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Public service announcement

I know my six regular readers miss it when too many weeks go by without a lecture — and you guys will love this one! I am going to get preachy here and if that bothers any of the rest of you, now is the time to move on to another page of the newspaper.

I am going to share this borderline icky story with you because I can, because I should, and because you need to hear it. If you are 50 years old (or older) it is time to get a colonoscopy. Oh yes, it is! I did it a week ago and if I can do it anyone can do it. I put it off way longer than anyone should.

However, now it is done and I must admit it wasn’t so awful. Was it fun? Shoot, no, are you nuts? But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be either. I am relieved to have it behind me (so to speak).

Yes, you have to be on a liquid diet for 24 hours before the actual medical procedure and you will think you are starving.

Yes, you have to down 64 ounces of Gatorade laced with 238 grams of what they call a mild laxative — and yes, I said two HUNDRED thirty-eight grams.

Yes, the porcelain receptacle in your bathroom will become your best friend for several hours in the afternoon and evening before the medical folks do whatever it is they do on the following day.

Yes, you will be hungry and moderately inconvenienced for a while, but that is it.

Did you notice that phrase a sentence or so back? Where it says “… before the medical folks do whatever it is they do …” Did you see that? I said that because I have no idea what they do. You won’t know either. Think about that.

Someone wheeled me into a surgical room, told me get up on the table, and lay on my side. I fussed about with an inter-venous tube tangled around my arm and that is the last thing I remember until the nurse said, “OK, you can get up. We’re done.”

Then they brought me breakfast!

A little later the doctor came in with some pretty weird photos of a ghastly-colored tunnel — my very own colon! He told me he had removed some polyps, but that he didn’t feel there was a problem with any of them. A nurse came in to check me out of the hospital and it was over.

I promise that I never felt a thing. Now I am telling you to get yourself scheduled to have it done. It is NOTHING like you are imagining it to be. There is just no reason not to do it!

I don’t want to compare stories if you have already done it. Most especially I don’t want to compare stories in the restaurant. But if you need a little encouragement, I am your go-to gal. I will tell you exactly what happened. I swear, you will be surprised at how easy it is and you will be sheepish that you put it off like you did.

I would never lie to you.

— Susan Marshall

Last modified Aug. 17, 2011

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