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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

All's well that, ahem, ends well

A friend of mine who has been following along with the little drama of my colonoscopy preparations (and trepidations), made an interesting observation. He said that although it may have been therapeutic for me to share my fears, and make jokes on my blog about the whole colonoscopy thing... there was the obvious risk that I might inadvertently offer an excuse to people who were looking for a reason to put off (or ignore the need for) the test.

Point taken. 

Yes, the preparations for this test are somewhat unpleasant, but by no means traumatic. With a sense of humor and supportive friends and family, it's really no big deal.  Just don't plan any long drives on the day or two before your test. 

In retrospect, if you ever wanted to host a movie marathon at your place... this is the perfect excuse. 

The test itself is a non-issue. You won't know a thing about it (during or after). You are asleep for the whole thing, and wake up feeling like you've just had the best nap of your life. There are no lingering clues that you even had the test other than the relief at finally knowing your results.

So yeah... about the test results.  While I got a clean bill of health from my doc, that is really almost beside the point.  Getting tested and knowing one's health status - for good or bad - is the point. 

If (G-d forbid) my doc had called me into the consultation room with the long face and sad eyes, that would have required an action plan.  I wouldn't have said, "Damnit, I knew I shouldn't have had the test!  Now I have cancer!!!" 

I am aware that many people avoid having the test for fear of what it might find.  To those people I would say that putting one's head in the sand is never a good way to deal with potentially scary personal health issues. Colo-rectal cancer is one of the more treatable types... if caught early.   However, if caught late (or not at all), it can be a death sentence.

There should never be anything even remotely embarrassing about discussing this test (which was kinda the point of my bringing it up in so public a forum). On the contrary, not discussing it can allow people to ignore its importance.  

Don't die of embarrassment.  Get checked!

Posted by David Bogner on February 8, 2012 | Permalink

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As a nurse, I feel that I have to add this:
Colon cancer often shows NO symptoms until it has been around a while (and spread). So testing is really the way to go....

Posted by: rickismom | Feb 8, 2012 2:02:38 PM

How about the em-bare-ass-ment of being told one has hemorrhoids the size of a city bus?

Posted by: Freddy | Feb 8, 2012 2:03:55 PM

Oh, and for all you spouses/significant others/all-around "do-gooders" who accompany the patient there is the fun bonus of having your own personal "Ground-Hog Day" entertainment as your loved one works their way out of the anesthetic fog!

"Honey.... did I tell you that both the nurse and the doctor were Anglos? It was nice being able to understand all the details....zzzzz......"

Times, oh!, at least 20!

Hey, Sandman -- is that normal?!

Posted by: zahava | Feb 8, 2012 9:01:39 PM

My first colonoscopy was in Israel and the doc let me stay awake and watch the video, at least for part of the time. I thought it was rather cool! All the ones I had in the USA the docs insisted I be completely knocked out for the entire procedure.

Posted by: Mark | Feb 8, 2012 10:10:41 PM

I've been through a few of these, and it's really no big deal. It is nonetheless advisable to wear appropriate Absorbent Undergarments (i.e., Depends or some such) lest anything untoward take place. Don't ask me how I know this.

SWMBO has threatened me with divorce should I post photographs of my own, er, ahhh... results. Be thankful, therefore... because my natural tendency is to share.

Posted by: Elisson | Feb 10, 2012 4:20:07 AM

I didn't have the "Groundhog Day" experience (at least, I haven't been told that I did...). I just had Rosemary Woods inserting numerous 18 1/2 minute gaps into my memory of the ensuing 6 or so hours.

Posted by: bratschegirl | Feb 12, 2012 2:43:11 AM

When I had mine, I told the doctor before we started, "well, you can't say I'm full of $4!7." He smiled and said that's what we're going to find out.

Posted by: Windy Wilson | Feb 28, 2012 11:03:12 PM

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