My 8am appointment with the doctor wasn’t something I was looking forward to. At least, the overindulgence of the Mardi Gras season provided me with enough motivation to get through the dreaded process. So with my gut sufficiently cleansed of the seasonal moonpies, candy, and king cake I showed up on time for my scheduled colonoscopy.
The colon is a part of the body that I never really think about, until some overly spicy, fatty, or just abundant meal creates some discomfort. Normally, it’s the quiet transport center for whatever I feed the stomach. But, apparently, it’s much more.
According to doctors the colon is part of the gastrointestinal tract referred to as the “second brain”. Since two brains are obviously better than one, when mine work together, life is good. Of course, things can go wrong in the small brain that you don’t become aware of until it’s too late.
The polyps that can form in the colon over years can become cancerous. Colon cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease, but it’s also one of the most preventable. The idea is to remove the polyps before their become problematic.
It’s simple, but who wants strangers probing an orifice of your body you can’t even see, and probably wouldn’t look if you could. I mean it’s kind of like digging in the trash. Unless you’re a drug smuggler, whatever’s there you’re more than willing to let go.
It turns out the colonoscopy procedure wasn’t the traumatic experience I expected. There’s not much to remember after you dawn the hospital gown with back ties. The nurse wheeled me into a small room, where I exchanged a few words with the Doctor. Of course, there’s not much to say to a man who’s about to get a bird’s eye view of your “not so good side”.
He left to get properly attired for the procedure I presume, leaving me with a very nice nurse who was obviously sympathetic to my nervousness. I tried to distract myself by resorting to my journalistic questioning of the equipment in the tiny room.
After explaining the numbers representing my blood pressure, oxygen rate, and heart rate, the nurse injected a dose of anesthesia into the intravenous device inserted into my arm earlier. Minutes later as my questions continued she realized I needed a little more of the anesthetic. That did the trick. I suspect I was out mid-sentence.
When I awoke I was in the recovery area. I had no pain, and best of all no sensation that my body had ever been touched. Oh, but it had.
The doctor came in minutes later to give me the all clear. I celebrated the good news with a cup of crushed ice. Considering I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for hours, it tasted as good to me as the new mint moonpies.
So, if you’re apprehensive about a colonoscopy take it from someone who knows, it really isn’t as bad as you think. And, considering it’s potentially life saving benefits, it’s definitely a procedure you don’t want to skip.