I think every father and grandfather needs to read
this. After all what is the most important thing a Dad
can give his family - himself. Most men decide to ignore that
yearly physical. Ignorance is not bliss and may result in
an absent father.
What Every Dad Owes His Kids
(c) Frank McGinty All Rights Reserved
The nurse was persistent. She reminded me of a
terrier, which once it finds what its looking for, growls
it and refuses to let go. "Trust me, it's in your own
interests. Every man should come to see us at least once
"Okay, I'll think about it."
That was like a red rag to a bull. "No, don't THINK
it. Just do it."
Then she hit me with a guilt trip. "You should think
yourself lucky. Many men would be glad of this
I'll put you down for Thursday morning at 9.15."
There was no arguing with that . . .
So what was all the fuss about? Well, I hadn't
doctor's surgery for over a year, so they thought it was
time I was reined in. They run a 'Well Man's Clinic'
days and they're very proud of it.
When I got there the nurse was still shaking her head
'tut-tutting' like a mother hen. Again she hit me with
irrefutable logic. "You put your car in for a check
year, don't you? So what's more important, your body
And believe it or not, the 'overhaul' was really quite
She asked a few questions, ticked a few boxes, did some
routine tests like checking my blood pressure, then -
- took a sample of blood from a vein in my left arm.
Not a word of sympathy! I got the distinct impression
had all she could take from men who never think about their
health, but who create a fuss when they walk through the
"This will be divided into smaller samples,'" she said
matter-of-factly, "then sent off for analysis."
The next part really impressed me. The nurse reeled
whole list of things that would be tested from that one
blood sample: thyroid activity, glucose levels, PSA
(which measures prostate activity), cholesterol level,
count . . . and so on.
So far, so good. A few days later I was summoned back
the surgery for the results. I must admit, that day I
more than a little worried and had to force myself to keep
the appointment. But I came away walking on air!
The results were normal. My blood pressure was as it
be, there was no sign of diabetes or high cholesterol. All
fears had been groundless. I felt great.
Yet when I reached home, my heart was heavy.
You see, my own Dad died over ten years ago. His
was a slow
and painful death from prostate cancer. It deeply affected
us all, but more especially his grandchildren, who adored
I'll never forget the sad look on the face of the
as he told my mother: "If only we'd caught this sooner . .
It needn't have come to this, you know."
If only, if only . . .
If only there had been a 'Well Man's Clinic' in my Dad's
day. If only he'd had the sense to have his health
out every so often.
But who am I to criticise? My Dad was a typical
man of his
generation: - ignore health problems and they'll go away!
So what was my excuse? Despite my Dad's experience,
the fact that I want to be here for my own family, for the
children I teach and the ones I write my books for, I had
be practically dragged, kicking and screaming, for a
Apparently I'm not alone. It would appear there are
millions of men around the globe who HAVE clinics and
ups readily available, but who won't go for a simple
'physical'. They'll wait until problems are far advanced -
and in many cases too far advanced!
Believe me, it feels great to know that your health is
and that if any subsequent tests reveal a problem, it will
be in the early stages and can be treated easily and
I now feel like shouting the good news from the roof
but I'll have to make do with the internet:
Fellow Dads, get your heads out of the sand! Bite
bullet! Gather up your courage! Use whatever metaphor
image you like, but take yourselves down for 'a physical'
and look after your health.
Follow the example of our wives and partners, who show
common sense when it comes to health matters.
You owe it to yourself.
But more importantly, you owe it to your loved ones . .