Colonoscopy prep is unpleasant, but necessary

Dear Doctors: I'm having my first colonoscopy in a few months. My friends say it's unpleasant, and I'm already dreading it. I think it would help if I knew what's going to happen. How often do you need to get a colonoscopy?

Joke offends and is distasteful to new friend

DEAR HARRIETTE: I accidentally put my foot in my mouth when talking to a woman I really hoped to become friends with. I was trying to be funny and make a joke, but it came out wrong, and she got offended. I felt terrible afterward, and I'm not sure how to fix the situation. I tried to backpedal and explain that I didn't actually mean anything by it, but it was too late; the damage was done, and our conversation fizzled out after that. I'm really kicking myself for saying the wrong thing, because I really liked her and we were having such a great time chatting. I know there are no second chances for first impressions, but is there anything I could do to fix what I've done? — Foot in Mouth DEAR FOOT IN MOUTH: Request an opportunity to see this woman again. If granted, go to her openly and tell her the truth. Perhaps because you hoped to become her friend, you were trying too hard to get her to like you, and you stumbled as you talked to her. Apologize again for offending her. Admit that you were trying to be funny, and obviously that didn't work. You might explain to her that you feel a bit like a teenage boy who punches his love interest in the arm as a sign of endearment, and it makes the girl mad rather than starry-eyed. You messed up. You wanted to tell her because you really want a second chance to get to know her. You hope she will grant it.

In 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries crossed the English Channel in a balloon.

Each January, Americans collectively atone for yet another celebratory season of indulgence. Some proclaim sobriety for 'Dry January.' Others use the dawn of a new year to focus on other forms of self-improvement, like taking up meditation or a new skin care routine. But adopting a new fitness plan is the most popular vow.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis joined tens of thousands of faithful in bidding farewell to Benedict XVI at a rare requiem Mass Thursday for a dead pope presided over by a living one, ending an unprecedented decade for the Catholic Church that was triggered by the German theologian’s decision to retire.

Over-the-counter nasal spray helps sinuses

Hello again, dear readers, and welcome to the monthly letters column. The holidays are over, and we hope that, in the midst of it all, you were able to take a moment to relax and unwind. Meanwhile, our inboxes are brimming, so we'll dive right in.

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