So, the latest column is up, and I got immediate fan mail. Gotta love those early risers who get going with the sun.
You can read it there (in the esteemed Ahwatukee Foothills News), or you can click the link and read it here. You decide. In the end, it doesn’t matter.
When I turned 50, I knew all the things I was supposed to do: drive slow in the fast lane on the Maricopa, start pestering my kids for grandchildren, and add a colonoscopy to my roster of regular tests, because when you’re 50 years old you catapult into The Era of Doctors Rooting Around Looking for Something Wrong, and a colonoscopy is, appropriately enough, the be-all-end-all of rooting around.
Six years ago I was resisting that slow driving thing (and have the traffic school diploma to prove it), was becoming mildly interested in the subject of grandchildren, but was not looking forward to anything associated with an invasive gastrointestinal study. I didn’t know much about it, of course. I only knew that it was probably going to be embarrassing, messy, and painful. I also knew that I was going to feel guilty until I got over myself, grew up, and scheduled an appointment, a task I finally managed to accomplish last month.
In the end, this is everything I learned from finally being an adult.
It takes exactly two hours and 20 minutes for a laxative to kick in.
The dreaded prep is not as bad as say, drinking too many margaritas and accidentally eating two dozen jalapeno poppers. I may or may not be speaking from experience. But when you’re deep in the throes of the dreaded prep, don’t trust anything, not even a hiccup.
Note: when we say “prep,” that’s medical shorthand for setting off a long-fused firecracker in your nether regions and then living in your bathroom for about 12 hours.
You can prepare yourself mentally by seeing videos of what a test looks like on YouTube. Nerd alert: It’s very interesting, actually. As the scope careens down what could be a shadowy Disney theme park ride (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Poop?”), a nice doctor points out important landmarks like where your appendix and ileum are.
What? Am I the only one who finds that fascinating?
The worst thing about the actual test turned out to be the little gown that ties in the back. Other than that, it was a refreshing nap.
The results of all this testing? In case you were wondering, at no time did the nice doctor locate my head in the designated area, so you should stop emailing me about that. The nice doctor did find the things he wanted to find before they turn into the things he doesn’t like finding. I am amazed at how easy, painless, and low key it was. And just like that Disney attraction, I got pictures after the ride was over.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but here’s a no-brainer for any 50 year old: in the end, you don’t want to literally die of embarrassment by avoiding embarrassment and then dying from something that could have easily been remedied.
Get this done and in the end, you’ll turn into one of those annoying people who is constantly pestering everyone to make an appointment with their local gastrointestinal specialist.
Get this done and in the end, you can quit feeling guilty and embarrassed and start making “end” jokes.
It’s much more fun.
© E. Stocking Evans