The Colonoscopy

After two years of procrastinating and dreading the procedure, I finally got sick of my doctor nagging me about it and had it done yesterday. An you know what? It just wasn’t that bad at all.

The actual procedure took about ten minutes. I was awake, under mild sedation, and I barely felt anything. They removed four 1-2mm polyps that they didn’t seem particularly concerned about. And that was it, I was on the way home a half hour later.

As for the preparation, that wasn’t that bad either. Yeah, you have to drink a gallon of salty liquid, over two sittings, that causes diarrhea, so you need to stay near the bathroom. The liquid didn’t taste particularly bad and I didn’t experience any nausea, cramping, or bloating. If you follow the diet instructions they give you, you shouldn’t have any problems. Frankly, the worst part of the preparation was not being able to eat anything for over a day.

The bottom line is that a colonoscopy is not scary, painful, or something to be overly anxious about and having it done is infinitely better than the possibility of unnecessarily dying of colon cancer.

/so, if you’re over 50 and still putting it off, you’re out of excuses, get it done, you’ll sleep better at night knowing

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Meet Doctor Watson

Is there anything Watson can’t do?

IBM Watson supercomputer turns to medicine

After battling the flesh-and-blood know-it-alls on “Jeopardy!,” IBM supercomputer Watson is getting ready for its next big challenge – helping doctors navigate the increasingly complex world of medicine.

Watson is being groomed to be a bedside medical tool – digesting medical textbooks, journals, treatment guidelines as well as information from patients’ blogs to diagnose illnesses quickly and accurately.

IBM says Watson, with its ability to understand language, can absorb questions about a patient’s symptoms and medical history and quickly suggest diagnoses and treatments. They envision several uses, including a doctor speaking into a handheld device to get answers at a patient’s bedside or to serve as a second opinion. Watson could also link to electronic health records that the federal government wants hospitals to maintain.

See also:
IBM’s Watson Makes the Move From Answering Trivia Questions to Making Medical Diagnoses
IBM’s Watson leaves Jeopardy to become a doctor (Morning Read)
Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Watson Turns Its Sights To Medicine
IBM’s Watson supercomputer to help diagnose hospital patients
‘Jeopardy!’-Winning Computer Delving Into Medicine
Researchers Preparing IBM’s Watson Computer for Medical Applications
Watson (computer)
Watson homepage
Watson Wins!

Well, if Watson is anywhere near as good at medicine as it is at Jeopardy!, it should be a better doctor than most. Seriously, if Watson doesn’t make mistakes and gets the diagnosis right, does it really matter if it’s man or machine?

/I, for one, welcome our new doctor machine overlords