This is not the sort of matter that my father would consider that a gentleman should discus in public. But, as my critics often point out, I am no gentleman and, in 2017, we should perhaps talk openly about men's health. I have for some weeks had intermittent pains in my private parts and my left testicle now appears to be larger than my right one.
Natch, being a child of my time my first point of call is google where I learn that there are all sorts of things that can cause this but only 4% of such cases turn out to be cancer. But I made an appointment to see my GP anyway. I tested my blood sugars the day before and was delighted to see them come in at 6.4, i.e within normal range, despite not working that hard at my diet over the past few weeks. So my type 2 diabetes is well in check and i was able to report that as I entered the surgery. As it happens I have also lost a few pounds so am now just very overweight not obese! Hip Hip hooray, cream cakes all round!
Call me old fashioned but I really don't like the idea of another man staring at my bollocks even if he is a GP. I was glad that Joshua, who I had brought along to give me moral support, did not see this examination and gonad fondling as we were separated by a screen. I can't imagine that most doctors really enjoy checking out other blokes gonads either. Anyhow I stared straight ahead not looking at the doctor looking at my balls and feeling each testicle in turn. Is the right one a bit tender he asked? Yes, said I, still staring straight ahead.
After what seemed like eons but was less than a minute the quack told me to get my trousers back on and prescribed some tablets. It is probably a condition whose name i cannot remember which is linked to the way type 2 diabetes causes you to piss more often than normal. My pissing is now under control but this is probably a legacy. But just to be on the safe side I have been booked in for a scan. The quack sounded as reassuring as those google statistics and so that scan is for another day - meanwhile that now leaves me taking seven pills a day.
But this swollen gonad makes one think. I am 50 next Birthday. Life is rushing along. I have had big rows with two colleagues this morning and once you accept that your days left on this planet may not be that many, it really does make you question your personal life and business model. Would I rather have spent more time singing songs with my 10 month old son Joshua and less dealing with website shite today, or less? That is not a hard call. Do I want to deal with goats (to milk) or sheep (that is to say Bulletin Board Morons? That is not a hard call either.
In a sense the test results do not matter a jot in the changing way that I view my life going forward.
Sadly my old GP has moved to a new practice in Devon. I regret this as he was tolerant of my politics (though obviously a screaming Guardian reading trot himself), we chatted at length about olive trees and he always had to chide me on my lack of progress in tackling my type 2 diabetes. How I wish Dr Curry had been there today as I met up with his replacement and met up in a blaze of glory
The blood sugar results from last week are a trailing measure and having scored 122 (whatever that means) three months ago I was in Dr Curry's bad books. That is off the scale. My bloods taken last week were just 70. The target is 42. But those bloods are a trailing measure going back 6-8 weeks. I know from my recent blood tests on my pocket kit that in the two or three weeks leading up to the test I was in "normal range" and thus, ceteris paribus, a test taken in a few weeks would see me coming in at well below 60 or even 50. The word used to describe my progress was "fantastic."
We discussed exercise, a low carb diet and the doctor smiled and nodded approvingly. My cholesterol is not that high and my blood pressure is normal. All in all it is very good indeed. We then turned to the subject of my weight for this morning I braved the scales.
I am just over 6 foot tall and, without divulging my weight, I can say that it is more than five and a half stone off its peak when I was a complete and utter lardbucket but my Body Mass Index (BMI) just puts me by 1 lb into the obese category. I can blather on about how I have a lot of muscle from playing sport when younger and working out in the snake-fields this summer but I cannot hide the fact that I need to lose weight. Okay I am 15 stone 13 pounds.
I cannot see me hitting my fighting weight of 13 stone 7 in a month of Sundays - that would get me into normal range.
But surely I can shed a couple of stone or even get into the mid 14s and just be classed as mildly overweight? That is the task that lies ahead of me. Meanwhile I continue with my 5 pills a day and low carb, almost no alcohol, diet ahead of my next blood tests and chat with the quack in three months time.
