Here’s a toast to good health

Well, it’s November, and this is the month dedicated to men’s health. “Movember”, as some folks call it, is the time of year where we men are constantly reminded to go the doctor for a check-up and specifically have our prostate checked. It’s really a good idea, although I haven’t gone yet. I am still looking for a doctor with extremely skinny fingers.

“Movember” is also the month where men are encouraged to grow a beard. I wasn’t aware we needed any encouragement to stop shaving, but for 37 years, I have been strongly advised to shave after just two days of growing whiskers. After my surgery a while back, I got to go weeks without shaving since I wasn’t able to leave the house. According to folks who came to visit me during my lengthy recovery, my patchy beard and opioid-induced crazy eyes made me look like a middle-aged meth addict. But I kept the quasi-beard until my precious granddaughter told me she didn’t like the whiskers. I shaved that afternoon.

Last November, after some urging from co-workers, I stopped shaving. Without the wild eyes from pain pills and some trimming, I looked civilized with a beard but appeared much, much older than my actual age. The longer the whiskers grew, the more I looked like an eighty-year-old college professor. So I shaved the beard off before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of November, why did they pick this month to emphasize healthy living? It’s the one month out of the year where most men gorge themselves on turkey, sweet taters and pecan pie while sitting in a recliner with our pants unbuttoned watching 5 days worth of football. And the medical experts are urging us to get our prostates checked while our GI tract is full of volatile yams. Does this make sense to you?

Something else the health experts just divulged has my head spinning. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) reported that moderate and even slight drinking of alcohol may increase your chance of getting cancer. Well, now you tell me! I reckon I’d better start picking out my coffin because I have consumed enough beer over the past 40 years to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

Now, what’s got me bewildered is that for several years, I have been advised by my doctors, including a cardiologist, to drink a beer or two every day. They said beer or wine, in moderation, can be beneficial to my cardiovascular system, help with digestion and lower my stress level. Well, I have always followed my doctors’ orders. With their advice and occasional treatments, I am in pretty good shape for a guy my age. Okay, my spine has been surgically repaired and I can no longer twerk to Miley Cyrus songs, but I am fairly active and probably in overall good health.

So now, in November 2017, which medical professionals do I listen to? The ones who claim cold beer will put me in an early grave, or the fine physicians who advise me to pop a top every day? Oh, what a conundrum I face! Do I stop drinking to lower my risk of cancer only to suffer a stroke or heart attack? Or continue to lubricate my arteries with ice-cold brews and allow some tumor to grow in my gut? Hmm. What do I do?

Since I never met those folks with ASCO, and never had one of their doctors listen to my heart or poke my prostate, I believe I will stick to the sage advice of my personal physicians. They know me better than those researchers pouring drinks to lab rats. So, to all those doctors who have worked on me in the past 30 years, cheers!

Clint Younts likes to get paid for his columns – in cases of beer.

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