The Goddess Speaks
Colonoscopy benefits beat dread disease
I've had three colonoscopies over the last several years, as my new doctor wants to establish a baseline of my health. The last one was just a few days ago.
If you've had one of these procedures, you know the worst of it is the prepping that starts two days prior. This is so the doctor will be looking at a pristine gut, pure as the driven snow. Well, almost.
When I had my second colonoscopy, my colon wasn't quite pristine. The doctor gave me a choice: I could go home and prep all over again, or he could proceed and we would accept the results knowing that my colon was not totally spotless.
I did NOT want to have to drink another gallon of laxative in four hours! So we proceeded. The results were good; my colon was healthy.
On the day of my third procedure I woke up in a less than wonderful mood. After three days of soft food, clear food and no food, I had a raging headache. I'd had no coffee (withdrawals) and nothing to drink -- not even water. And my appointment wasn't until 1:30 in the afternoon!
But I had my computer, so I distracted myself playing Freecell Solitaire like a fanatic and reading a good book.
The nurse had a difficult time locating a vein to administer the sedative and IV fluids, but it was otherwise a painless procedure. I dozed off and had a nice nap. Soon it was over and the best part was when the doctor came in and told me he had found nothing suspicious. So my colon and I are good for another three to five years.
A friend gave me a ride home, I drank a lot of iced tea and let the sedative wear off.
Toward evening I checked out the sunset and I think someone sent me a special one for being a good girl and getting the colonoscopy out of the way.
It was glorious! The upper-atmosphere clouds were a raging, rampant red. The lower clouds floating from the mountains out to sea were big, gray puffs. The scarlet in the upper clouds were reflected in the harbor waters, turning them an incredible blazing red.
I watched the colors fade through suddenly teary eyes and said a prayer of gratitude. I was so thankful for the technology available now to find cancers before they become a life-stealing threat.
And so friends, when the doctor says it's time for you to have a colonoscopy, a mammogram or any other uncomfortable procedure, don't kvetch about the little discomfort or unpleasantness associated with it.
Just be a big girl and go get it done. This technology wasn't there for our mothers, or for many of our dear friends and relatives. You want to be admiring sunsets and laughing with your friends as long as possible.
Dacie Armstrong is a Hawaii-based freelance writer.
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