J & J’s Gibberish: Booty Banter

One mother's weekly journey in raising her special needs children. 

Since J & J's Gibberish appears in the Health section, I figured I could write about something other than mental health and focus on the other end: the toosh. Here is a piece I wrote five years ago but given it is still relevant today (sadly), I share it and, in case you don’t read on, the basic message is: get your ass checked.

The tush: It is an amazing thing. I am not talking about what’s on the outside (although that is awe-inspiring too. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a nice rear view?). But really, it’s your inner booty beauty that truly counts, especially when faced with a potential threat. All of a sudden, you discover how much you love your butt and really want it to be healthy. Ok, so this stuff isn’t glamorous. People generally don’t like talking about their caboose. But look at the facts. While colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men and third for women in Canada, if it is caught early enough, colon cancer is 90% treatable. And there is a lot you can do to stack the odds in your favour. So why wouldn’t you?

As a marathon runner, I am acutely aware of the importance of diet, (less red meat, less bad fat and most importantly, eat your veggies) but I want to emphasize one of the most important things you can do for your backside: get your butt checked.

I was told a long time ago that colorectal issues were the stuff of older guys. But that’s not true. After all, I am a healthy, young(ish) chick (in my 40s) and I have a very good girlfriend who had similar (but more serious) ass problems. Thanks to screening and the discovery of polyps that could have turned ugly, we both discovered that we need to keep an eye on our ass in the years to come. Generally speaking, it takes a few years for a growth to turn into cancer so it is even crazier not to get checked out.

Got a family history of colorectal issues? Blood in your stool? Or maybe you have persistent abdominal discomfort, like cramps, gas, pain or a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely when you are, you know, going. Whatever. Get your ass in for a colonoscopy. Get your name on the list now.  Go do your doctor because the wait list is eight months. (I was supposed to get one in 5 years, I had a wait almost until year 6 to get one.)

By the way, you will be joining the trendy set. Colonoscopies are becoming the in thing. Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce and even Oprah had one and talked about it in a show about 5 years ago. Need I say more?

If your screening is clear, you’re good to go. If something is found, then all the better for early detection. You’ll have to go every 5 years after that for a follow-up colonoscopy, but that beats the alternative. Besides, it is not that bad. Sure, the day before the procedure is not fun as you discover reserves of poop you never thought possible. But it’s a great excuse to take it easy and eat vats of jello.

Speaking of the procedure, here’s something nobody tells you about: the drugs are fabulous and you won’t feel any pain. I wanted to nominate my doctor, Dr. Chatterjee at the General for an Order of Canada.

Listen, the bottom line (no pun intended) is this: fear is just not worth risking your health. Get your butt checked.