Bloggers for Movember – A Conversation with My Dad

The Bloggers for Movember campaign got me thinking about the men in my life. I first learned of Bloggers for Movember through Le Clown. First of all, hats off to Le Clown for rallying the troops to support funding and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health. I admire and applaud his efforts.

Generally, health is not considered a topic that men discuss. The truth is I have something in common with men on this front, as I don’t really like to think about my health either. But let’s face it, when you get to be a certain age, say in your forties and beyond, necessary exams and guidelines begin to surface.

I decided to check in with my father and ask him a few questions about how he is managing his health. Specifically, I wanted to make sure I asked him about (1) whether or not he’s had that prostate exam, (2) his family history, and (3) his social calendar.

Prostate health. I’ll admit it, I pushed off my mammogram screening for far too long. The doctor and the nurses would look at my chart, and tell me I was due for a mammogram, and I would just nod my head. They called me to schedule an appointment, for what should have been a routine, walk-in screening. When I finally had the routine exam, it took about ten minutes, and it was no big deal. I found out I was actually fearful of negative results. In the end, I felt so much better that I had the exam.

For the dudes out there…you’ll feel better, too! I asked my father about having his prostate checked, and he promised he would talk to his doctor.

Family History. Take a look at this photo of my dad’s family. I love this photo.

My dad is the youngest of twelve children. See him in the foreground, sitting on his mother’s lap. Also notice his father’s handsome ‘stache. Since my dad is the youngest of twelve and is now 77 years old, he has had the experience of witnessing his family’s health history first-hand. He has seen many of his siblings pass away, which couldn’t have been easy. The third oldest of his siblings, Frannie, lived the longest to the age of 93.

Your family history is important to help determine your risks for such health problems as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes. If you are at risk, a health professional may recommend a specific screening that you may otherwise not receive. It can’t hurt to error on the side of caution when it comes to matters of your health.

For my dad’s family, heart disease is the most common issue. My dad sees his doctor every three months. He also mentioned that he has been better with his diet, eating four pieces of fruit daily, and is trying to eat more salad. While we chatted, we munched on walnuts, also a healthy choice.

Social Calendar. I daresay my dad’s social calendar is busier than mine, and for this, I am pleased. He lives in a retirement community, and is quite the social butterfly. Every morning, he goes to the clubhouse to chat and have a cup of coffee. My dad tells me is never bored. He spends time with friends watching movies in the clubhouse, enjoys long walks, reading, listening to music, doing crossword puzzles, and shooting hoops. He also enjoys writing about his political views to the local newspaper, which sometimes posts his letters.  I told him if had a blog he could post his views anytime he liked. He was extremely interested and may start his own blog soon. Stay tuned.

Being socially active helps mental and physical health. For men, the bromance-style friendship displayed in movies like the “Wedding Crashers” is actually quite healthy.  Men who have male friends are said to be happier, healthier, and wealthier. So, make that date with your friend that you’ve been putting off. If you do suspect that you or a loved one has serious mental illness, don’t hesitate to contact a mental health professional.

I’d say my dad is doing great. What about the men in your life? How are they doing?

My dad chose red because his dad had a red mustache.
If I could grow a mustache, I would want it to be blue.

You can join Bloggers for Movember on Facebook.

Donate here. It’s not too late. No amount is too little.
Your Mo Bros and Mo Sistas will thank you.

References:
Prostate Cancer Early Detection
Why is it important to know my family medical history?
Knowing your family history is important to your health
Depression in Men: Why It’s Hard to Recognize and What Helps
Modern Males Forge Deep Bonds with Core Friends – Report

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NaNo What Not and a Woody Video

It’s now the mid-mark of NaNoWriMo, and I’m at 23,420 words. So, I’m a tad behind.

The way I see it, this NaNoWriMo is like a writer’s boot camp. It breaks you down, weakens you, makes you vulnerable, and makes feel quite humble, as in “I’m the worst writer in the world.”  And, then you wonder why you should write anything, but because you already feel like you’re the worst writer in the world, you allow yourself to write the worst possible crap ever. Whew! I feel better. Hopefully, I’ll come out of this stronger, faster, and tougher. I’ll really know what I made of.  That’s it.

My characters remain aloof. Perhaps, they’re spending too much time in the house, and I need to get them outside, or let them be really bad. On the bright side, I do like some of my ideas.

And, now, a little video for your viewing pleasure, so this post is, uh, not a complete waste of your time. Gee, honey, I thought it was because of my soft skin.

It’s based on science, and what more do you want out of life? Really. Science has the answers for everything. Enjoy.