5 Days of Christmas

One of the things that school teachers do during their vacation from school is to go to the doctor, and I am no exception to the rule. Once every five years, I schedule a colonoscopy during my school vacation. This, my friends, is my fifth day before Christmas Public Service Announcement, and it’s not a pretty story.

My father was a colon cancer survivor through no preventative behavior of his own — they caught his cancer accidentally because of another test. He had about a foot of his guts removed and lived to tell about it. My mom, unfortunately, somehow didn’t think that having a colonoscopy might be a good idea for her, and five years ago ended up with a colostomy due to diverticulitis that led to peritonitis. She’s still living with the choice she made, and with dietary changes her problem could have been avoided.

Many of us will end up with some sort of diverticular disease by the time we are sixty, but we don’t have to die from it. All you need to do is to keep your bowels moving so that you don’t get pockets of nasty stuff caught in your gastrointestinal tract (I warned you that it wasn’t a pretty story!). It’s pretty simple, really. I’m not a doctor, but this isn’t rocket science either.

  1. Drink lots of water

  2. Eat food with fiber: fruit, vegetables, whole grains

  3. Exercise

  4. Talk to your doctor. He or she will probably tell you to have a screening colonoscopy if you are fifty, or before that if you have risk factors such as family history.

So that’s my story for today.  I didn’t get my dining room table cleared off or decorated, but I’m pretty sure that I will have five more years to be alive to enjoy Christmas in the future. That’s more important.


One response

  1. […] to the doctor, the same thing I’m doing today. Last year I encouraged my readers to get a colonoscopy, and this year I’m seeing the allergist to find out why my throat’s been bothering me […]

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