Regularly in the press and on the goggle box, we hear the experts talking about the reluctance of men to talk about their health and how we men should engage in such a dialogue , ‘for the good of our health.’

A couple of weeks ago, She Who Must be Obeyed and I attended a turnout in a local town with about 20 or so other couples. We only slightly knew the other participants through our involvement in the U3A.

As we sat in a cafe enjoying fresh, real tea in a pot ( without a trace of a tea bag) and hot freshly baked scones with lashing of cream and strawberry jam, the bloke sitting opposite me asked the fellow sitting next to him how his heart disease was progressing.

What followed was an in depth discussion about a heart disease research program they were on and how they had no idea if they were actually receiving life saving drugs or placebos.

Another bloke chimed in with a ‘very vivid’ description of his colostemy bag and how he had become used to its presence and how he dealt with it.

Another bloke  pulled up his right pants leg to show everyone the result of some plates on his tibia and fibula after a bike accident  and the trouble he was having with a bolt or two that were making their way slowly to the surface of his skin, accompanied by lots of pain.

Not to be outdone, another chap who had recently had a hip replacement regaled us all with his constipation  experience arising from a period in intensive care after his surgery.

Suddenly, one of the other blokes whom, like me, had remained mute during this multi faceted  mens’ health discussion slammed his fist on the table, jumped to his feet and angrily shouted across the table, and I quote,’ Jesus bloody Christ, they talk about men not talking about health issues, you bastards haven’t f…..g shut up about it for the last thirty bloody minutes and I’m f…..g bloody sick of hearing about your bloody issues!’

With that said, he left the table and didn’t return. Perhaps the talk reminded him about his own health, who knows.

I could see that a number of the people present were stunned by the outburst. Some commented about the use of the language and how inappropriate it was. Some others inquired about the fellow, where he was from, what he did for a living, how old he was and all the usual busybody inquiries some oldies tend to make. Privately I was slightly amused by all of by the goings on but kept a straight face.

However the open and frank statements made by the participants just goes to show that perhaps men are waking up to the need to be open about their health and are responding positively to the media campaign aimed at achieving it.

Probably though, a mixed group sitting down and enjoying a Devonshire Tea on a social occasion at a road side cafe is not an ideal time nor place for such intimate and detailed personal revelations.

On the positive side, my scones were beaut, the cream was fresh and the strawberry conserve was home made, plentiful and delicious. Didn’t make me feel sick at all.

On the way home, She Who Must be Obeyed, revealed she thought that the whole thing was like a poorly cast afternoon sitcom with a pathetic dialogue and no discernible plot.

Couldn’t agree more.


Hoo roo for now