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Colonoscopy · That was the mid­dle of my day. As a re­sult of my age and oth­er risk fac­tors, I now get one ev­ery few years, and be­cause I’m a blog­ger, I can write about it; and I feel I have to, be­cause I might save your life. It on­ly takes a cou­ple hours, it’s not ter­ri­bly un­pleas­an­t, and it’s an in­sane­ly cost-effective way to not be one of the peo­ple killed by colon can­cer; that’s 50,000 or so in the US ev­ery year. So if you’re mid­dle aged, ask your damn doc­tor al­ready. You can read a bit about what it’s like, with more cheer­lead­ing of course, here and here. This morn­ing, when they asked me if there’d been any changes since last time I said “No”, but I was think­ing that yeah, there was; both those pieces have com­ments from Derek Miller, but this one won’t.
How To Die · So, Derek’s gone. I was find­ing it a lit­tle hard to main­tain, this morn­ing. I’d known him for a while; we weren’t close but, like a whole lot of oth­er peo­ple around geek­dom and Van­cou­ver, I’d been drawn in tighter and tighter as he wrote his way through mor­tal ill­ness, al­ways fac­ing for­ward and keep­ing the sto­ry flow­ing even when ev­ery­one knew how, and re­cent­ly when, it would end ...
Colonoscopy · I get one ev­ery three years now and just got back from the lat­est, which means that you get a re­minder too. Be­cause first of al­l, colon can­cer kills many, and colonoscopy re­al­ly fuck­ing works. And it’s not that much of a has­sle. So if you’ve got any of the risk fac­tors (over fifty? eat red meat? couch pota­to? al­co­hol?) go talk to your doc­tor al­ready. Be good about this or next time I’ll run the screen-grab they gave me of my whole­some pink in­nard­s, and you just know you won’t be able to avoid look­ing.
Taking Care of Alison · The US is con­sumed with dis­cus­sion of health-care al­ter­na­tives, and in US pol­i­tics it seems to be OK to know­ing­ly tell bald-face lies, and in US me­dia it seems not OK to call a lie by its true name. Here’s a small bit of first-hand re­portage about the work­ing of an­oth­er ap­proach to health-care ...
Friends and Flexibility · I so love the In­ter­net. The oth­er day it turned up an­oth­er friend of my youth, un­seen for three decades. Which gives me an op­por­tu­ni­ty to plug Pi­lates, in which I in­vest a cou­ple of hours ev­ery week ...
Colonoscopy · I had one at 11:20 this morn­ing, and I’m sit­ting here typ­ing this, and think­ing about Wide Fin­der 2 and the da­ta that’s com­ing in, and that I’d bet­ter do­nate to Aqua­macs be­cause re­lease 1.4 is look­ing se­ri­ous­ly cool, and I just went out and pho­tographed a cou­ple of flow­er­s. If you’re over fifty, you should get in line for one, be­cause it’s just not that bad and it can save your life ...
Rats! · I’m quot­ing my old friend and col­league Len Bullard (fea­tured in this space here and es­pe­cial­ly here), who got a nasty di­ag­no­sis and was moved to elo­quence: Di­ag­no­sis and The Se­cret of the Christ. Best of luck, Len, and keep writ­ing.
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Moose Fever · Wel­l, at least I know where I got it. The flu is a fun­ny dis­ease, all over the map; I’m in my ninth day and still far from 100%. Part­ly that’s be­cause on her sixth day, Lau­ren sud­den­ly got marked­ly worse and was des­per­ate­ly ill in bed, so I ran the house and kids and ev­ery­thing all week­end in a weak­ened con­di­tion ...
Note To Myself · Next fal­l, when they come around with the flu vac­ci­na­tion­s, go get the bloody shot! I haven’t been this sick in years. Un­du­lat­ing fever, so I al­ter­nate be­tween freez­ing and sweat­ing; ev­ery mus­cle hurt­s; my clothes hurt where they touch my body; painful cough. This too shall pass.
Therapeutic Soup · I’ve got this hor­ri­ble cold, con­ges­tion with mus­cle pains, and was go­ing to claim that I’m suf­fer­ing from flu but that’s un­sup­port­ed by the ev­i­dence. Any­how, af­ter lunch at Phở Thăng Long, the Phở joint across the street, I felt quite a bit bet­ter. I sup­pose this is kin­da like your Jewish Auntie’s chick­en soup, on­ly Viet­namese not Jewish and beef not chick­en.
Sun, Cancer, and Corruption · At my­way, a nicely-minimal news-aggregation site, I read Sci­en­tists Say Sun­shine May Prevent Cancer, which is in­ter­est­ing for two rea­son­s. As the par­ent of a kid who nev­er goes out­side un-greased, and with sun-related skin prob­lems in the fam­i­ly, I care about this whole is­sue of the pros and cons of sun­shine. But a few para­graphs in, the science-for-sale di­men­sion starts scream­ing out from be­tween the lines. It turns out that the re­search from the some of the peo­ple talk­ing up the ben­e­fits of mod­er­ate sun­shine is fund­ed by the In­door Tan­ning As­so­ci­a­tion, while on the oth­er side the Sun Safe­ty Al­liance (fund­ed in part by Cop­per­tone) is back­ing the re­search of the all-sun-is-bad par­ty. Is there any­thing left that’s not for sale?
No Right Hand · We have a cat that’s get­ting old and thus needs more and more med­i­cal pro­ce­dures. Three weeks ago, he se­ri­ous­ly ob­ject­ed to one of these and bit me on the right mid­dle fin­ger, hard. The first an­tibi­ot­ic failed to clear up the in­fec­tion and now I’m the one need­ing more and more med­i­cal pro­ce­dures. It turns out that if you can’t bend or ex­ert any force with your mid­dle fin­ger, that hand be­comes re­mark­ably use­less. So I’m off to Cal­i­for­nia to­day on a one-handed ba­sis, should be in­ter­est­ing. But, I can type.
Happy · It’s like this: you get a slightly-scary phys­i­cal symp­tom and you go and tell your doc­tor and she frowns and says “well, we bet­ter run some tests and make a date with a specialist”, and you go to the spe­cial­ist and he works you over and looks at the tests and says “yeah, that’s a weird one, it hap­pens some­times, we don’t know why, it might hap­pen again, it won’t hurt you, don’t wor­ry about it.”
Nitrogen head · Dropped by the doc­tor to get some sun-damage spots re­moved from the top of my head—this prob­lem is not un­com­mon in pale white bald guys. They do this very sim­ply, by dip­ping a swab in liq­uid ni­tro­gen and freez­ing the spots of­f. They call it “burning” and it feels like burn­ing, quite un­pleas­an­t. The doc­tor said I might get a headache, and I was won­der­ing about sud­den drops in brain tem­per­a­ture. Wait a sec­ond... maybe I could over­clock.
On Pain · Here­with thoughts on what dy­ing feels like, plus a pic­ture (re­al­ly) of Siberi­a ...
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