As part of the Movember campaign, in association with Farmer Autovillage, Will Johnston talks about aspects of men's health to raise awareness of men's health issues.
It's about as likely you know someone with (or who's had) testicular cancer as it is that we don't win the Rugby World Cup this year.
So, pretty likely then.
Feels like a kick in the nuts, huh?
So let's talk about nuts!
It felt a bit nuts a few years ago when I went to get a blood test to see if I was vaccinated for Hepatitis B before an overseas trip and I walked in to the blood test place with a common STD test request. If you do that then the test is free. Plus I was single (and careful, thank you very much), so what's the harm in getting tested, right?
I walk in there, and The Hits was playing. An ad voiced by me. First red flag.
I go in to get the blood test and halfway through the lovely and proficient nurse says:
"You're from the radio, huh?" Second red flag.
Look, I'm all for getting tested for anything, anytime. Like the alternative is nasty, just do it. But, it was definitely awkward.
It's nuts that months later it was going to get more awkward. I found a lump on my nuts.
I did what most guys do, 'cos we're idiots - I left it for like three months. I was worried that people would actually have to touch me there. But they are medical professionals - they've touched worse!
As the stupid guy I am, I convinced myself it was either nothing or it would go away. But during that three months I remembered a mate of mine up north who had to have one of the vege parts of his 'meat and vege' removed because he left it too long. And then go through a bit of radiation.
Though as his mates and typical great guys we are, we told him to become vegan.
To get the vege he was now missing back in to his life. Ha. Guys are awesome!
So I went to the doctor, he had a feel around, confirmed there was a lump, said it was likely to be totally fine, but you still have to go get that checked with an ultrasound.
Guess where the radiology place is. The same place as the blood checking place.
So these people now have seen me twice in six months, once for a test and now getting my balls checked.
Do they think I'm just a creep who likes to get tested for awkward things?
No. That's just in my head. They are just doing their jobs. I also had this weird and overwhelming thought of how much of a dick I'd feel (don't excuse the pun) if I was to die from testicular cancer, knowing I had a lump and just because I was too much of a coward to go get it checked?
Like what an idiot, right?
It gets worse.
I'm lying there, robe on, undies off, ready to go and in walks the hottest medical professional I ever seen. She was beautiful.
I was dying inside.
In the end the lump turned out to be a bit of a burst vessel thing from straining at the gym and it went away on its own about three months after that. Nothing to worry about.
If you have a lump anywhere, get it checked. Men are dying because they don't. We are super bad at it and it makes us seem way dumber than women because we don't get things that clearly aren't meant to be happening, checked.
We are so bad at getting stuff checked that: "Across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable." That's from the Movember website - www.nz.movember.com.
How dumb are we? Imagine not getting the next six years of your life 'cos you were too 'blokey' to get something checked or have a chat with someone about your health in any respect.
I mean, you'd miss seeing us win back the Rugby World Cup for Christ's sake. Now that would be a tragedy.
- Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM.
Local company Farmer Autovillage is getting behind the Movember Foundation's campaign this month to raise awareness about men's health. Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has been a global leader, committed to changing the face of men's health. Movember tackles all aspects of men's physical and mental health, tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1250 men's health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men's health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men. Each year in November, the campaign raises awareness and funds, and is officially "moustache season" when people are encourage to get involved by growing a moustache. For more information, tips and guidelines of how to get involved, visit nz.movember.com.