Not Making It Easy
Disclaimer: The following article deals with a sensitive subject (in more ways than one).
Several months ago I was talking to the owners of a local business and they shared with me the health struggles their mother has experienced with colon cancer.
“Robin, get a colonoscopy. This cancer is preventable if people would only take the time to get screened,” they advised me.
I understand that I’m going to die some time but, as I shared with my husband Steve, I’m not going to make it easy for death to get a hold of me. To monitor my health, I’m going to have every test that Kaiser will authorize. I see my beloved Dr. Ronald Woodard, my OB/GYN, at Verdugo every year for my Pap and anything else he thinks I need.
I visit Dr. Dale Ellwein of Standing Tall Chiropractic three times a week to keep my back strong. I take a calcium plus D tablet twice a day and try to get adequate exercise every week (I need to rededicate myself to that one).
So when it came to the colonoscopy, I asked my doctor at Kaiser his thoughts and when he said he thought it was a good idea given my age (ouch!), I made the appointment.
I had been warned beforehand that the worst part of the entire procedure was the prep: drinking a two-gallon-sized jug of bowel-clearing substance over six to eight hours the day before the procedure. Of course, I had to go on a liquid diet beforehand as well which, given my fondness for wine, wouldn’t normally be a problem but alcohol was prohibited.
The appointment was last Friday, so on Thursday afternoon I arranged my schedule so I’d be at home during the prep. As I had been warned, drinking that wretched concoction was yucky; after six hours I had enough though I hadn’t finished the whole thing.
My appointment was Friday morning at 10:30. After changing into a gown and hopping onto a gurney, I was wheeled into an operating room at 11:30 and given a light anesthesia. At 12:15 I was in recovery. It was over in no time with no residual pain or discomfort. The doctor had discovered a single polyp, which he removed and sent to pathology, though he expected that it was going to turn out to be nothing. I’m pretty much done for five years.
You may be asking yourself why the heck am I sharing this episode with you. Well, I believe that we can learn from each other’s experiences and that by sharing we can take some of the mystery (and sometimes the fear) away from uncomfortable or scary situations. If sharing my experience with you prompts you to look into getting this screening, that’s a good thing. After all, no one but you can take care of your health.
As for me, it’s one less thing I have to worry about.