Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Looming Colonoscopy

I debated as to whether I should write about something this personal, then decided if one person benefited by paying attention to their own bodies, it might save their life.

Friday morning at 7:00 am, I'm checking into the VA medical center in Spokane for a colonoscopy exam. This was not routine. Periodically, the VA gives me a card in which the patient is asked for small stool smears. This is to determine whether there is blood present where there shouldn't be. There was.

There are many reasons why this could be. Hemorrhoids, polyps or colon Cancer. Of the three, obviously the big C is the scare. Polyps can be a forerunner to cancer and for that reason, they need to be removed. From time to time, I think I'm indestructible. On the other hand, I am 72 years old and subject to the body wearing out just as others do.

The preparation for this procedure is not fun. First you swallow copious amounts of a liquid that does not taste good. That is followed by 24 hours of fasting, in which starvation starts to set in. Preparation starts actually, two days before the procedure. Since they dope you up, you can't drive for 16 hours after being released.

Hopefully, this will be a minor scare, but still I'm somewhat apprehensive. But trust me, if you have black stool, run, don't walk to your doctor. It might save your life.

6 comments:

Janet said...

The procedure is a breeze. It's the cleansing that's very bad. Then waiting for results of course.

Anonymous said...

Herb let us know how you are doing, please.

NJ

Bay Views said...

Hungry and another 38 hours to go before I get to eat solid food.

Word Tosser said...

I agree with Janet, it is the prep work that is hell... I did a post on my report after... about 4 or 5 years ago, "I shaved my legs for this?" It didn't help that the Dr. was a friend of a friend so my husband and he talked about equipment and their mutual friend before I was sent into the OR....
Will pray for it to be nothing big..

Bay Views said...

I survived. They inspected me from the bottom and from the top, also. I no longer have any secrets. Bless you all for your kind thoughts.

Bay Views said...

Now that we not only are old, which gives us the right to prattle on about our aches and pains, we have modern science in our corner. Now we can hold a colonoscopy film contest. I can visulaize this no matter how hard I try not to. An argument ensues. "My polyps can top yurs or, Ain't no way yur diverticuli are bigger than mine." Think of the possiblities. A whole new area of conversation breaks out. We can now compare bowels. Ain't it great?