13 Apr 2013

Men’s Health

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While I continue to attend many funerals, I reserve the right to occasionally comment on how men seem to delay or deny health prognosis. Just the other day I polled a bunch of 50+ guys at Neil Smith’s wake and suspect half of them were not familiar with a doctor.

I’m 55, and I have 2 medicals a year. Not because of anything in my family bloodlines, just because I am vigilant. When I got my private pilot license at age 40, the annual medical was part and parcel, and my second one turned up elevated blood pressure.

There I was thinking my column writing in CX raised the blood pressure of some, yet it was my own affliction. I take medication every day for this.


Back in the touring era I endured what I now understand as a common ailment. This is an ugly word, and you’ll never see a photo of it here. Stand by for it: Hemorrhoids. Common amongst many men who actually lift or do weights or work manually. Of course it is never discussed!

Without getting graphic, I discovered the best relief was a smear of Vaseline (medical grade petroleum jelly). Eventually the swelling went away and the problem literally retreated. I saw guys wincing, and I saw blood down the legs a few times. That is what happens if you ignore or delay treatment, and that is dangerous. See a doctor without delay!

In that general territory, Ian Woodhouse shouts that you MUST have prostate cancer screening. He should know, he is soon to die. See Blog here. The screening is in two parts – at your medical (the one you are not having, or not regularly enough?) they will take blood and test your liver function along with a lot of other things. The PSA test is part of this. The other thing you need to accept is a DRE – finger up bum. Honestly, it is not as bad as it sounds!


Finally, if (like me) you fear you may have worked with asbestos, have a lung x-ray every 5 years. Passive smoke at gigs is also a concern for me, and that x-ray puts my mind at rest.

One more thing: Pilates. It is a gentle physiotherapy driven form of exercise which in my case has given me the flexibility I had in my 30’s. Having a sweet young physio adjusting my body is also a bonus – thank you PJ at Lively in Turramurra! $35 an hour, and in a couple of sessions your aches and pains and moaning will go away.

Life is sweet. Continue to enjoy it!

– Julius



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