I have been riding with Erica’s flag for 3 weeks now. It is not because I don’t have anyone else to ride for (at least once a week I read on Facebook of a new person diagnosed). I have resisted taking her flag down because I just did not know what to write. Even though Erica is surely going through the worst time of her life, I’ve decided to use a little humor to educate others on what it is like to have a colonoscopy.
Weigh yourself 24 hours before the procedure. (The reason for this will be revealed at the end.)
“This is not your father’s colonoscopy.” As a high school student in the 80s I remember my Dad complaining about the bottle of “chalk” he had to drink the night before. Today the toughest part is choosing what flavor of Gatorade you want. Choose wisely because you have to drink 64oz in 2 hours! While you are picking out that Gatorade get a movie. You will only need one because it will take you 4 hours to watch it. But this is a free night from work or any kind of meaningful conversation with your significant other so take advantage of it. (There is no way you will be able to concentrate on work or discuss with your partner who left the top off the toothpaste when you will need to proceed quickly to the bathroom every 13 minutes. Not to mention the sounds coming from the bathroom while you are in there.)
The Colonoscopy must not be confused with the Sigmoidoscopy. This latter procedure is truly barbaric. They only go in 3 feet but you do it awake. If there is a “blockage” they take the scope out, you “clear” the blockage, and they start again. If my Dr ever suggested this I would go find another one.
The worst part of a Colonoscopy is getting the IV started. You sleep through the rest! When you wake up you are on your side with a nice warm blanket over you. There is a nurse or your partner there. It is all a piece of cake. When you are fully awake you are told the results and then the best part of the entire thing. You are told to fart. As a “rookie” you might try to let it out softly. But the nurse (your private fart monitor) will not let you leave unless the fart is loud enough and long enough for her standards. Yep, the louder and longer you fart the sooner you get to go home!
You will be “starved” when you leave the Dr office. (Yep, you will have to walk out past all the people waiting to go in after just issuing the loudest and longest fart of your life.) If you can hold out, wait to eat until you get home. As soon as you get home weigh your self.
That is it. That is all there is to a colonoscopy. It takes 8 years for a Polyp to go from nothing to cancer (Not all Polyps turn into cancer but do you want to take that chance?) The recommendation is to have this procedure done every 5 years after age 40 or 45. If your family history includes colon cancer or Polyps you should start sooner.
Erica, I know you had no chance to catch your Stage 4 colon cancer with the use of a colonoscopy. Being 30 now your Polyps probably started when you were 25 or younger. No one tells someone this young to get this procedure. I hope you are ok with me using your fight, your flag, and a little humor to get those in their 40’s and 50’s to get it done. Maybe with this journal a couple people will be spared the fight you are going through. At the very least you now know that a total stranger thought about you every day for the past three weeks. FightLikeHell Erica!
So why weigh yourself 24 hours before the procedure and then as soon as you get home? Because I like to give people the facts when they accuse me of something. After my last colonoscopy I can now reply, “Nope I’m not full. Only 3%.” (6lbs is 3% of my total body weight) The accusation, “You are full of shit!”