July 11, 2011

The (Bare) Backside of Health

Self portrait? I think not.
Let's face it. Prevention is a bitch. First of all, we never see the positive benefits of it (which makes it hard to measure).  And although we may experience less illness and injury, we don't know what we're missing...right? I would love to get a glimpse of myself (via some parallel universe) having not picked up the exercise habit or started eating well at a younger age...I wonder how I would look and feel at 43?  Since that's never going to happen, we (I) take it on faith - not to mention thousands of studies - that daily physical activity, eating well, and getting enough sleep will help us reduce our chances of chronic (and acute) illness...perhaps as much as 70%.  It also provides you with energy and helps keep the wrinkles at bay. Or so I'm told... and I'm holding onto that fact like a drowning woman hanging on to a teeny tiny life saver. 

So we put on the running shoes when the last thing we feel like doing is walking (let alone running). We eat the veggies, when we would rather have a plate of melted cheese (of course, I'm speaking for myself here), and we go get those really icky procedures that usually have you bent over or spread eagle for the sake of prevention.

Just a couple of guys hanging down
by old man Simpson's watering-hole
(at least that's what this pic suggests to me)
I recently had a friend call me up to share her story of her first colonoscopy...I believe she compared it to child birth.  As she lay on the... bed?...cot?...hard, cold, surface?... with nothing on by a piece of paper, she recalled the ambiance of the heavily petitioned room. The spotlights burning overhead were accompanied by the sounds of flatulence and moaning (not to mention the detailed accounts of things no one wants to overhear).  Then dealing with the air they fill you up with is enough to turn the most well-mannered socialite into a giggling 3 year old.  My poor friend was nervous of attending her daughter's recital for fear of "letting one go" in the middle of it....oh the humanity (coupled with amazing muscular control and strength)!

Although her rendition was quite traumatic, she is happy it is done and over with. Her commitment to diet and exercise has been renewed (and even strengthened) by witnessing a room, and hospital, filled with so many unhealthy-looking people (please note: I deliberately use "unhealthy looking" as you can't judge a book by it's cover....but you can make the odd assumption here and there). There is nothing that will make you appreciate your health more than a visit to the hospital.

Who says thongs are just for women?
So in staying with the theme of prevention, I have my first mammogram scheduled for this Wednesday (thanks to my thoughtful and supportive admin assistant...she booked us together). Although I have researched the crap out the effectiveness of mammograms in detecting tumours within my age group...I can't help but be influenced by all those around me getting them. I will be taking as many pictures as I'm allowed and will share with you, dear reader, my experiences as I get my boobs squished into unrecognizable shapes (God, I hope they go back to their original shape....). 

Yup...prevention sucks at times, but the alternative (I keep having to remind myself) is far worse than a scope up the butt or a boob in a vice. It makes exercising and eating well look like a day at the beach.

Don't you find it a little strange that, as her boob is getting squished beyond all human recognition, she appears to be carrying on a conversation with her nurse like nothing is going on? In reality, of course, this woman would be flailing her arms about while screaming bloody murder at the nurse to make it stop.  I guess this is how you have to market such a preventative procedure. 
That's all I got.


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