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February 22, 2008


I don’t plan to turn this into the Colonoscopalooza Blog, but I’ve received a lot of email in response to my column, and I wanted to post some here. I’ll start with a serious one:


My wife was 49 when she had rectal bleeding and was subsequently diagonosed with colon cancer. She fought for 9 years and finally succumed. What she did for our kids was this: My son (eldest) got at colonoscopy at 25 because doctors figured that it (colon cancer) was passed genetically.

In his first colonoscopy at age 25 polyps were found and removed. The doctor told my wife that we (the doctor and my wife) probably saved his life by checking him so young. All my kids have been  getting colonoscopys since they were 25 and will continue as long as they live.

My prayers are with your brother and thank you for joining the fight. God bless you.


I also got quite a few less-serious emails. Here are a couple:

I too waited until 60 to do the deed. It happened just as you stated in your column, except the song playing in the O/R was "Should I Stay or Should I Go", I kid you not. The people in the Keys have a strange sense of humor.

Pam Kenyon

Ramrod Key

(That’s correct: “Ramrod Key”)

...then the doctor came in and told my wife everything was fine, but if you take him out for lunch, make sure to go someplace that has a loud band.

Ralph Saxe

Pembroke Pines, FL

What Ralph is referring to here is the fact that, during the colonoscopy, they pump some air into your colon, so they can manipulate the tube in there. When it’s done, this air has to come back out, so the recovery room is a flatulence festival, with all these woozy patients emitting random blasts. There’s a lot more on this in the comments section of the post below.

Finally, Jimmy Madigan sent a link to this somewhat-related photo, which I'm sure has not been tampered with in any way.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the column I wrote five years ago when I crawled through the Colossal Colon, and signed a pledge saying I would get screened, which I then failed to do, because I am a weenie.


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Well, those weapons of mass destruction have to be *somewhere* ... !

with the headline band Fflatulence Festival.

Go get checked people! Colons, prostates, b00bs, cervices, ... GET THEM CHECKED!!!!

I guess I know what I am doing with my tax rebate check. Dang. I was hoping to spend it on a plasma tv.

Crack checking. Is the check in the mail?

Ladies and Gents...give it up for "The Random Blasters"!

*love the picture*

Don't you hate it when people wait until thing(ies) start falling off before they agree to take a test?

If ever there was a time when a picture of the goatse guy would be appropriate, that time would be, well, never, really. But hey, it's semi-appropriate for colonoscopy discussions.

Zoo volunteer discovers colonoscopy drink alternative

I had my first one a few years ago and my second a few months ago. The second was as you described, though I alternated between chicken and vegetable stock from Whole Foods, which was better than whatever I had the first time. Plus Jello. Yeah!

But the first time, they gave me a sedative and a drug called Versed (or something like like) which makes you forget! I was mildly sedated but awake through the whole thing. And talking! Uh oh.

God knows wtf I said but everyone was laughing and smiling afterward, so it could've have been very good.

I allegedly had a "colonoscopy" four years ago. The "doctor" gave me some kind of drug and said "you're not going to remember much of this." All I can remenber after that is saying "What the hell do you mean?" I'm not saying that I believe in alien abduction--all I know is that have absolutely no recollection of the next three hours, and my ass was sore afterwards. Draw your own conclusions.

sam sends his thanks for all the lovely comments. i figured i'd put it in this thread because it's unlikely people are going back to the original thread!

YAY Sam!! RBR harmonica player extraordinaire!

Congratulations, Dave, and welcome to the club. Now you can with pride, "My troubles are behind me."

YAY everyone who is not a weenie!

I just got my annual girlie exam. My doctor (who incidentally is a dead ringer for John Candy and keeps me laughing through the entire exam) announced it was time for me to go get the girls squeezed. I have a decade before the 17,000 feet of tubing experience. B

But I have to wonder, being on the slighter side of bazoomage scale, what the hell they are going to squeeze?

this was hilarious being that i was 31 when i had my first colonoscopy. it's true, the "prep" is the worst part. i woke up during mine and since i was on my side i could see the monitor showing the camera end of the scope. and i asked so many questions, starting with "is that my colon?" and "do you see anything yet?", i distinctly remember my gi telling the anesthesiologist, "more anesthesia." i must have annoyed him. :)

I just went in June for my first colonoscopy at 42. I almost threw up the nasty lemon flavored goat spit, but I was determined that I was not going to have to start all over on another day. I am now proud of my colon too. The next time I go back my now ten year old will be able to drive me there.

Not all doctors make you drink 2 liters of that nasty crap. I only had two small glasses of it to drink. Be sure to ask if there are alternatives. 2 liters is just cruel.

Great blog here. Nice post.

A friend sent me your piece a day after I had my first colonoscopy - age 56. Wonderful story! For my own amusement, I set up an "event" page on Facebook for this - search for "Colonoscopy Days". And I'd love to get the signed certificate but I realize this is an old story already. And they didn't even play any music for me!

I love your your essays/stories/books/articles. If laughter were really the best medicine, your books should be covered in insurance.

I recently (belatedly) read your article on colonoscopy. I could ideally sue you for giving me a stomach ache with laughing so hard, but I'll pass it because I don't live in America.

I haven't had a colonoscopy (and I am not 50 yet), but my mother and my husband have had it in the past. You are lucky, you were given an anesthesia. In India, no anesthesia is given during colonoscopy (and endoscopy). You can imagine the agony.

I thought you should be grateful for small mercies.

Lakshmi Arunn

Dave, as a compliment to your article, I recommend that you and your readers also read George S. Chappell’s humorous book written in 1930, "Through the Alimentary Canal with Gun and Camera". Currently out of print, but maybe there're copies at local libraries and book store remainder rooms (that is, in those stores that are still open).

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