"Fantastic progress" - words I never thought I'd hear.
Nicola Sturgeon seems amazed that EU leaders are not lining up begging Scotland to join the Evil Empire as soon as possible. It has not dawned on her that, set to lose a major benefactor in form of the United Kingdom (in reality England plus the Celtic scroungers), the last thing it wants is to take back the welfare addicted nation of idlers that is Scotland. Heck the EU alread has the economic basket case that is the Real Greece why would it want the wannabee Greece of the North as well?
88% of Scots are net takers from the State. The entire Scottish political class seem to be born again Money Tree believers with no concept of Fiscal prudence because they know that since 1707 the ever grateful English have been picking up the tab for the whims and follies of those North of the border.
If Britain gets to leave the EU the initial saving is £350 million a week. Jettison the smelly socks as well and that number goes up sharply. It is a win win for us here in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is party time.
But why on earth does the poisonous midget from Edinburgh things that the EU wants to admit another mouth to feed, another nation stuffed with obese welfare junkies with a sense of entitlemnent? The EU deck already contains far too many cards of that nature, the last thing it wants is another in the form of Scotland.
I am not saying that all Brummies are thicker than Benny from Crossroads but it strikes me that he would probably have been among the brighter sparks in his local pub quiz team. I read today about Richella Heeking and Ben Marlow from Sutton Coldfield, who saved up £1200 to go on a lavish break in Las Vegas and turned up to Birmingham airport to find there was no plane.
Er.. slowly it dawned on these two imbeciles that they had booked a flight from Birmingham Alabama as opposed to Birmingham, the post industrial shit-hole on the southern fringes of the great Northern welfare safari.
These idiots insist that it is a common mistake. Yeah right, among folks with an IQ of less than thirty. The couple seemed surprised that the airline would not offer a refund. Compensation, we need compensation for being so incredibly fucking stupid. Whatever.
I suggest that airlines impose a 50% surcharge for all passengers from the North of England. The odds are that they will be morbidly obese as a result of a lifetime eating junk food while on the dole. So they should have to pay more anyway, like we do if we take on extra baggage. And there has to be a good chance that, as a result some act of innate stupidity, they will make life harder for other passengers or the crew.
Perhaps Michael O'Leary at RyanAir will see the logic behind my suggestion and be the first to impose the Northerner surcharge on his planes.
The new scales have arrived and quick as a flash I was naked and staring at the screen. As I expected I am over 15 stone (15 st 6 llbs to be exact). Maybe after my 7th day off the sauce and after going for a walk this afternoon I shall be a bit lighter tomorrow morning but however I look at this, it is not good news.
A long discussion with Lucian Miers who is dieting hard but tells me that he is still borderline obese according to his Body mass Index ensued and my own BMI comes in at 28.5 - closer to obese than normal but technically “overweight”. Tell me something I did not know. You can check your own BMI with a fun sliding calculator which I have been playing with for a good few minutes HERE
If I can get to 14 stone 6 then I am given a BMI of 27 (still overweight, but closer to normal than Lucian/Obese). My weight when I was playing rugby or training at London Irish five days a week was 14 stone 7 and so I think that as a very first stop I’d be delighted to get to 14.6. To be classed as normal I have to get to 13.11 which seems a) an awfully long way away and b) rather more embarrassingly, is what I was in August 2012.
My weight loss then was assisted by the enormous stress of having my entire life fall apart and then by spending weeks walking around the mountains of Greece & Albania. I am hoping to avoid repeating the first part of that but perhaps the stress ahead of UK Investor Show on April 5 will be a substitute. Then it is off to Greece for the walking.
First stop, pound by pound is to get back to the 14s. The good news is that (as I know from experience) in the 15s the weight slips off very quickly indeed on a regime of Spartan calorie intake and exercise and that should continue until the mid 14s. Thereafter the battle gets harder. But first stop 14.13!