There are a few medical procedures that scare the pants off most guys. I think I’ve had them all, and survived. Back in 2002 (yes, I remember the dates of my medical ordeals) my doctor discovered microscopic blood in my urine, or hematuria. This is a condition that requires an evaluation to make sure it’s not caused by a serious problem, such as cancer. So off I went to my urologist. He performed another urine test and told me to set up an appointment for a cystoscopy. This a procedure where a camera goes up through the urethra to examine the bladder. I spent the next couple of months worrying about the procedure. It has to be painful, I told myself. No man wants to endure this. I asked my doctor if I could be knocked out. He convinced me I could stay awake during the procedure because a numbing agent would be applied to the “private parts.” Luckily, no cancer was found. The whole thing lasted just a few minutes and I did not experience any discomfort. I could have kicked myself when I realized all the time I had spent worrying.

Fast forward to my colonoscopy. I decided to have this procedure as soon as I turned 50. I had read that the worst part of the experience is the day before, when you are required to consume clear foods and drinks and take a solution that makes you visit the bathroom repeatedly. I thought that’s dumb. The worst part has to be the colonoscopy itself, feeling the tube inching it’s way through the colon. As it turns out, I was so sedated that I think I was in my second or third dream before hearing my doctor tell me there was no sign of cancer. Again, I felt silly that I spent so much time worrying.

Fast forward again to my prostate biopsy. A needle is inserted through the rectum to gather some prostate tissue samples. Again, rattled nerves as I approached my biopsy appointment. But I experienced no pain or discomfort. Because of a numbing agent, I hardly knew a needle was involved. Guys, if you are scheduled for one of these tests, I’m not going to promise that you wont experience discomfort or embarrassment, but I will say that the experience will probably go better than you thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if you discover that your commute to the doctor’s office was more stressful.

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