Congratulations to State Senator Carol Liu on the successful ninth annual Women's Educational Health Conference and Exposition. Liu's event, co-sponsored by the Wellness Community - Foothills, Inc., and others, was dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life through education for empowerment of women about their health and life choices. The Theme of this year's event was appropriately, "Knowledge is Power".
My wife came home and couldn't stop talking about the wonderful program and the involvement of the many organizations such as The LINKS, Women In Action, City of Hope, The Commission on the Status of Women, Churches, Sororities, Planned Parenthood, local Hospitals, medical service providers, and on and on. She was excited that she was able to talk to a female heart specialist, given her recent health challenges related to her heart. After talking to me about it she got on the phone and called to spread the word to a few of her friends who didn't attend the conference.
My question was, when and where is the men's Educational and Health Conference? And she said, "They won't go", to which I could only reply, "I guess you're right." I remembered that earlier this year when Assemblyman Anthony Portantino held an AIDS testing clinic at Vromans, there were mostly women there to be tested. I was one of only a few men there. Unfortunately, it is not because we don't have health problems and often die sooner than our wives, men do have health problems, but our ego problems seem to outweigh the health problems.
Unfortunately Black men have an even greater number of problems than others, but health care is way down on our list of priorities. Now that I think about it, it could be because we may not always have jobs that provide health care, or we can't afford health care because of a system that still sees us as the last hired and the first fired. As a small business owner, I know how expensive it is to keep up the cost of the health care costs for my wife and I and our employees. But the ego is in there also.
At the Women's Conference a few men attended with their wives, but there were over 1,000 women there to discuss and hear about diabetes, the effects of being overweight and obesity, the digestive system and stomach problems, exercise, breast cancer uterine cancer, and other female related cancer, heart problems and strokes, aging, the role of caretaker and Alzheimer's, and legal questions related to dementia.
At a Men's Conference the subjects could be the same, but we have the unique and unspeakable problem of erectile dysfunction. That not only is a health problem but has been the source of the break up of many marriages because of the related Ego problems.
The popular thinking is that men think that sex solves everything. Well doesn't it? I tell people that men want "peace" and "piece", and then they're Ok. Remember, in these areas men are not self made, God made us this way.
But thanks to today's miracle drugs like Viagra, Levitra and others medicines, trouble don't last always, and the problem is being helped. Some say that these drugs don't work for everybody the same. Then there are things like, please excuse the expression, "cock rings", and other blood retaining devices. The problem is that men, unlike women who talk about their changing hormonal balances, don't talk about these things. They won't even tell their doctors.
I've written before about the problem of the old fool who when his erectile functions begin to slowdown his libido and his sexual prowess, he blames it on his wife. He goes out and experiments with younger women only to wake up to the fact that his problem has nothing to do with his wife. He is aging and nature taking its course. Then he finds that it is not necessarily the mind that is the first thing to go. And when it's too late, he learns that there is "no fool like an old fool". By then, he has messed up his marriage of 20, 30, 40 plus years, and the life of his family.
I'll be waiting on the Men's Conference. In the meantime, I'm reading Dr. Laura Schlesinger's book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" to my wife.