Monday, November 12, 2012

Inner Beauty... Revealed!

This post has nothing to do with sewing and everything to do with health.

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 one

I 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 Prep

Everyone 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 Procedure

I was out like a light during the whole thing, so don't remember any of it.

The Recovery

I 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 Verdict

I have a nice, clean colon!! It really is amazing how technology can let the doctor see the entire length of the large intestine.

See that dimple on the lower left? That's the opening to my Appendix. He got to scope all five feet of my large intestine.

Is it silly to be happy about a nice, clear, totally polyp-free large intestine? Well, I am.

Here's my point

So 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?

5 comments:

  1. I had mine this past summer and after hearing all the horror stories about the prep I decided to eat lightly the week before and it wasn't bad at all for me either. I too received a clean colon report. I don't have to go back for 10 years! I encourage everyone to get all of the preventive maintenance tests recommended!

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  2. I had a serious colon problem - non-cancerous, thankfully, requiring a colon re-section 5 years ago and have had a routine colonoscopy since then. It is no big deal! Get it done! Then you know you are healthy, or not, and get any problems taken care of. Medical technology today is so awesome. Let it work for you!

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  3. You got so lucky with that prep. There are all different kinds and my doctor has a yucky one - drinking over a gallon of horrible tasting stuff, taking 4 pills before you go to bed - which keep you up all night, then another 2 the morning of the procedure. I want your doctor!!! LOL I go through this every 5 years - I'm okay, but my family history is bad.

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  4. Bravo for this post! Not just for the sneak peek at your Christmas card pics, but for the demystifying of a very important and avoided procedure. Good on you!

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  5. Preaching to the choir here. Due to some odd symptoms (which resulted in the removing of my gall bladder) I was only 48 when I had mine. But in the process they found a questionable polyp (and a normal one). Not cancerous but threatening... I'm just glad they found it when they did.
    My prep was closer to anonymous' prep... and definitely not fun. But important! Lots of stuff in life isn't fun, but you still have to do it.
    (heeheehee... christmas card pics... good one!)

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