Thursday, February 28, 2013

a big C for the big B

Whew, that's over. I had my first colonoscopy today. Yes, I was a little (?) past due. Frankly, I was being a big baby about it. But it's done, thank goodness. Here are facts you might/might not want to know:

1. It's true what they say. The day preceding, "prep day," is worse than the actual procedure. NO FOOD for 36 hours. Clear liquids. Worst of all, magnesium citrate: two 10-ounce bottles are consumed the day before to, er, get your plumbing going. It's nasty: a carbonated, flavored, sickly-sweet concoction.

2. By dinner time yesterday, I was getting pretty hungry. It didn't help to see Bill eat his dinner. I drank mostly white cranberry juice, water and chicken broth all day. The broth tasted very good: I pretended it was a meal.

3. The nurses at our hospital were fabulous. They told me what would happen. They hooked up the meds and I was out. Thankfully, I don't remember a THING about the procedure.

4. I was told to go home and rest. (This means no cooking for three days, right??) So home we went. I had some scrambled eggs and toast and took a 3-hour nap. And bedtime might be early. Really, the only residual effect is fatigue.

Overall, this was not bad at all. Certainly not as bad as I built it up to be. I'm very healthy; I rarely go to the doctor and take no medications. (The nurse couldn't believe it.) But ... the 61-year-old brother of a good friend just died of colon cancer. The brother of another friend has been diagnosed. Trouble is, colon cancer sneaks in with almost no symptoms.

So please, if you're over 50, get checked. Then you're done for 10 years. If this big baby can do it, you can, too!


Sara said...

I had to get one so Mom did too. She thought it would be easier if she had someone do it at the same time. It made drinking the awful, and I mean truly awful, "concoctions" a little more doable. Of course I turned it into a race :)

Kathleen said...

You will find this funny, since you mentioned the day-before prep. My friend and her husband schedule their colonoscopies together! They make it a date. The night before is a little rough. But at least they are suffering together. Ask Bill . . .