April Showers and More…

April Showers Bring May Flowers, But What Showers Are Best For Checking Your Bulbs?

Legend tells us that back in 1557, Thomas Tusser produced a collection of writing called “A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry.” One of these writings included a brief poem: “Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers.” This is obviously the forebearer of the adage “April showers bring May flowers.” 

However, that was over 450 years ago. Things have changed, and we have a variety of different shower types. Thus, I submit that the adage should now be “April showers bring May flowers, and other types of showers may or may not be appropriate for testicular self-exam powers.” For Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, let’s analyze some of these showers and their appropriateness, represented by the amount of May flowers they receive.

Private showers

Appropriateness power rating: 10 out of 10 May flowers

To be honest, this is probably the best place to do your monthly self-exam. Your pants are already off, the warm water is ideal to let your boys hang free, and you’re most likely alone.

As a refresher, self exams are pretty easy. Just place your index and middle fingers under the testicle with your thumb on top. Firmly but gently, roll the testicle between your fingers. Any weird lumps or bumps should be checked out by a doctor ASAP. When you get out of the shower, be sure to look for signs of changes in shape, color, or swelling. Repeat this process monthly.

Public showers

Appropriateness power rating: 7 out of 10 May flowers

A lot of the same benefits from private showers (pants off and warm water conditions) still apply here, but one of the biggest drawbacks is that you’re no longer by yourself. Getting down on a self-exam while other guys are showering around you could earn you some awkward looks from others, but you could take that opportunity to educate other men on the importance of a monthly self-exam. 

Actually on second thought, I think I’m going to bump this one up to 8 out of 10 May flowers. With nearly half of men not performing regular self-exams, a public shower just may be the perfect place to bring on some change! 

Bridal showers

Appropriateness power rating: 5 out of 10 May flowers

A bridal shower is supposed to be a celebration of love… but showing some love to your testicles in the midst of the party may be a step too far. Pair this with the fact that bridal showers are traditionally attended by women, and this sounds like a set up to a bad sitcom episode.

However, there is one thing that does possibly redeem the “bridal shower ball squeeze” (BS^2, if you will.) The median age for men at their first marriage is 28, which isn’t too far off from the median age of 33 for testicular cancer diagnosis. This could be a good opportunity to reinforce to the men (and women) in attendance that as they begin on building a new family, it’s also important to protect the family jewels. 

Baby showers

Appropriateness power rating: 1 out of 10 May flowers

Let me be clear – I do not think you should physically do a self exam in the middle of a baby shower. This one should be focused on the birth of a new baby. Additionally, grandparents and children also have a tendency to attend these forms of showers, so I really think that would get you into all sorts of trouble. 

However, I see nothing wrong with some light discussion. You might as well take the opportunity to reinforce that testicular cancer can strike any man at any time. While the majority of cases occur in men in their twenties and thirties, about 6% of cases occur in children and teens, and about 8% occur in men over the age of 55

As a reminder, you almost certainly will be uninvited from Thanksgiving if you cradle your own babies at this form of shower, so stick to talking about it instead. 

Rain showers

Appropriateness power rating: 6 out of 10 May flowers

There are plenty of iconic moments in film that take place during a rain shower, but none are as ubiquitous as Singing In The Rain. It’s nearly 70 years since the film was released, so I think we can update it to modern times with Ball Checking In the Rain. 

It has a lot of similar advantages and drawbacks as the aforementioned public showers, but it’s even more public. Take this opportunity to educate one of the nearly 40% of men who never have been talked about self-exams. If you do it in a public park, you may even get to educate some police officers who come to chat with you about indecent exposure!

Meteor showers

Appropriateness power rating: 7 out of 10 May flowers

When we are graced with one of these types of showers, people have a tendency to wish upon a shooting star. With nearly 80 percent of men fearing testicular cancer might kill them, you can bet this may be a wish in the back of some of their minds. Luckily, testicular cancer has a very likelihood of high survival rating, especially if caught early. The American Cancer society reports that positive outcomes are reported in 99% of cases if contained in testicle and 96% with minimal spread. So in essence, stop the wishing, and begin the examining. 

Plus, it’s dark out so you’re much less likely to get in legal trouble.

Snow showers

Appropriateness power rating: 5.5 out of 10 May flowers

A snow shower is basically a much colder version of a rain shower, so all of those above mentioned reasons hold true here. The reason I dinged half a May flower is because doing your self-exam in the middle of a blizzard will bring a whole new meaning to the phrase… cold as balls.

A self exam is how most cases of testicular cancer are detected early. Click the image for video directions or click here for a larger version

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