Monday, November 10, 2008

On Turning 50

For as long as I can remember, folks in my family have said that life begins at 50. By then you're financially secure (or never will be and have accepted it), wise enough to avoid a lot of the crap younger folks step in, and more or less comfortable with who you are. Rather than being depressed, I was excited about turning 50 earlier this year.

The first big gift comes by mail. At long last, I'm finally eligible to become a member of AARP. That used to stand for the American Association of Retired Persons, but now it doesn't stand for anything. It just is. The fun part was requesting a card for my partner who hasn't hit 30 yet, just so he could show it off to all his friends. I've yet to get a discount but carry my card, just in case.

The next big gift, if your smart, is the colonoscopic exam. Let me tell you, I was VERY apprehensive. My mother told me what to expect--only she's a little prone to the dramatic. So my apprehension was way out of proportion to the event, including the day before which by all reports, is the worst part. The main thing you need to know about a colonoscopic is that you want someone with you that you really trust. Turns out, they fill you full of air as part of the procedure. So when it's over, you fart like there is no tomorrow. Interestingly enough, you tend not to remember that part thanks to the drugs they give you.

During my colonoscopic, they removed a polyp and biopsied a lesion. The lesion turned out to be cause for concern, so I had surgery about a month ago to remove it. Found out last week that the lesion was cancerous. That's the bad news. The good news is that they got it all, and I don't have to go through chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Since then, I ask everyone I know that's over 50 if they have had their colonoscopic exam. I'm frankly amazed by the number who have not. I let them know about my experience, and how if I was their age, I'd either be dead or on chemo. I'm proud to report that several have scheduled their exams. If you're over 50 and have not yet had a colonoscopic, I hope you'll call your doctor today to set one up. It's not that big a deal, and it could save your life.

Because I did, I can keep blogging as...

The Crotchety Old Man

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