One of the standard stories shared by organic chemistry professors, given that our classes are filled with pre-meds, is that one day you'll be in the office or in surgery, look up, and there is some kid you had in class, hand raised as he or she snaps a rubber glove into place.
Having turned 50 relatively recently, I went in for my first routine colonoscopy today. And sure enough... "I thought I recognized your name... I took your organic class back in 1990."
"Nice to see you. It was a great class. And I got an 'A.'"
*** whew ***
Just a reminder, routine medical screening is one of the best ways to catch potentially serious conditions. Put your yearly physical on your calendar, and if you are 50 or older, go ahead and schedule your colonoscopy.
Another note - when someone offers a free medical screening for something, it is probably worth doing it. My former student, as it turns out, is carrying out a study on diagnosing Barrett's Esophagus, a potentially pre-cancerous condition. As long as I was going to be under, on the table, with him poking up one end... was I willing to let him have a go at the other end?
Sure. Why not? Getting research subjects is often really difficult, and the big pipe that runs from your mouth to your butt is the most exposed to the nastiness of the outside world, and where the biggest problems crop up.
As it turns out, 50:50 that I have Barrett's.
What a whacky coincidence to have this MD on this day. The biopsies will be back soon. The odds of something bad are really low, so I figure "Aartvark" will still be around for a while.
So be wise, y'all - keep your regular contact with a trustworthy medical operation. It certainly one of the things I like about being at a big-ass university with an even bigger teaching hospital attached to it.
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