Released in time for Fathers Day, The Real Man’s Tool Box by Tammy Farrell is the most important book your husband, father, brother, son, or male friend, will read all year.
In May 2009, the Senate’s Select Committee on Men’s Health released its report on the state of men’s health in Australia. The Committee reported that men have an average life expectancy of nearly 5 years less than women, a gap that widens even further in rural and regional areas of the country. They also found almost twice as many men die each year of conditions which could have been prevented or treated. It’s clear more has to be done to raise awareness about men’s health in Australia.
Raising awareness about men’s health is what Tammy Farrell’s book, The Real Man’s Tool Box, is all about. The book looks at the most common causes of chronic illness and premature death in men, including heart disase, prostate cancer, diabetes and depression. The aim of the book is to educate men so they can make informed decisions about their health and take a more active role in maintaining their own health and well-being, well into old age.
A registered nurse and health consultant, the author of The Real Man’s Tool Box, Tammy Farrell, first became interested in men’s health when her two brothers and their workmates, began calling on her to answer their health related questions. Tammy would later write in the introduction to her book: ‘As years passed and I was still answering questions, I came up with a question of my own: why do men take their car to the mechanic as soon as there’s even a little rattle, but they run in the other direction from a doctor when they need to look under their own hood?’
Tammy Farrell told Australian Women Online, “There is a huge gap in knowledge for the average Aussie bloke and if they don’t know anyone in the medical profession, they generally won’t discuss their health with anyone.”
“Health promotion for me has become a passion because I experienced a few young deaths that were from drugs when I was working in the ICU. To sit there with parents and help them wash the body of an eighteen year old girl – there is so much room for education out there and that’s why I wanted to go down this path. I still enjoy ICU but I can’t do it all the time because it takes too much out of you.”
Tammy became passionate about promoting men’s health while giving talks to miners in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.
“When I gave my intial talk to the miners I was asked to talk about heart disease. My background is in intensive care and cardio-cath-lab nursing, so I went along intially to speak about the heart and why it is important to look after the blood pressure – and their questions at the end of the talk were excellent. I was then asked to come back and talk about other health issues. Men don’t discuss their health issues in the workplace and I found that giving these talks really opened up a forum so that they actually felt comfortable to discuss among their colleagues, certain issues that they probably don’t discuss with anyone.”
Tammy added, “I was really impressed because I walked in there with the attitude that men don’t care about their health. But that’s not the case at all.”
Okay ladies, I know what some of you are thinking: ‘My husband wouldn’t read a health book’ and in some cases, there may well be some resistance to the idea. After all, there is almost five times as much information available on women’s health, as there is on men’s health and let’s face it, if it ain’t readily available, most guys aren’t going to search for it.
Just last week Tammy was speaking to a farmer about The Real Man’s Tool Box when he shook his head and said to her, “Oh no, I won’t be reading it. I’ll give it to my wife to read and then she’ll tell me what to do!”
If you make the information readily available (eg, place a copy of this book in his hand) most men will read it, or at the very least, make an attempt to read it. Don’t let the tough guy image fool you ladies, just like women, men want to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Written in plain English and blessedly devoid of medical jargon, The Real Man’s Tool Box was written for the working man who enjoys sport, motor cars and a cold beer after work. Contents include:
- A healthy ticker: your human heart
- The mysterious world of the prostate
- The bowel does what?
- The not-so-good night’s sleep
- What every bloke needs to know about mental un-health
- Men’s sheds
- Diabetes: the sugar rush that’s no fun at all
- Gout: is it really God’s way of telling me I drink too much beer?
- Sex: or, your bits, her bobs and what you need to know about them
- The crown jewels
- The curse of the sun
- Who does what
The book also includes Secret Women’s Business, a chapter on ‘why women’s bodies throw up more challenges than mens and how he can help the woman or women his life to navigate them’.
Tammy Farrell says there is a lot about women’s bodies that men don’t understand. She answers all the most common questions men ask about women’s health and presents the information in a clear, no-nonsense, get to the point woman the game’s about to start, format.
“The two points I really want to try and highlight to people is that we need to be aware of our family’s medical history – that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject in the home and we need to discuss this openly. The other point I wanted to make is that your health doesn’t just affect you, it affects those around you as well.”