Movember – a reminder not a gimmick

Sadly, I lost my cousin Bryan to heart disease four years ago, aged just 55. In fact, the 3rd of November marked the anniversary of his funeral. Then 2 years ago I lost my brother Peter who died of a heart attack on Halloween, 31 October 2018. As we move into Movember, it is the greatest concept to raise money and awareness for Men’s health. Due to the loss of two guys I loved, I use the Movember campaign to prompt a check up and get the man stuff checked out.

I often wonder whether a more opened discussion with Bryan and Peter around Men’s health issues could have prevented the early losses of life. Men tend to greet each other with how are ya mate? The answer is always I’m alright, too often we know we lie with this response, as we suspect others do in return. A perplexing part is that both guys were well educated, Peter an accountant and Bryan was the Chief Forensic Scientist at Victoria Police, and would have known about the causes of death. Still neither of them took check-ups and unfortunately smoked. Bryan was to have a scope for what he thought was heartburn, which he kept deferring and Peter neglected his health and developed issues due to undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.

Both deaths were preventable, and the loss continues to sting families and friends. As I mentioned, I use the Movember campaign to remind me to have an annual check-up. The delight that a Doctor expresses when you say that you’re there for a wellness check is amazing. I have my:

  1. Blood pressure checked
  2. Prostate
  3. Blood Glucose (diabetes)
  4. Skin checked for cancer
  5. Family and employment situation
  6. Discuss life generally, how I am feeling including anxiety and depression
  7. Bowel cancer check

The wellness check needs a double appointment and generally takes 1 hour and costs around $30 out of pocket after rebates. There’s a blood test after the doctor’s appointment to gather samples to test the prostate and diabetes, which takes 10 minutes. Then a poo collection at home where you must collect a sample the size of a fingernail to send off to a laboratory for bowel screening.  All up $30 and 1 hour and 10 minutes of my life annually. If you say you have not got the time or cannot afford it, then you’re probably telling tales. I figure I owe this to myself, my family and friends to cough up $30 and 1 and a bit of an hour to hopefully prevent a premature death.

Please give up a little of your time this November and see how delighted a Doctor can be when someone wants to help themselves. Tell your family what you’re doing and for god’s sake encourage your mates to do likewise. You might save someone’s life, including your own.

Just one more thing, give a reasonable donation to your friend or colleague who grows the best moustache.

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