I just underwent a colonoscopy and am currently dealing with the after effects of it. It has made me start thinking of a few things and I have come to some simple realizations.
I was never one to worry about my health, germs, disease, injury, or even death. I was always a happy-go-lucky kind of guy that had a simple philosophy: I will worry about that when it is time to worry about it. Most of the time this worked out well for me and I continue to think like this in a great deal of the things in my life.
I always considered a doctor to be a necessary evil, much like a lawyer. If I went to a doctor it was either forced upon me or I thought it was a matter of life and death. When I was out of my parents’ house and one my own, this got much more pronounced. I got a tooth ache and rather than see a dentist, I dealt with the pain. It got worse and worse and finally got to the point that I could not even brush my teeth. This did not help the overall condition of my teeth and things progressively got worse. Finally after 7 years of suffering and reaching a moment of severe enough pain that It was indeed life threatening (I figured death was preferable at that time), I succumbed and went to a dentist. This was not as terrible as I had imagined but it was very expensive due to my lack of oral hygiene over the past few years. I have since maintained a regular dental checkup.
I was 24 years old and was a “guest” at the Kansas State Mental Hospital. I might as well tell you that I was there in the SAP (Substance Abuse Program) before everyone jumps to the wrong conclusion. Now you know how I actually have papers that state that my mental health is approved for release into society. How many of you can show actual proof of your mental health? OK, I am getting off track. Part of the admission to this program consisted of a complete physical. This is where I experienced my first digital prostate exam and I literally had to be held down by the attendees. I had never been so humiliated in my entire existence. I later found that everyone else had been through the same thing and it was part of an annual physical. Needless to say, annual physicals did not happen for a long, long, long time after that. Not until I decided that I needed to maintain some resemblance of health if I was going to keep advancing my diving into technical dives.
Now I have regular physicals and have the prostate exam without issue. It still is not my favorite thing, but I have concluded that it is much better to be able to diagnose and fix a problem before it impacts my health, diving, or sex life (not necessarily in that order).
Like I said in the very first sentence, I had a colonoscopy today and it was another of those necessary evils. Fortunately it something that will only need to be done every 5 years and I think that I will be able to deal with that. There was a time in my life that this would never have been an option and I would have never consented to it.
I am writing this to tell the guys out there, that might be like I was in my younger years, to just get over yourselves and try to be mature and responsible enough to take care of yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you and although it might seem very unpleasant or even terrible at the time, ask yourself this simple question: “Would I rather die from a slow, painful, lingering death caused by something that was within my power to do something about; or man-up and get checked out?”