For the second time in, oh, let's say 7 or 8 years, I'm going to have a colonoscopy procedure. I'm not keen on this, but I don't have any major trepidation concerning this event either. It's just that I don't enjoy invasive medical procedures. The only reason I'm subjecting myself to this for a second time, (the first was normal) is because of a family history of GI cancers. Granted these occurred mostly a generation removed, however, my uncle (father's brother) did die from colon cancer. So a distasteful prep and a embarrassing procedure are really a small price to pay for early detection and peace of mind. My paternal grandfather and a 12 year old uncle succumbed to stomach cancer.
I'll get to sample some of my own wares. Propofol (yup, the Micheal Jackson drug) is my stock and trade. I remember waking up after my first experience with it and it was actually quite pleasant; a miniature euphoria, if you will.
The common advice from the medical community is to have your first colonoscopy screen at age fifty and perhaps sooner if there is a strong family history. I didn't have my first until I was 56 or 57, I've forgotten exactly, but a little story will give a glimpse into the ir-rational thinking that is fairly common. Well at least for me.
One of my co-workers at my last place of employment is the same age as me and at age fifty, at his physicians prodding, he had his first colonoscopy. I'm just 2 months older than this fellow so a few days after his procedure he asked me when I was going to have mine. I said: "we're the same age, grew up in the same town, went to the same high school together, ate similar diets, dated the same girls (although not at the same time), and work in the same profession at the same hospital, it seems to me that since yours was normal it stands to reason mine would be too, so why have it done ?"
He repeated at 55 and it being normal I proffered the same argument. But as my 58th birthday approached I decided a less cavalier thought process should take over and went ahead and had the procedure performed and when it showed a normal result. I, of course, said to my friend; see I told you so.
Why was closing in on 58 so important in my decision? My dad was 58 when he died of a heart attack, his brother was 58 when he died of bowel cancer, his dad was 58 when he died of stomach cancer. Enough said.