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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Have You Had Your Colonoscopy?



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In all the disparaging of preventive medical screenings we have seen recently, the efficacy of colonoscopies remains (mostly) unchallenged. But my dad died of colon cancer--partly because of utter negligence by the Veteran's Administration in doing proper testing when he presented with significant symptoms. But like I often tell people who reach out to me with medical horror stories, you have to put that injustice in a box and put it on a shelf in your mind, otherwise it devours you. But I digress: Because of what Dad went through, I am very good about colon cancer screening.  Five years ago, my first colonoscopy revealed I had a small benign polyp of the kind that does not become cancerous. Still, it was thought best that I repeat.  Had mine this AM--all clear--and boy that feels great!  Next colonoscopy in five years. But here's the point: Too many people refuse to obtain colonoscopies because of squeamishness. If that describes you, fugeddaboudit!  Here's how it went so you can be assured it is worth the minor discomfort and rare complications: My last solid meal was Wednesday dinner.  Yesterday, Thursday, I could only take clear liquids.  Late in the day I began the cleansing of the colon, I don't need to describe that for you. It is the worst part of the whole thing, but not as uncomfortable as the stomach flu. This morning, up early to the outpatient clinic.  I filled out some forms and was taken to a common ward.  I put on one of those backless gowns, had an IV attached, my vitals were taken, and I was wheeled into the procedure room.  They talked to me, I relaxed, the sedative hit, and I woke up in the bed.  I don't even remember the beginning of the procedure.  Debra made me some eggs, and as soon as I publish this, I am going to bed for a nap. Sure, they put a tube where the sun don't shine, but it can detect polyps before they turn to cancer.  So, buck up!  Take your test.  Maybe, save your life.  I'm glad I did.  Here's a link to more information on colonoscopies.


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