Wednesday, January 10, 2007


No, I'm not trying to horn in on Tammy's science-geek role, but this bit stuck with me.

From The Economist newspaper (dated December 23rd, 2006, on p. 33 in my edition):
Mr. Kahneman's most notorious experiment took place in a Toronto hospital over a decade ago. He and a colleague asked patients undergoing a colonoscopy (in which a probe is passed up the rectum) to report their level of discomfort minute by minute. Later, they were asked how they felt about the procedure in retrospect. Their answers were surprising. The test left a worse impression on patient A, for whom it lasted less than ten minutes, than on patient B, who suffered for 24 minutes. Patients' recollections were heavily coloured by the procedure's worst moment and its last moment. The duration of the pain did not seem to make much difference. Patients were happier about a colonoscopy that lasted longer but ended better.

Notes to self:
1. Choose a longer grinding event over a shorter more painful one.
2. Really enjoy the finish chute.
Hence, Ironman.

Yes, I acknowledge that this post would probably have been happier to be on Nytro's blog, where the topic would have fit right in.


Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks so much for this Brent. (No need to thank you, I'm sure ...) Naturally the *end* of a colonoscopy is key!

1/10/2007 08:29:00 am  
Anonymous Nigel. said...

So, to paraphrase:

You are training for Ironman because it is much like a colonoscopy.

Does it not occur to you that you can forgo the procedure all together?

Now, to add to the geekiness of it all, very recently (14 December) the New England Journal of Medicine had an article that showed that more polyps are found with a withdrawl time greater than 6 minutes in a colonoscopy.

So, take that bit of info and file away anywhere you deem appropriate...

1/10/2007 03:05:00 pm  
Blogger Wendy said...

Nigel, many thanks to you, too!

1/10/2007 06:36:00 pm  

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