Geeks Vs Loneliness: flap your baps

This week's GvL deals with the importance of not being shy when it comes to getting a check-up...

There has been a great deal of bap flapping in my world recently. As a staid old married woman this has come as something as a shock to the system. My breasts have seen more eyes and hands over the past month than during the preceding 20.

You might be wondering if this was in aid of a bap-flapping topless gyration of a mid life crisis. I think I wondered the same. However, it was actually bap flapping in the name of medical investigation.

The NHS has a slogan for encouraging people to take up bowel cancer screening – don’t die of embarrassment. And they are right. There’s a temptation to ignore small niggling signs of ill health. It’s age, it’s just a pimple, it’s just a little bit of blood in my pee…

It’ll never happen to me.

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Except, it can. And it might. Diagnosis may be scary but it is far better done sooner than later. Which is why I found myself having a mammogram and an ultrasound recently when I developed some strangeness in one breast.

Fortunately my diagnosis was a great one – I don’t have anything suspicious or cancerous, just age related saggy parts. It was very nice of the nurse to comment that I don’t have a 40 something face – alas I do have the bosom of someone closer to a half century than I’d like to be!

Fellas, this applies to you too. Any lumps, any bumps, any blood in strange places – it’s worth a ten minute appointment at the GP to get them checked out. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. My Fitbit heart rate monitor dropped 10bpm on getting the all clear.

Husband Underfoot is happy for me to mention his squirm worthy experience. His dad died from prostate cancer that was diagnosed late and was sadly untreatable. When the other half had odd symptoms down below he visited the doctor. Had a finger inserted in places where the sun don’t shine. He didn’t die of embarrassment. And he also got peace of mind.

(I will be honest – he may have had the appointment made for him – wives tend to do that sort of thing, along with a little gentle nagging. If you don’t have a wife or significant other then you need to nag yourself).

I’m a rather modest lady and he is a rather reserved man – getting naked in front of strangers is not easy for either of us. But it is worth clenching your teeth and getting on with it. Remember, the people examining you are doing it with polite detachment. They’ve seen hundreds – thousands – of flappy baps. They’ve probed places aliens would fear to tread. They do it to look after our health. Just do them a favour and have a shower and tidy up before they do their thing.

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So if there’s some part of your anatomy that’s been bothering you, or is just a little bit suspicious, take some time out to get it checked. This includes what you can’t see – cholesterol, sugar levels etc. A small chunk of time and a bit of a red face is a small price to pay for peace of mind or – if the news isn’t what you’d hoped – an action plan for making you healthier and supporting you through the process.

In the meantime my baps are free to flap for a few years yet (possibly more so as they head ever more southwards). I was one of the lucky ones in that clinic that day. It’s likely another woman wasn’t so lucky and is facing both heartbreak and treatment. I know that when that official mammogram or cervical smear test invite drops on the mat in the future I’ll be making the appointment – and keeping it.

Hoping this finds everyone well. Thanks as always for reading.