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Saturday, October 3, 2009

There's really no delicate way to put any of this, but it's a major medical development in my life, so I felt it bears exploiting explaining. Yes, I've had chronic diarrhea for quite some time, and I finally got around to doing something about it.

That meant a colonoscopy. I know I should have gotten one, oh, say, eight years ago when the diarrhea started. Yes, eight fucking years. I'm nothing if not patient, and I'd patiently waited for it to clear up on its own. No dice.

When I saw my doctor for the first time, and I told him all about it, he said, "The good news is if it was going to kill you, it probably would have by now." How reassuring. No, sorry, I shouldn't be sarcastic because I really like my doctor because he took a good forty-five minutes to sit and discuss my health with me. I really appreciated that and I told him so.

So a colonoscopy was scheduled. If you're not familiar with this procedure, suffice it to say it involves sticking a camera up the rear. No, not a Nikon, as funny as the kids thought that would be. Fortunately, I know a couple people who've had this done. Unfortunately, everyone likes to tell stories of their procedure. (Yep. Here I am.)

Speaking of, Dave Barry has written better and funnier than I regarding the whole colonoscopy thing. I urge you to read his treatise, because it's really spot on. Go on, I'll wait.

Right. My procedure was last Monday. And it turned out to be one of those good news/bad news kind of things. Good news was no polyps. Bad news is ulcerative colitis. It's an irritable bowel disease (which is similar, but not the same as, irritable bowel syndrome) that means my large intestine will never be the same. Fortunately, they say it's controllable with medicine. Everyday. For the rest of my life. Yikes.

Still, things could be worse. Much worse. My father died two years ago of colon cancer. (Well, technically, it was the chemo that did it.) Or it could be something like diabetes that requires a lot more needles. I can't handle needles very well. Plus, I now get to carry a "medical emergency" card that means I get to use non-public restrooms anywhere I go. Yowza.

So in the end (sorry, pun intended) I'm pretty thankful I still have my general health, and my prognosis is excellent. Granted, I have to take two horse pills every morning, but it's a small price to pay.

I'd like to close by saying, "May life be like toilet paper. Long and..." Oh, never mind.

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