Note to my younger self: Eat better.

There won't be any programming content here, so you may choose to ignore this post, though you may regret it in a decade or two. Don't say I didn't warn you.

A few weeks before PDC, I started have a problem of a very personal nature. That's right, I had an outbreak (incident? flare up? episode?) of hemorrhoids. It's not something you generally want to publicize, and in fact, I didn't talk about it. I've decided to blog about it, for a simple reason:

If somebody had told me what I'm going to tell you when I was in my 20s, I would have had the opportunity to change my habits.

Most Americans eat less than half the fiber they should, which also means they're probably eating fewer vegetables than they should be. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want this condition. And since over 50% of Americans have it at one time or another, the odds aren't good. A decent diet can make it unlikely you will ever have to deal with it. Not to mention the other benefits.

After my first "encounter" about a decade ago, I changed my diet a fair bit and got better, but after the recent episode - and a fairly miserable few weeks, including a unhappy week at PDC, I decided to see a specialist, who last Tuesday did a small bit of surgery. After which I found out an interesting pharmaceutical fact.

Well, perhaps "found out" isn't really the right term. Something like, "had beat into me over five increasingly miserable days".

My doctor had written me a prescription for Vicodin, the trade name for Hydrocodone, an opiate that's more potent than morphine, to help control the pain. It is wonderful against pain. But it is not without side effects.

If you go to a drug website, you'll find a list of side effects. There are a lot of fun "mind altering effects", which I like to call "crazy thinkin'", but the most important one is the second one. Apparently opiates are well known to utterly and completely shut down the later stages of digestion. For me, two vicodin did me in. Saturday night found me in the emergency room treating that condition, and today I'm feeling better than I have in the last 6 months.

The choice is yours.