As if you couldn’t tell from all that pink spewed across the landscape, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From this (and from me) you all know the drill: make that appointment, take those steps to reduce the discomfort, and GET THAT MAMMO!!
While breast cancer is a very important cause, and I’d never make light of it, did you know that October shares its media space with a veritable cornucopia of other causes?
Other diseases and health concerns are clamoring for your attention. Lupus, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dyslexia, and Downs’ Syndrome want your notice and probably a little research money from you as well. (I wonder what the ribbon for National Eczema Month looks like, and if you wear it, will you itch?) Backing these up are National Talk about Prescriptions Month, National Ergonomics Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, National Physical Therapy Month (I, for one, am thankful for its existence) and to keep it all straight, October is also National Medical Librarians Month and National Statistics Month (wonder if they keep statistics on which causes are assigned to which months).
And with a grudging nod from the AMA, October is National Chiropractic Month.
But did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Probably to get kids ready for the dental disaster of Halloween. And we are very concerned about children in October. It’s also Children’s Health Month, Window Covering Safety Month (so that children won’t strangle themselves in curtain pulls), Booster Seat Safety Month, National Safety Helmet Month, National Eat Better/Eat Together Month and Family Sexuality Awareness Month.
It’s a month for other important and overlooked life-or-death safety issues as well. October is National Crime Prevention Month, National Fire Prevention Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and, believe it or not, National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Have you updated your virus protection and changed the batteries in your smoke alarm yet?
Be kind to animals - it’s National Pet Wellness Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Prepare for winter because it’s National Fall Car Care Month.
But October isn’t all about scary diseases and serious causes. Summer’s over, school has begun, winter’s just around the corner and we need some fun, damn it. That’s probably why October is National Pizza Month and National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, as well as National Seafood, Pasta, Apple, Mushroom and (finally) Dessert Month. Work off those calories celebrating National Rollerskating Month. If you enjoy a quieter hobby, there’s National Book Month (every month is National Book Month in my house), National Stamp Collecting Month, National Art and Humanities Month, National Art and Framing Month and if you want to research your family tree, it’s National Family History Month. If you feel truly sinful about all that pizza and dessert, it’s also National Clergy Appreciation Month and National Christian Higher Education Month.
I don’t know who lobbied Washington to get this (probably someone who didn’t have much else to do…or recognized the need for a whole lot of TP in Washington), but it’s also National Toilet Paper Month. Like most of us weren’t aware of it already.
If you’re not exhausted already but still haven’t decided on a cause to put your effort behind this month, it’s National Make A Difference Day, so pretty much anything you want to offer would be appreciated.
And if there’s something you truly want to get off your chest (and out of your closet), October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…