By Harvey Tobkes

So if you had to choose between a colonoscopy and root canal, which would be your choice?

In the past two weeks I have undergone both, and I am very happy and relieved to report that they weren’t bad at all. In fact, I don’t know why these 2 health procedures are maligned and feared to such an extent that they have become metaphors for pain.


To make a long story short, gastroenterology has made the colonoscopy a breeze. To prep you need to clean your pipes, so all you do is mix yourself a pleasant tasting cocktail of lime-flavored Gatorade (my favorite flavor) with a cathartic powder. No problem with that, right? Drink it all up and wait about 15 minutes (note: be close to a toilet). When the message hits your brain, don’t delay, have a seat on your throne and I assure you everything will come out O.K. Next day report to the clinic. You get into a hospital gown (they haven’t improved) and you are put under by an anesthetist. It seems like only a few minutes later, your doctor awakens you and it’s all over…time to go home…and I was having such a nice dream. Oh well! So what was so hard about that? Then you wait 5 years before you do it again.


Now for the root canal. I would give my endodontist an A+ in needle injections because I didn’t feel a thing when he gave me a shot of Novocaine to numb my jaw.


He worked on my tooth while peering through a binocular microscope mounted on a flexible arm, and I almost fell asleep while he drilled away.

In fact, I was in sort of a daydream when I heard him say, “All done!”

DrillSo fear not the Roto-Rooter or the Drill and remember well the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself.”

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