Boobs, bum, blinkers, biters and barnacles 14



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I bet that got your attention. The haters will be out in full force gnashing their false teeth at my choice of words. I just coined the above title as a reminder of the necessity of taking care of our health as we hover around the 69 mark. Taking care of our health and maintaining what we have in good working order is a priority so we can keep healthy and active.

Firstly boobs, if you are a woman (and some men I might add). I am flabbergasted at how many of my female contemporaries do not have a mammogram because it is painful. Yes it is painful, not as painful as a migraine or giving birth but it does feel uncomfortable. But we are offered this service free of charge, so why not take advantage of it? When breast cancer is detected early, women have a far greater chance of recovering.

Now bum. Yes, your bum. We all have one and though the bowel cancer kit is fiddly and a teensy bit weird, it is easy to do and well worth it. I know it is weird to poo on a piece of paper floating in your loo and then take a swab and pop it in a container and then in the mail, but hey, its a five minute job (teehee) and it could save your life. What is more, I have even more female contemporaries who refuse to do it because its weird, icky and just not much fun. I think it is more fun to know that you are in the clear.

Blinkers. Yes, let’s take care of our eyes. I have had two retinal detachments and surgery saved my eyesight. I had no warning whatsoever, however by the time the second one happened I was well aware of what was happening. It is a miracle that whereas 20 years ago I would have been blind; but surgery, clever doctors and a midnight flight in a medical plane saved my eyesight. I am eternally grateful. Many eye tests are free. So be aware of Macular degeneration, cataracts and other conditions that may be able to be detected while in the early stages.

Now, our biters, or our teeth. My teeth recently needed a lot of work, they have been chewing for years, and as they are costly to maintain, they always went to the back of the maintenance list along with a new motor for the brain. Also, it is a service that I had to find not just hundreds, but thousands of dollars for. However, gum disease is not pleasant, and untreated dental decay can generally affect our health very badly. So, I have an almost completely fixed up set of choppers, a loan to pay back, and am looking forward to being able to smile broadly for the first time in years.

Now my barnacles, which is what my skin specialist calls my many benign sun spots. From being a fair skinned kid out in the hot kiwi sun to my early forties, I spent many a waking hour tanning my hide, and yes I even used a sun bed. I know, its horrible to think of. Fortunately I have been vigilant with my skin checks, and now I know about sun protection, I am a lot more careful. However new barnacles and age spots appear with monotonous regularity. I could be the underside of some old ship down in the marina.

So I challenge all of you out there in SAS land to take the time to make the appointment, maintain the checks, do the research, bite the bullet and get all of those ‘b’ word conditions seen too. It might just save your life.

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Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. Excellent article, have just completed these checks, only blinkers left to attend too, thanks

  2. Such good reminders Karen written with your usual humour.

  3. Have regular checks of all. Man I feel like I spend a lot of time going to appointments. Don’t forget your ears either folks!!!!

  4. Today. Not too shabby apparently hahaha. But was told by a salesman that at 62, it’s not too far to 85. Mmmmm. Told him he might want to work on that line.

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