Are you over 50 years old? If yes, have you had a colonoscopy?
(I'm sure I've lost about half my readership with that last sentence alone...)
Why I had oneI have no family history of colon cancer, but have at least two friends who have had it. I knew getting a colonoscopy was a good idea, but the idea of one just skeeved me out.
This year we hit our insurance deductible, so we decided that if we wanted to get any kinds of optional testing or procedures done (that were still deemed appropriate by our doctor), that now was the time to do them, since they would be fully covered. I'm 52 now, and my doctor had suggested having a baseline colonoscopy done in the near future. So I called the gastroenterologist I had seen for my gall bladder and scheduled the procedure.
The PrepEveryone makes a big deal out of the prep. I was even dreading it. But honestly, it wasn't a big deal at all. It wasn't painful, or even too uncomfortable... just inconvenient. My doctor puts his patients on a fiber-free diet for the five days prior to the procedure, which was really the worst part. The prep itself consisted of taking two pills, then mixing up some laxative powder with a half gallon of Crystal Light and drinking it over a period of about two hours. And the morning of the procedure, another dose of a different laxative. So yes, I was in the bathroom a lot, but like I said, it was just inconvenient.
The ProcedureI was out like a light during the whole thing, so don't remember any of it.
The RecoveryI woke up in the recovery area and in a few minutes was sitting up drinking ginger ale. Twenty minutes later Bob was driving me home.
The VerdictI have a nice, clean colon!! It really is amazing how technology can let the doctor see the entire length of the large intestine.
Here's my pointSo many people get the willies when they think about getting a colonoscopy. I can understand that; the thought of undergoing the procedure really taps into one of our cultural taboos. But it's not the horrible experience it's made out to be!! The staff at the center where I had mine done couldn't be nicer, and several of them congratulated me on getting it done so early. And now I know that I have a healthy digestive system, so that's always a huge relief!!
I highly encourage all my readers who are 50 or older to just go ahead and schedule a colonoscopy. You'll be glad you did. And if it means just one of you gets to catch a problem early on, this post will be worth it.
Who's with me?