Thursday, March 18, 2010

Colonscopy-The Hard Part

Everywhere I look, there are ads about getting screened for colonoscopy, jokes about it, or some comments about Harry Smith's colonoscopy on tv last week. I thought that I would add my experience, that I kept in my sketchbook. Scott & White Clinic, St. Joseph's Hospital in Bryan, Texas, and Mayo Clinic, and CBS and KBTX tv websites, all have links to information. And, online, you will find everything from pictures to forums on colon health.
Because of the way these things appear on Blogger, I started with the last, first, and now I'm putting the first part of my experience. That way, when someone looks at it, they will, hopefully, be able to read it in the correct order-first to last.
Maybe someone will be able to identify with my experience, or feel a little better about having the procedure, if they are reluctant. I think that sometimes, from what I've read, it can be a lot worse than it was for me. But, maybe if you know that you can ask your doctor for something that is not as bad to drink, for example, that will help.
Of course, there is the issue of the cost, if you don't have good insurance, etc. I always think of that when I see the ads encouraging people to have tests that insurance may or may not pay for. That's a whole different issue! You may need it, and be willing, but can you get it?
I've already talked a bit about my stomach problems that have plagued me over the years. My doctors thought I should have a colonoscopy and encouraged that for years. I knew that I couldn't drink a big jug of nasty tasting stuff. It takes me all day to drink a can of Sprite! I've had swallowing problems, too, that required stretching of my esophogas-similar to the colonoscopy, only the other end and I didn't have to drink anything. Just had to not eat or drink anything after midnight, which seems to be standard operating procedure for so many things.
But, with all the other things that have gone on, I knew that I needed to try to find out what was going on and try to resolve my stomach problems. I decided that it must be Social Anxiety, but there could be something else that we couldn't see. So, I had them schedule the appointment after a conference with the gastrointologist. (I probably spelled that wrong. That's a real tongue twister!)
The above are some pages from the new sketchbook I started January 1. While I'm sitting, I record my memories and thoughts, and, my experiences.
This starts with the dread of the year to come, starting with the thought of the colonoscopy, that loomed over me.

I continued to show pictures and experiences about the colonoscopy in the previous posts. You can scroll down and read more about it.
The preparation part is the hardest part. For some people, it seems to be worse than for others. The main complaint is having to drink a lot of unpleasant liquid, then having to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. And there is the dread of the test itself. The worst part of that, for me,was trying to get an IV in, which happens a lot of the time, in my case. Once you get the "sleepy stuff", you just nap away and don't know a thing.
I went home and had a nice nap with my cat for the rest of the day!
This test, like everything else, came back okay. I sort of wished they had found some reason for my tummy upsets, but I know that it was good that it was clear.
Started reading "I Hate Red, You're Fired!" by William Stubbs. You can see his tv program, "Moment of Luxury" on Houston PBS and other stations. I really enjoy seeing what he has created.

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