I had a much dreaded colonoscopy yesterday.
As everyone had warned me, the prep for it was way worse than the test itself. And by prep, I mean drinking The Vile Shit-Cleanser ahead of time. The nonstop, pooping isn't as bad as choking down the gag-producing concoction you're forced to drink. (At least, for me it wasn't. Not that nonstop shitting is fun ….)
Yesterday afternoon, I arrived on time, but the OR rooms were extremely backed up and I had a long wait ahead of me.
I met Dr. Important while I waited.
He is VERY nice. In spite of the embarrassment factor of meeting him for the first time and discussing a possible future dinner out (yes, we really did), and then having him put a 300 mile long tube up my ass …. I'm happy Briefcase got me in to see him.
Dr. Important is, indeed, a very important doc in his field of medicine. He's also a really, really, nice guy.
As far as the actual procedure, I remember being wheeled back to the room and the nurses getting things set up.
The next thing I remember was semi-waking up at one point during the colonoscopy and saying, "Ow!" because I felt cramping in my abdomen. I saw Dr. Important look up, nod to the nurse and I was instantly out again.
Those are some very magical drugs they use.
Awhile later, I was waking up in the recovery room. In front of me was a somber Dr. Important. I instantly knew, the test didn't go as perfectly as I had imagined it would.
I have no family history of colon cancer, but Dr. Important explained to me it is currently the third highest killer of both men and women in our country.
In case you're wondering, for women the leading killer cancers are:
For men the leading killer cancers are:
Dr. Important showed me photos, and a video, of what he found during my test.
As it turns out, he removed four polyps.
They weren't "normal" polyps either.
They were weird, bad types, of polyps.
Very unusual polyps doing funky things polyps aren't supposed to do.
He told me it was not at all what he would expect to find in someone of my (very young!) age.
(I might have added the "very young" to that dialog, but can you blame me?)
A couple of the polyps were also very difficult to recognize as polyps and a less experienced doctor could have easily missed them.
I will find out if any, or all of, the polyps are cancerous in a week or two.
In the meantime, I'm sticking my head in the sand and convincing myself I do not have colon cancer.
I do not have colon cancer, I do not have colon cancer, I do not have colon cancer.
Damn, I sure hope I don't have colon cancer.
(I will, of course, update you once I get the pathology reports back.)
In the meantime, I'm not allowed to exercise or eat any spicy foods for the next week while my colon heals from having the polyps removed. (Either/or could cause bleeding and if there's bleeding, I have to get right back into the hospital.)
There was also more not-so-good news.
Even if the polyps are NOT cancerous, he wants to have me come back in six months and go through the procedure again under full anesthesia. (This time I was under "conscious sedation" which is why I sorta woke up at one point.)
He explained my colon is more difficult than some to scope (of course, it is!) and so he wants to knock me completely out so he can do an extra thorough exam. Also, since my body is producing these weird, unusual, straight-from-outer-space polyps – he will have to watch me closely even if these initial polyps come back benign.
In other words, I have a lot of colonoscopies in my future.
Just a day ago I told Briefcase I would never, ever, drink that prep stuff again.
I was wrong.
I'll be drinking it again soon, and many times in my future.
And you know what?
Dr. Important said, "Thank goodness you came in when you did."
Colon cancer usually first shows itself in a polyp.
I am SO glad I had the test done.
I'm also SO glad I had such a great doctor do it.
(If you're in The OC and need a referral, feel free to email me and I will happily give you Dr. Important's real name.)
P.S. If you have any symptoms, even MINOR symptoms, please get over your colonoscopy fears and go get checked regardless of what age you are.
P.P.S. If you're 50 years old, or older, and haven't had a colonoscopy yet you need to pull your head out of your ass the sand and book one NOW.
No excuses people!
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