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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

The Scope

Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 10:18 PM

Scope can mean different things to different people. If you are squeamish - stop and click away. Far, far away if you must.

I have been in favor of being up front with my family about health matters. I have rather strong convictions about being totally honest with my own kids about what is going on health-wise. For one thing, I think they need to know because many things can and do have genetic tendencies.

Cancer is one of those things. Now, don't jump to any conclusions here, I haven't had the "C" diagnosis. However, I may or may not have one of a couple of different genetic pre-dispositions that could, (stress on the could) come into play. In that regards, I take the risks seriously and tend to heed the advice of my health professionals in preventive tests - mammograms. etc. Yeah I know, I don't heed 100 percent of the advice since I am pleasantly plump and that brings risk factors also.

Since my paternal parental unit had a colon cancer diagnosis in his mid-fifties, surgery and two years of chemo, the APRNs (advance practice registered nurse) I have seen over the last couple of years have been trying to persuade me to get a colonoscopy. As colon cancer is preventable, they wanted me to have the procedure due to that family history factor. This year I relented.

Let me tell you what, by the day after having my yearly female check-up and stating that I would get this done, I had a call from the outpatient clinic setting me up for the pre-op appointment with the surgeon. The appointment was for the following week. Nothing out of the ordinary there, they review history a bit and explained the procedure. Made it sounds as pleasurable as a cake walk. Ha ha.

I scheduled "my" procedure for after all the graduation traveling was done. I had a meeting with the surgery nurse and she lined me out for the day before and the day of the procedure. I had already scheduled off the one what they want as a half a day off work, so I just had to add another day off at the end of the graduation mini-vacation.

The day before I could only have a clear liquid diet with some restrictions. And nothing to drink at all after midnight. Okay - I was told to have toast prior to the start time of the clear liquid requirements just to help get through the day. I was to stay hydrated. No red jello - no issue there. No milk or dairy - no problemo. But I had to drink TWO bottles of a liquid laxative at required times. Now, it cost all of a $1.30 per bottle and I had to get the kind specifically listed. Seriously, that is probably the least expensive item for the procedure. I really had no choice but to get the lemon flavored as that is the only kind on the shelf at the pharmacy the day I stopped. . This was okay for one swallow but after that was like having a 20 minute bout of bitter beer face. And apparently I was rather entertaining to watch while I forced myself to drink this.

Let me tell you what, that laxative was golden because it just worked speedy quick. Let's just say Charmin was my best friend for the better part of the evening. I can't say there was too much discomfort because being lactose intolerant, this was easier and less painful.

The next morning, younger daughter (my adult driver) and I got out to the hospital and I checked in the time set forth. You know, I had to weighed (ugh) and then I had to have an enema. Okay seriously, like the evening before wasn't enough, I had to do a final cleansing. Oh, I was thrilled - not. By that time I was in a drafty hospital gown but at least this one was large enough. Then it was back to my cubicle so they could do the IV. And I have to say, my nurse did an excellent job with that as I didn't even bruise. I told my family if I ever have to have an IV again, I will request her.

Had the visit from the CRNA and we visited for a minute and I had to sign another consent form. Then it was off to the operating room. I told the nurse who was wheeling me in that the operating room reminded me of the room in Willy Wonka (the Gene Wilder version) when the kid gets shrunk on the TV. It was large and white. It made me giggle.

The it was lights out. Boom - next thing I know I was back in the cubicle and they wanted to know if I wanted coffee. I was a smartie enough to say no I would actually want an adult beverage but I couldn't have it, so coffee would be okay. Or maybe that is what I thought I said. LOL

Any how, I had coffee and a roll. They checked my vitals and told me I could get dressed and go home. Had a 10 second conversation with the surgeon for him to tell me everything looked good.

The good news is the colon lacked polyps. The other good thing is I don't have to do this for another five years. Bad news is - I am waiting for the bills but thankfully we do have insurance coverage. But the peace of mind that a clean colon brings is well.... priceless. (What did you expect me to type.)

All kidding aside, if I can do this anyone can do it. It is worth the time involved to 'cleanse' and to have the scope. Prevention is the key and besides, I have to be around to bug my children as it is my gift to them.



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Betsy Coolidge
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