Tag Archives: Hospitalization

Thank A Veteran

by Richard

Today, in America, we celebrate Veteran’s Day. This is the day we set aside to honor those of our fellow countrymen and women who have served time as part of our armed forces.

What with the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as in various hotspots around the globe, we’ve owe more than ever to those past and present members of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard.

While we’re celebrating all of those who served today, I’d like to set aside a couple of minutes to talk about those who gave even more. Thanks to advances in battlefield medical technology, we’re seeing more soldiers returning alive but seriously wounded from service abroad.

Which gives us the opportunity to help them. Just quickly google assistance and veteran and you’ll find plenty of organizations dedicated to helping our troops. I’d like to highlight a couple here to which you might want to donate.

Fisher House is an organization dedicated to providing “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides a number of services to the returning wounded and their families, including benefits counseling, caregiver retreats, family support and peer mentoring.

The USO is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered private organization that provides innumerable services to our troops, either on active duty or on leave. In addition to the well-known entertainments the organization puts on overseas, the USO does things as simple and powerful as welcoming home troops who arrive in airports all over the country, something my father-in-law (himself a veteran of the Marines) does almost every week.

Take some time and provide some support, dudes. If you can’t get out and do the work yourself, you can easily donate some money to help out these and other worthy organizations.

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The Guide: The Cruelest Cut Or The Coolest Cut

by Barry and Richard


Okay, now that you’ve calmed down a bit after reading that word, let’s talk.

Little dudes are born with what is called foreskin, a layer of skin that covers the head, or glans, of the penis. Unlike in older boys, the foreskin on newborns can’t be pushed back at all. If the little dude gets circumcised, then the foreskin is cut away, leaving the head visible.

If you decide not to get your son circumcised, then over the next few years, the foreskin will gradually separate from the head of the penis and can be pushed back.

So, if the same results will be achieved through time, then why put the baby through getting skin cut off his penis?

Well, if you’re Jewish or Islamic, it’s because it’s a symbol of your covenant with God or Allah. In fact, circumcision is thought to be the oldest medical procedure still performed today.

In the United States, it’s become traditional for most little dudes to get circumcised in the first few days after they are born. This trend really got started in the late 1800s and it’s been going strong ever since.

There have been a number of justifications for the routine circumcision of boys. Among them that it would make the head of the penis less sensitive (it doesn’t) which would, therefore, make masturbation less tempting. Those early justifications also included that circumcision would cure epilepsy, syphilis, asthma, lunacy and TB. Medical science has since discounted all of these claims.

According to a 1989 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the only provable medical benefit to circumcision was that uncircumcised dudes had a 10 times greater risk of contracting a urinary tract infection, which, in severe cases, can lead to hospitalization. However, most  urinary tract infections can be treated and cured with antibiotics.

Circumcision, though, has marched merrily along and continues to be done in most hospitals. A lot of the time, little dudes get circumcised because the big dudes were also circumcised. It’s sort of like a tradition.

However, according to some statistics we read in a book (so you wouldn’t have to), the percentage of circumcisions done each year in the United States has been going down since the 1980s. By the time the mid-1990s had rolled around, the circumcision rate had dropped from 80 percent in 1986, to only 50 percent.

If you and your partner have decided to have the little dude circumcised, it will probably be done at the hospital when he’s maybe two to three days old. When it gets done, the doctor will probably put on some petroleum jelly and a temporary bandage. The bandage will come off the next time the little dude pees.

The most important thing you will do is to keep the penis as clean as possible until it is completely healed. Then, of course, you just keep it really, really clean. Make sure when you are cleaning the little dude’s circumcised penis that you are as gentle as possible and use a mild soap and water to clean it.

After the circumcision, the penis will look very red and there might be a yellowish secretion coming from the tip. Both of these, oddly enough, show that the penis is healing naturally. But if the redness and secretion don’t start to go away by the end of a week after the procedure, then there might be an infection. If that happens, you should take the little dude to the doctor you already selected.

If you decide not to circumcise, then there’s still some stuff you need to know on how to care for the little dude’s penis. All you need to do during the first few months is wash it with mild soap and water. Because the foreskin is connected to the head of the penis it won’t roll back, so don’t try. Another thing not to try is cleaning the opening in the foreskin with a q-tip. As long as you’re cleaning it, the uncircumcised penis should be just fine.

After several months or years, the foreskin will separate from the head of the penis and can then be retracted. Once that is possible, you’ll need to retract the foreskin occasionally during baths to clean the penis underneath.

We’ll talk more about keeping the penis clean in the section on bathing. We bet you can’t wait for that.

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Odyssey’s End

There’s a monster living in my garage. No, seriously. Well, part of one anyway. My youngest little dude finished his Odyssey of the Mind competition the day before my unfortunate hospitalization so I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it yet. Consider this my chance. It’s also your chance to run, but this is your only warning.

The little dude and the other six kids on his team had to tell about the lost labor of Heracles and why it became lost to history and mythology. They decided to go with time travel. Yeah, I thought it was pretty imaginative as well. It seems Heracles had just dispatched the Nemean lion when he was sent on another mission, to kills the megaiosaodi (which is the Greek word for bigfoot). The thing was huge. It was so big, all you could see on the stage was one foot. The rest was too big to see. The kids made this thing our of chicken wire, lots and lots of duct tape and a marker. One of the kids was wearing this monster foot and hopping around stage in it.


Unfortunately, the thing was so big, Heracles couldn’t beat it. The good news was that he stumbled into the Greek god of time (Chronos) who sent him back 20 years to when it was just a little foot and Heracles bit its head off. Problem solved. The problem was that when he went back to the present, no one remembered there had been a monster so that labor didn’t count and it was lost to history.

The kids did a great job on the whole presentation. They did research into ancient Greek theater and discovered that the ancient Greeks didn’t use much in the way of scenery (so neither did they) and that every actor except the flute player wore a mask and so did they. They wrote the entire script and made all the props. It was most excellent. The other coach and I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole performance.

While we came in 12 out of 19 teams, I couldn’t be more proud of them all. They worked hard, gave up weekends and — most importantly — had a great time. If your little dude or dudette ever gets a chance to participate in Odyssey of the mind, I’d say you should grab that chance immediately. It’s a whole heck of a lot of fun. The only problem now is that the youngest little dude doesn’t want to get rid of something that took so very much work to create. Anyone out there want a monster of their very own? I figure I can sneak it out during the night and just tell everyone the foot escaped.

— Richard

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