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Let’s get physical

So yesterday I finally got to see my doctor – for the first time in three years.  You know how it goes:  you call to make an appointment in September, and you get an appointment first thing February.  And then, to make matters worse, it turned out that I had an MLA meeting that very day in February, and had to ask to reschedule.  So I got pushed back to April 11.  It’s a good thing I don’t live in one of those leftist countries where people have to wait in long lines because of all that socialized medicine!  That would suck.

Not that I was really looking forward to this visit, mind you.  It was supposed to be a routine thing, just a checkup from the guy who writes the prescriptions for my asthma medication.  “It doesn’t make sense,” he said three years ago, “that you can play back-to-back hockey games one day and you’re not moving any air the next.  We’ve got to get you stabilized.” So he wrote me three prescriptions, I started taking them every day, and I haven’t had a respiratory event since.  (Thanks, doc!) But Janet, the Ph.D.-who-is-a-former-R.N., has been bugging me for these past three years to get a colonoscopy.  “Not right now,” I said over the weekend, “I’m arguing with David Horowitz.”

“But wouldn’t you rather have a colonoscopy?” she asked.

“Hmm,” I hmmed.  “Do you have a coin on you?  OK.  Heads.”

Now, some of you may remember that James Wolcott put up a finely crafted post about his colonoscopy last December, not only sharing with us the pleasures of the Demerol drip but setting the bar very, very high for all future colonoscopy blogging.  So as I ran from one meeting to another yesterday afternoon, trying frantically to get some campus business done before my 3 pm doctor’s appointment, I was dreading the idea that I would have to ask my doctor to arrange a colonoscopy – and trying to figure out whether I wanted to compete against Wolcott for the coveted 2005 Koufax Award for Best Post about the Gastrointestinal Tract.

Here’s the good news:  you will be spared any further mention of colonoscopies on this vastly-relieved blog until the year 2011.  My doctor looked me over, noted that I’d lost twenty pounds since 2002, listened to my lungs, did a quick physical, and pronounced me in excellent health – fitter at 43 than I’d been at 40.  “What was my resting heart rate?” I asked, worried that I’d arrived in such a rush that I put up some high numbers.  “Sixty-two,” he replied.  Boo-yeah.  But what was up with the 155/95 blood pressure?  “Well,” I explained, “I’ve been arguing with David Horowitz, you see, and I . . . .”

“Ah,” he replied. “You have to cut that out and cut that out now.  Here,” he said, opening the cuff again, “stop thinking about that stuff and relax.” The result?  120 over 60.  Cool.  In fact, I was so pleased with my general health and well-being that I went home and ordered a pesto pizza with sausage for dinner.  Mmmm – pesto pizza with sausage.  And then this morning, Jamie had some for breakfast.  Nature’s most complete food, you know, perfect any time of the day or night.

Coming tomorrow: I admit to having been wrong about something.

Posted by on 04/12 at 06:38 PM
  1. "It’s a good thing I don’t live in one of those leftist countries where people have to wait in long lines because of all that socialized medicine!  That would suck.”

    Ah, it’s funny because it’s true!

    Posted by gzombie  on  04/12  at  08:26 PM
  2. So, the doc was so impressed by your overall good health that a colonoscopy was deemed unnecessary?  I get the impression that you didn’t actually ask about the advisability of an intestinal probe, right? 

    As for blood pressure, ain’t that the truth? My blog habit only goes back a couple of years, and my BP rate has probably soared.  Blissful ignorance might be more healthful in many ways.

    Posted by  on  04/12  at  09:22 PM
  3. I admit to having been wrong about something.

    Surely you’re mistaken.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  04/12  at  09:49 PM
  4. I called my doctor in February and managed to
    score an appointment on May 4th.  I already forgot what was wrong, but I’m not cancelling, something is sure to break down by May..... 

    Congrats on dodging the dreaded test.  My doctor talked me into into it once and on the way there, I got stuck on the GWB for an hour (true!)and
    lost my place. I celebrated with pad thai.

    Posted by  on  04/12  at  09:50 PM
  5. No, Romy B., I asked.  I really did.  He said, talk to me when you’re 50.  I promised I would do just that—or, more likely, when I’m 49-1/2, so that I can get that appointment for when I’m 50.

    Posted by Michael  on  04/12  at  09:55 PM
  6. Wolcott’s a lightweight.  I woke up about halfway through mine, even though I’d advised them I was something of a Demerol semi-pro.  Though it really was no worse than having somebody work your abs with a medicine ball, only from the inside.

    A let me advise you, six years is really not too long to begin preparing to face the night before, which is ginger-flavored but Demerol free, and ought to come with a three-month script for your drug of choice as a reward.

    Posted by Doghouse Riley  on  04/12  at  11:23 PM
  7. My dentist called a couple of weeks ago and said, “you’re due for your next cleaning in April.” “Ok, I said, let’s see.  How about April 18th?” “Our first available appointment is at the end of June,” they said.

    I’ve learned to just let that shit go.

    Posted by bitchphd  on  04/13  at  01:12 AM
  8. All funny aside, guys, if you’ve ever had a loved one die of colon cancer, cheering about missing a colonoscopy because you got stuck in traffic loses its élan.

    If you have any risk factors--low-fiber diet, blood relatives who’ve had gastrointestinal diseases--get the damn test. I promise you it is preferable to the possible alternative.

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  01:17 AM
  9. I agree with mythago. My dad found out he had colon cancer 8 years ago - when his tumor ruptured, necessitating emergency surgery. He did survive, after the surgery (removal of most of his colon), and a few rounds of radiation. 

