When I launched this blog, I vowed not to dwell on personal matters – you’ve heard nothing about my older son’s lab work (remarkable), my younger son’s cartooning (awesome), or my golf game (never mind). But I simply must tell you about my colonoscopy today.
Well, actually I won’t. But I wanted to raise the topic to implore you to do two things:
- Most importantly, if you’re due for one, go ahead and get it. It could save your life. Remember, the evidence supports a colonoscopy at age 50 if you are at average risk, and age 40 (or 10 years before the earliest age of diagnosis in a first degree relative with colon cancer) if you have a strong family history. Former White House press secretary Tony Snow, who died last month at age 53, should have begun screening in his late 20s, since his mother died of colon cancer at 38. Tragically, he did not.
- Secondly (not quite as important but much, much funnier), I hope you’ll read humorist Dave Barry’s recent column describing the experience of his own colonoscopy. Barry – one of the world’s wittiest people and clearly a member of the “Write What You Know” school – has a particular field day describing the colon cleansing process, which employs a product called “MoviPrep.” Here’s just a short quote from his column to, er, whet your appetite… but I really hope you read the whole thing – it is a riot:
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ”a loose watery bowel movement may result.” This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
You might be pleased to know that my colon, like Dave Barry’s, passed with flying colors. As Barry said, “I’ve never been prouder of an internal organ.”
Get screened. Please.