Are you ready for the final chapter? Of course you are… you’ve watched Arya become a revenge-hungry killing machine, almost forgotten when Ned lost his head nearly ten years ago, and you’re still reeling from Dany going nuclear on King’s Landing last week.
I’m here to tell you a slightly different story, though. As the “elder statesman” of Reno Dads, I’m a little further down the path than some of the team. That is to say, I’m older (supposedly wiser, too, but the jury’s still out on that).
That said, there are certain things that I’m getting to experience first as I forge this path on behalf of Reno Dads. Things like getting ready to send my daughter off to college and teaching my son how to drive a manual transmission (both exciting and a bit scary). And then there’s my latest adventure: my first colonoscopy. Super fun!
Guys, when you turn 50, as I did earlier this year, you get to have some new and interesting conversations with your doctor. And you should. There are a lot of reasons why men are recommended to get this screening done at this age (In fact, last year, there was some news reports about getting this screening done a few years earlier).
If you’re in your mid 40s and haven’t had this conversation with your doctor, what are you waiting for? For some reason, men seem to be less inclined to even get a yearly physical, and you don’t want to be that guy. Be the guy who stays active and healthy, and proactively manages his health well into his 50s, 60s and beyond!
As my 50th birthday approached, I made plans to have the procedure and got it on the calendar for a Friday in March. A few weeks ahead of the date, I started getting information from the doctor about how to prepare for a colonoscopy.
I’m not gonna lie — I was a bit worried after hearing from some of my friends about their prep. I will say this, though: trust the process. I started the diet a few days ahead, which was pretty simple, really, and then I followed the Gatorade prep to the “T”, and it went really, um, smoothly.
The prep consisted of drinking about a gallon of Gatorade over the course of the 24 hours, as well as taking a few doses of laxatives to make sure your entire digestive tract is empty. I found the prep to be relatively simple, especially since I’d heard some stories from friends about how arduous their prep was. Some tips: I found that the schedule for an afternoon procedure allowed me to start the afternoon before, and I actually got a really good night’s sleep with the schedule the doctor recommended. Also, you are NOT going anywhere the day before. You need to be near a toilet, and the only thing you might have energy to do is watch TV. Or maybe listen to a podcast. I got the inspiration for this story because I binge watched the entire season 7 of Game of Thrones that day. (It also occurred to me that there was another toilet reference in Season 4. Sorry, Tywin)
The procedure itself was almost a non-event for me. I went in about an hour before, chatted with the doctor and the anesthesiologist, and was wheeled into the room. A bit of sedation, and I was out — I started counting backwards from 10, and I think I might have gotten to 8 before I was under. When I woke up, the doctor said that everything went according to plan. I’ll spare you the pictures of my colon, but you’ll have a keepsake when you get yours done, too. That was it! I had a friend drive me home, and we had dinner later that evening. After a proper meal and a good night’s sleep, I was back to full strength. I didn’t have any other discomfort at all, and I was able to go to the gym the very next day.
A few weeks later, I got the results, and the news was all good. I’m not due for another visit for 10 years — the normal schedule. Guys — you only have one body, and your health is your responsibility. Take charge of it, and be the best dad you can be by being proactive and aware of what you should be doing to take care of yourself. Your family deserves nothing less!