    So, since I now have a family history, I had my first colonoscopy last year, at age 37. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared - in fact, I was kind of sorry when it was over, and I had to go home (I got loopy from the anesthesia smile.

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  09:26 AM
  10. Colonoscopies seem to be all the rage.  I found Tony Kornheiser’s to be very entertaining, as well as Woolcott’s.  I see the basis for a new reality show.

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  09:49 AM
  11. On the other hand my elderly mother in law had a colonoscopy that was ill-timed and ill-judged and promptly went home and had a major stroke (literally, same day).  Of course, that wouldn’t happen to you (for one thing you don’t have diabetes and high blood pressure) but there is a case to be made for not running out and having every test just because you MIGHT need it.  So kudos to your doctor.

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  10:05 AM
  12. I agree, Barbara, that those with good health insurance tend to be over-tested, and over-medicated as well.

    I’ve had great experiences in both of the countries I’ve lived in with socialized health care, Italy and Canada.  In Italy, there’s no need to make an appointment:  if you feel sick or need a prescription refilled, you just show up at your general practitioner at his/her office hours.  I saw specialists regarding a sinusitis problem in no time flat. 

    Here in Canada, it has been equally easy to see a GP, although the wait for specialists seems quite long.  They are excellent on the prevention end of things, which is the primary problem of the American health “system” (as if we can call it a unified system). 

    With the price of prescription meds skyrocketing, I really hope the time is coming in which we can have a real national discussion about the positive aspects of a national health care system.

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  11:42 AM
  13. All right, I’m going to go ahead and dispense medical—or perimedical—advice, because my nursing license is long expired from neglect and I have little to lose.

    And because it’s perimedical advice, anyway.

    And rather than tell the story of how I learned it, I’ll just dispense. Be grateful and enjoy the neologism.

    If your Primary Care Physician (PCP) tells you you should have a colonoscopy, your default position should be to agree to one. But if your PCP says he or she will do that colonoscopy at the office and you’ll be able to drive home yourself afterward, just say No.

    The night-before prep is bad enough; you don’t need any more grief. Unless you’re out in the boonies where this isn’t available, insist on a specialized clinic where they know how to do this with the least possible annoyance, under sedation and such. And one clue is that they’ll advise you to arrange to have a ride home.

    Posted by Ron Sullivan  on  04/13  at  12:37 PM
  14. "But Janet, the Ph.D.-who-is-a-former-R.N., has been bugging me for these past three years to get a colonoscopy.  “Not right now,” I said over the weekend, “I’m arguing with David Horowitz.”

    Oh, dear God, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that.

    Posted by Trish Wilson  on  04/13  at  05:27 PM
  15. I thought David Horowitz was a colonoscopy

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  04/13  at  07:03 PM
  16. no, D Ho is actually the part of the body via which said colonoscopy is performed...easy mix up there, Randy!

    -L.

    “I thought David Horowitz was a colonoscopy”

    Posted by  on  04/13  at  08:36 PM
  17. Since I too am being bugged about this procedure, I clicked over to Wolcott’s post.  If you want a trackback-spam timeline (what’s hot THIS WEEK in SPAM!), take a look at it.  He made the colonoscopy sound reasonably mundane, but the spam...The Horror!

    Posted by Linkmeister  on  04/13  at  08:48 PM
  18. As I just turned 43 yesterday, I’m hoping by the time I’m 50 there will be a new procedure, likewise demonstrated by Katie Couric, which is less invasive than current ass technology allows.

    I do agree it’s necessary; my friend died of colon cancer at age 55. It can kill you, but fast.

    Posted by KathyF  on  04/14  at  04:45 PM
  19. Just got the good news about my prostate bio.  I will take a colonoscopy any day over the prostate bio.  Love the drugs used in the colonoscopy!  A doc friend of mine says the drugs turn him into a completley different person.  He loves those drugs too.  Damm, I would have a colonoscopy every year just to get the drugs but my doc says a clean scope will clear you for 10 years.  Boo Hoo!

    Posted by  on  04/14  at  11:10 PM
  20. but there is a case to be made for not running out and having every test just because you MIGHT need it

    Yes, for certain values of MIGHT. If you really have no significant risk factors, you probably don’t need the test. But as Ron says, if your doctor tells you that you have risk factors and s/he recommends you get tested, it would be wise to get a colonoscopy. Waffling about how you MIGHT NOT have any polyps and goshdarn isn’t this test annoying is...um....not sure how much harsh language Mr. B tolerates on this blog...let’s just say “really, really stupid and, if you have a family you expect would be around to watch you die of colon cancer, selfish.”

    On a purely irrational and personal level, as a woman who has been through pregnancy and childbirth and all the tests and body invasions attendant therewith, when I hear a middle-aged guy whine about a colonoscopy, I think violent thoughts.

    Posted by mythago  on  04/17  at  02:44 PM
  21. Hi,
    When my husband was diagnosed with liver cancer and hepatitis C, I turned to drugs instead of God. When I had reached my lowest point a friend held my face in her hands and said three words that changed my life, “JESUS LOVES YOU.” We began going to church. Our pastor prayed for my husband and three weeks later, when my husband was tested, they found nothing wrong with his liver and his blood tested normal. I have been drug free for a year and my entire family is saved and looking forward to Heaven. Being a Christian is not easy, because Satan does not want to let go of you. But we have to pray and have faith that the Lord will protect us and He will. Cynthia. “The prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up...”
    Regards, Parkins
    drugs in system: cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, nicotine

    Posted by how long does cocaine stay in your system  on  11/15  at  02:59 PM

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