The dreaded Colonoscopy!

Fundamental Building block to having your Life in order:  Staying Alive
Okay, we’re going a little off topic on this one but I felt it worthwhile to recount my experience last week should any of you be dragging your feet on this.
Jules will make sure you’re reminded when it’s time.  Jules will also store all your records from these tests.  Particularly important if you change doctors between procedures.
As is the case with many of us, it took one of my childhood friends putting this procedure off too long to get me sufficiently motivated to get it done.  It was the shock factor that woke me up to do it.  In my friend’s case by the time he went in for the scan, his colon cancer had progressed to the point he is now going through Chemo/Radiation before surgery.  Yes, that’s before surgery!  Then the surgery, then most likely more Chemo/Radiation.  He pushed me to do it now and not put it off.  I was 54!  I did it then and now almost 59 and going in again I enjoyed the first one so much.

With no family history of colon cancer you should not wait past 50.  With history, much earlier.  Consult your doctor.
The reason for even writing about this procedure is the real shock of it all is how SMALL a deal it really is.  As a comparison, I would rather a Colonoscopy than have a cavity filled.  It’s that routine and pain free.
The following is my experience:

  1. Normal visit to my Primary care physician December 6th.  He says “get it done” and gives me the number to contact NCGA (his recommendation for who to do it).
  2. I call NCGA and schedule an initial visit.  Most of you will not even need an initial visit.  I did because I’m on Coumadin (thanks to United Airlines)
  3. Initial visit to NCGA December 18th lasts 10 minutes.  Procedure scheduled for January 18th.  (Yesterday.  Yes, it’s fresh in my mind).
  4. Starting January 12th I go off the Coumadin.
  5. Starting December 16th at 5PM no more food.  Just clear liquids.  I get a little bit hungry.  Okay, well a lot hungry.
  6. 5PM on January 17th take one bottle of Suprep (no worse tasting than
    Alka Seltzer cold medicine) mixed with 16 ounces of water followed by two more 16 ounce glasses of water.  All takes 3 minutes.
  7. The next two hours are not pretty but as long as you have a clear path to a bathroom and nothing important to do it’s just not a big deal.  The desired reaction from the Suprep only lasts for about 2 hours.  Other than being hungry everything else returns to normal.
  8. 5AM January 18th, take another bottle of Suprep and repeat the steps above.  Again, no big deal.  By 7AM I was back to a normal day.
  9. 9AM onward until the procedure no food or drink.  Yes, I’m still hungry!  But I’ve been promised all I can eat Pizza by 5PM.  I can do this!
  10. Arrive for the procedure at 2PM.
  11. Taken back for prep at 2:30
  12. IV inserted at 2:45.  Drugs injected at 2:55 (twilight Anesthesia)
  13. Procedure done at 3PM.  Takes 15 minutes.  One small Polyp removed.
  14. Out of there by 3:45
  15. On the basketball court in my daughter’s school parent game by 4:15
  16. Chowing down the all you can eat pizza by 5:15.
  17. Just finished my normal gym workout this morning.
  18. Absolutely no side effects.  One bonus, I lost 7 pounds!

Key message:  Absolutely no excuses.  Do it!!