Make Men’s Health November One Mustache at a Time
OCONTO, Wisconsin – The pandemic forced Dr. Charles Heyka to shave the first beard he had grown in years.
He had to do this to make sure the N-95 masks he was wearing fitted properly. He is a family doctor at Bellin Health Oconto Hospital and Clinic.
“COVID required skin contact with our masks, our N-95 masks, in order to be fully effective,” he said. âI had to shave my beard. It was heartbreaking. Not too horrible, but it was heartbreaking.
But the beard is back, and so is the opportunity to speak with other men about issues ranging from mental health to the importance of prostate checks and testicular self-exams.
âThis is something that men don’t want to talk about for the most part, so anything we can do that might bring this up in the conversation will definitely help,â he said.
Like the mustaches that stick to us under Heyka’s medical mask.
âAny opportunity that gives us a chance to talk to someone and open that door to say, ‘When was the last time you had that colonoscopy? Let me tell you about this guy who was 40 and started having problems and because he was successful we caught something very early on, âhe said. âIt’s a good opener and it’s fun. You have to have fun with this stuff.
He took a few ribs from his staff about the new growth.
“I was wondering why Dr Heyka was growing his beard, and then I was like it was November, November without a shave,” said Jensen Navis, a technology student nurse working for the staff at Oconto. âThen we joked that Dr. Heykaâ¦ got lazy and didn’t want to shave him. “
But there is an underlying message to this facial hair – and potentially a point of connection with a reluctant patient.
âYou never know when that little extra detail that might come from a doctor who says, ‘It would really be a good thing for you to do. “You just don’t know how much that could change their behavior and possibly lead to this screening being done,” Heyka said.