Many people have been telling me that I should get a colonoscopy. They tell me it’s very important at my age and that I’m being foolish for not getting one. They point out that my insurance will cover the cost. They tell me that the anesthetics that are used make the procedure completely painless.
Ok, I agree to all of that, but why do I want someone to ram something up my butt even if it’s free and painless? I could just as well watch the paint dry on a wall – it’s free and painless. Or I could count the leaves on trees in my yard – again it’s free and painless.
Oh, but if I did that I would miss the joy of drinking gallons of stuff resembling fermented cow urine, that will give me explosive diarrhea. Gosh, doesn’t everyone really like to get out of bed ten times to make a desperate run for the toilet. Watching the paint dry is beginning to sound pretty good to me.
But, they say, “This could save your life! It’s not just watching paint dry.”
Well, what WILL it do for me? If I go through with this free, painless and pleasant experience I will get one of three results.
First possibility – nothing is found. Hooray! I just went through a night of diarrhea and lost half a day for nothing.
“But”, they say, “You will have peace of mind knowing that your butt is in great shape,”
I already have peace of mind and, since I’m not a model, I don’t care about the shape of my butt. Oh, that’s not the shape you meant? Oh well, I have peace of mind anyway.
Second possibility – they find early stage colon cancer. Hooray! I just qualified for surgery. When the surgery is finished I recover, I spend several months basking in the pleasure of chemotherapy and radiation therapy that will just about kill me, literally. Then I get to worry for the rest of my life that it will return and I’ll have to do it again. Of course, I’ll have to have more of those wonderful colonoscopies on a regular basis.
With all of that done, I could live another five or six years until I die from a stroke or heart attack or other age related illness. But if I had done nothing, I would have died in five or six years of stroke, or heart attack or other age related disease or from the colon cancer that I didn’t know about. Again, watching the paint dry looks like a good option to me.
Third possibility – They find cancer and it is far advanced. But as of now, I have no symptoms, so it wasn’t going to kill me today or tomorrow or in a week or even a month. Hooray, I go into immediate surgery. The doc takes out most of my colon and anything else he finds that might be suspicious. With no colon, I now get my own personal colostomy bag. I get to spend the rest of my life with a bag of crap hanging out of my belly. Oh yes, the rest of my life will now be maybe a year, two years absolute tops. And I will be enjoying the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy during much of that time.
But, if I had not done that first colonoscopy, I would have known nothing about the cancer for another week or month or maybe six months. I would have enjoyed my life with my family and friends. Then I would have become very sick and passed away in one or two or three months.
Watching the paint dry still looks like the best option to me. So, all of the advice givers can go get their butts reamed out while I have a glass of wine and watch the paint dry.