I was nearly a decade late, but, yes, I finally summoned my intestinal fortitude and underwent a colonoscopy.
Some people procrastinate about diagnostic tests because they’re terrified of potential bad news (“That mole is NOT irregularly shaped; it’s shaped just like a basketball, and, um, about the same size”) or because they’re swayed by alarming anecdotes (“My mechanic’s cousin’s life coach got a colonoscopy once - and the next morning there was a hook hanging from his car door!”) or because they don’t realize modern medicine has replaced old techniques like the greased-ferret-going-in-and-taking-meticulous-notes method.
It was not a desire to be cantankerous that kept me away from the gastroenterologist for so long. My sincere plans to schedule a colonoscopy were continually thwarted by more pressing health issues, such as an enlarged prostate, a cracked vertebra, a sprained wrist from hitting the snooze alarm, etc.
I also lost valuable time when I decided to take my insurance company’s suggestion and compromise with one of those mail-in kits instead of a full-fledged colonoscopy. You know, where you put a sample in a special envelope and ship it to the lab. I must have flashed back to Cub Scout days, because I wound up lighting the envelope on fire, leaving it on the neighbor’s doorstep and ringing the doorbell.
Yes, a colonoscopy (from the Greek for “Pay the anesthesiologist twice their asking price!”) is something that people of a certain age (as well as younger people with enhanced risk factors) are supposed to buckle down and get done - to catch problems early, give their family peace of mind, keep healthcare costs down and just be a responsible member of society.
People of a certain age. *Sigh* How quickly time slips away. One day it’s all “Sesame Street” (“Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet...”), and seemingly overnight, it’s “Let’s go spelunking where the sun don’t shine!”
I am confident that people who have survived colon cancer because of an early diagnosis will give my recommendations a hearty “Amen.” Granted, people who are currently drinking their sodium picosulfate and prepping for a colonoscopy will have religious leanings more like “Dear God, please make it stop!”
I am eternally grateful for my family’s being supportive during my purging activities. Emperor Palpatine would have been more willing to give up the throne than I was.
People who cast a ballot get rewarded with an “I Voted” sticker. Why can’t people who undergo a colonoscopy get an “I made Lysol stock skyrocket” button?
Every colonoscopy patient needs to do at least a little tidying up so the camera can perform properly, but some people have gotten extraordinarily behind on their bathroom duties. (“Wow! The last time I saw those pancakes, Aunt Jemima was still Baby Sister Jemima!”)
But I digress. Everything turned out fine. Not even any benign polyps to remove. “See us again in 10 years.”
In fact, my wife the college biology teacher was so impressed with the snapshots of my innards, she plans to show the pics (“better than the textbook!”) to her class next semester. I kid you not.
But I may flash back to mischievous Cub Scout days again. Maybe I’ll trigger the students by mixing the colon pictures with photos of a water-skiing ferret!
Class dismissed. Oh, yeah, I dismissed with class a long time ago.
Danny welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”