What Hurts Worse than a Colonoscopy?

You might be worried that your upcoming colonoscopy will hurt, but don’t look for sympathy from Justin O. Schmidt, a biologist at Southwest Biological Institute. He’s experienced intense pain almost one thousand times by being bitten or stung by the smallest of creatures: insects. Schmidt recently developed the Schmidt Pain Index, which gives colorful comparisons of what it feels like to be the recipient of the bite or venom of bugs. He assembled a scale of over 70 different stings, from the irritating (which rated a 0) to the excruciating (which rated a 4).

Here are a few examples of Schmidt’s brilliant metaphors.

Red Harvester Ant – bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.

Bullet Ant – pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch rusty nail in your heel.

Tarantula Hawk – blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream).

While some patients have complained about the inconvenience of their colonoscopy or the chalky taste of the prep solution, a colonoscopy has never been likened to the sting of a Polybia Wasp: “A trick gone wrong. Your posterior is the target for a BB gun. Bull’s eye, over and over.”

If it is time for your colonoscopy, take comfort in knowing you won’t experience any pain registering on the Schmidt Pain Index! You are in the capable hands of a skilled gastroenterologist and a team of competent and caring staff. Your colonoscopy will help prevent colon cancer because precancerous polyps can be removed during the procedure, preventing them from growing into cancer. Thank you for making routine screenings a part of your preventative care! If you are 50 years of age or older and you have not had a colonoscopy, it is time for you to get screened. Make an appointment today by calling one of our centers (Source: Science Friday).

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