This week’s blog is a bit of a plug and a discussion about Men’s Health. As a man I feel that men don’t discuss our medical issues as much as women do.
There are many issues we are scared of or may even joke about from a prostrate exam to testicular and breast cancer (yes men can get it too!) As a divorced dad and from my conversations with readers, and on Dad.info I know things like depression and anxiety are common issues during separation, divorce and bereavement. These are just a few issues on mental health that we as blokes often don’t discuss.
So when my partner suggested and encouraged me to take part in Movember, without hesitation I said yes.
For those who may have seen the name but not really know about the cause, it is a campaign started in Australia in 2003. Men start clean shaven on 1st November and attempt to grow a moustache through the month. Whilst doing so they get sponsored and aim to help change the face of men’s health by discussing it when people ask about their facial hair. This blog is part of my effort – which also includes sponsorship and donating 5% of my bookings as a magician, made in November to the charity.
The effect on my life and my children has been really interesting. My partner doesn’t like kissing me with a moustache and so there is some hardship, which I think if you are doing something for a cause you need – because it’s not just about giving money. You experience, in a very minor way, how little things can affect you in strange ways, and it has been a great learning experience.
I had never considered my 6 and 11 year olds though. My half-sister knew about breast cancer and checking her breast as she grew up , unfortunately her mother’s family have a history of the disease it was openly discussed and as she matured she knew her to check for lumps. My partner lost her mother to breast cancer and I know the impact on a family and individual. Testicular cancer may not be as prevalent or as fatal, but I check regularly and I am aware of my body but I have never discussed it with my boys.
So Movember has given me a chance to talk about men’s heath and health in general with them. Not specifically about checking yourself (my oldest is just 11) as I don’t want to scare them, but a general conversation about what to do when things don’t feel right and about small things that on their own may not be a problem but when put together might indicate a chance of a problem. We talked about other things as well like how you know if you need to drink more water by the colour of your wee. This then lead on to a discussion about if you wee is red or has blood in it.
To allay any fears they had I shared an embarrassing moment I experienced one day when I had red wee and was worried it might be blood, only to be reminded that I had lots of beetroot the night before on salad. The boys laughed and left to go back to their mothers wondering how much beetroot they needed to eat to wee red!
But the discussion has started… so have a think about the issues we ignore with our children especially related to health and consider how you can discuss their health as they grow up because awareness shouldn’t start at middle age!
Until Next week, have a great week.
You can tweet me on @marcdominic
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.