, MA, janitor, records custodian, HR director, therapist, coffee maker, etc.) in a primary-care clinic and regularly bears witness to men who are falling apart in various ways. I think I’ll start at the bottom, and work my way up!
Let’s just be logical here. Wouldn’t you rather subject yourself to a colonoscopy every so often than to having part of your manly colon surgically removed and/or DYING of metastasized colon cancer because you were too afraid, or too lazy, or too “busy” to go in and get ‘er done? They put you UNDER for crying out loud! They give you special drugs that make you forget! EVERYONE says it’s not the procedure that’s the problem, it’s the prep. But hey! cleaning out your body is good for you! You’ll be fine, you’ll be glad to put it “behind” you, and most likely you won’t have to do it again for a long time. And, let me assure you, if you are having problems with your rear-end areas, you are NOT alone! People come into our clinic all the time with rectal bleeding, pain, itching, and all sorts of issues with the lower ends of their digestive tracts! I talk to guys about their booties on the phone and in person regularly! Don’t wait, help is available!
Now let’s go deeper, and under and around… do you know what the biggest cause of “doorknob syndrome” is? Doorknob syndrome is something most docs are familiar with. Just as the doc is leaving the exam room, hand on the doorknob, the patient says “Oh doc, by the way, there IS one other thing…”. Yes, erectile dysfunction is a major cause of doorknob syndrome! It’s okay to talk about it guys! There are lots of you out there who experience it, there are lots of reasons for it – some serious and some not so serious, and no one will be surprised when you bring it up! We at your friendly primary care office are here to serve!
And as for your prostate? I see the fear in your eyes when you come in for your appointment. Get over it! Do you have any idea the indignities women are subjected to for the sake of our reproductive health? Many of us regularly have our boobs squashed, poked, and prodded by strangers in addition to the momentary suffering inflicted by the speculum and other instruments of gynecological torture. Need I be more graphic? I didn’t think so. We don’t just do this for ourselves you know! Again, it’s like the colonoscopy. Wouldn’t you rather submit yourself to a brief exam once in a while than to the rigors of treatment for full-blown prostate cancer made graver by your own neglect? I’ve heard first-hand accounts from a good friend who was subjected to much more than a finger in his rectum in his agonizing treatment for prostate cancer. The good news is that many of you won’t even need a digital rectal exam, but I encourage you to let your doc be the one to decide that…
And finally, moving up higher towards the larger head area…It’s hard to quit drinking, smoking, overeating, being sad, etc. all by yourself. GET SOME SUPPORT. There’s a ton of it out there! All sorts of people have these kinds of issues, and most of us benefit by having someone to talk to before we get on to dealing with the problems at hand ourselves. It is NOT a weakness to ask for help! This is a deadly macho myth! Your friendly primary-care physician (and if he or she is NOT friendly, find another one!) is used to seeing guys who are addicted to tobacco, alcohol, junk food and all manner of other substances (and also is used to dealing with denial.). Got anxiety, depression, grief and insomnia? Yeah, those problems are manly too. Wouldn’t you rather pay someone who is trained to help you than to subject your beloved family members to the unpleasant symptoms of your untreated issues? What a luxury to go talk with someone just about YOURSELF on a regular basis! You deserve it!
Being manly and rugged is NOT about being isolated, ignorant, silent, or unhealthy. You are not an island! You deserve to be healthy and happy, and you deserve support! We, your significant-others of the world, will be ever so grateful for the gift you give us when you take care of yourselves.