Good morning, everybody! It’s colonoscopy prep day, and I am so excited!
For you young’uns out there, this is a rite of passage you get to enjoy once you turn 50, or maybe earlier if you have risk factors. This is a process where a doctor invasively scrutinizes every inch of your colon to screen for cancer, and you get to do it every 5 years (or in my case, every 3 years because last time they found a few harmless polyps). So today is the day I get ready for an outpatient trip to the local hospital.
Everyone will tell you the prep is worse than the procedure, and it is. You have to completely empty your bowels so the doctor’s view isn’t impeded by, umm, shall we call them Deplorables? Today I’m purging the Deplorables.
First thing, I’m fasting. No solid foods at all today. I made some pineapple jello yesterday, and I get to have clear broth, but otherwise, it’s all drinking down fluids and nothing else. I do get to drink all the coffee I want, so I will.
I have to take 4 Dulcolax pills this morning, a stool softener.
At 3pm this afternoon, I get to fill up this jug with four liters of water, and start drinking it. I’m supposed to finish all four liters by 6pm. Chug, chug, chug!
It says “lemon flavor”. This is only sort of true, if your lemonade tastes more like watery mucus. I will cope. This is really the worst part of the worst day. Well, maybe the worst part — I do get to spend the rest of the evening expelling Deplorables.
Then, as of midnight, I go dry. No water, nothing, shall pass these lips, and prep day will have passed.
Tomorrow I go into the hospital at 8:15. I get to strip naked and put on one of those chic hospital gowns that opens at the back, and the nurse will stick a needle in my arm, and Dr Sam will walk in and tell me to lie on my side and bring my knees up to my chest, and then deliver the magic drugs and a veil of darkness will fall over the unspeakable events that ensue. He’s going to stick a tube up my butt with a small flashlight and a camera at the end, and also little snippy scissors so he can chop out anything he wants to take a closer look at.
By 10am I’ll be groggily putting my clothes back on and my wife will drive me home, where I’m told I’m supposed to be lazy all day. I can do that! I might also be hungry.
Why am I doing all this? Consider the payoff matrix. It’s the only rational thing to do.
|I get a colonoscopy||I don’t get a colonoscopy|
|I have cancer||I catch it early! I have to get cancer treatments, but I have a better chance of not dying, and the treatments won’t be as debilitating as if I let the cancer grow.||I have cancer, but I don’t know it. It grows until the unpleasant symptoms become noticeable and require more serious intervention. Or I die.|
|I don’t have cancer||Yay! And I know it! Relax, resume my decadent lifestyle until the next colonoscopy.||I’m OK! But do I know for sure? I do not. I might have to hold some reservations, rather than plunging into my life of careless hedonism.|
As you can easily see, all the possible outcomes from the decision to get a colonoscopy are positive, while all the outcomes from shirking my responsibilities range from negligible concerns to dire, horrible consequences.
We even have graphic examples right here on Freethoughtblogs!
Caine died of this terrible disease in 2018, after a long struggle.
Fortunately, Iris is surviving, but read her account of her travails: no one wants to go through that. I don’t want to experience that.
So, yeah, get your butt checked regularly. It inconveniently wrecks a day, but that’s better than wrecking your life.