In celebration of Infomaniac's 10th anniversary, The Infomaniac Medical Clinic encourages those of you age 50 or older and those of you with a family history of colon cancer, to get a colonoscopy. After all, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
The Mistress, who has a history of colon cancer in her family, gets a colonoscopy every five years. Those of you who are low risk can generally wait 10 years between colonoscopies.
Our Mr. Peenee had a colonoscopy earlier this week. Had I known, we could have snagged the "two for one" special...
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. And that's why it's so important to be screened. Screening can save your life.
A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon using a long, flexible, slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view your entire colon and rectum. If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor can pass surgical tools through the tube to take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.
You may elect to have sedatives or anesthesia during the procedure. You might feel nothing at all during the procedure. Or you may feel a bit of discomfort or cramping. During The Mistress's most recent colonoscopy, she didn't feel a thing. However, she "came to" early during a previous colonoscopy and felt some rather annoying cramping. Considering her experiences with satanic cramps from hell, colonoscopy cramping was nothing in comparison.
The worst part of the colonoscopy isn't the procedure; it's the preparation. You'll have to change your diet and clean out your bowel. Your doctor won't be able to see your colon clearly if you do not follow the diet and bowel prep. The colonoscopy itself is a "walk in the park" compared to the prep.
DON'T DRINK THE PURPLE KOOL-AID!
You may need to follow a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure and avoid drinks that contain red or purple dye. The instructions will provide specific direction about when to start and stop the clear liquid diet. In most cases, you may drink or eat the following:
- Fat-free bouillon or broth
- Strained fruit juice, such as apple or white grape (not purple grape) —doctors recommend avoiding orange juice
- Plain coffee or tea, without cream or milk
- Sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade) in flavors such as lemon, lime, or orange
- Ginger ale
- Gelatin (Jell-O) in flavors such as lemon, lime, or orange. DON'T EAT THE RED OR PURPLE JELLO!
You must follow the directions for a bowel prep before the procedure. The bowel prep will cause diarrhea, so stay close to a bathroom. The Infomaniac Medical Clinic advises you to stay home the day before the procedure.
Different bowel preps may contain different combinations of laxatives, pills that you swallow or powders that you dissolve in water and other clear liquids. Some people will need to drink a large amount, often a gallon, of liquid laxative over a scheduled amount of time—most often the night before the procedure. In The Mistress's opinion, this part of the bowel prep is difficult. It is, however, very important. Your doctor will not be able to see your colon clearly if the prep is incomplete.
Following the colonoscopy, you may have abdominal cramping or bloating during the first hour after the procedure. You may also fart up a storm.
You should expect a full recovery by the next day, and you should be able to go back to your normal diet. Hooray! Then you can wait another 10 years for your next colonoscopy unless the doctor suggests otherwise.
Well, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with your family doctor to arrange for a colonoscopy. If Mr. Peenee and The Mistress AND even Norma can do it, you can too.
For more information about colonoscopy, click here.
Disclaimer: The medical information provided at the Infomaniac Medical Clinic is of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). The Mistress is not a doctor.