When I go out of town for a few weeks – I always miss something, REALLY BIG. Which means I didn’t buy any cards, I didn’t call anyone to send my heartfelt wishes.
To make amends for my error, dear readers, I’m sending my good cheer -a few days late – to you here at A Real Mother.
So without further delay, Happy Colonoscopy Day Everyone!!
That’s right, June 24 is Colonoscopy Day. And wouldn’t you know it, that was the EXACT topic of my last column in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. So it only seemed appropriate to reprint it here. After you read it, make all those appointments you’ve been putting off.
You know who you are. Go do it. Now.
Put That Colonoscopy Behind You
I bet some of you have uttered: I’m healthy. I have no family history of [insert malady of your choice]. I’ll do that next year, I don’t have time. I’m afraid.
Well you should be afraid – of what happens if you DON’T have your screening tests.
Now I’m going to do what I’m told I do best: Nag. I prefer to think of it as Motivational Speaking.
So listen up.
I’m not going to harp on the obvious ones that EVERYBODY better be regularly checking off their list – screening mammograms (or as my Grandma Kate called them – mammygrams), Pap smears and the Turn Your Head and Cough Exam. I can tell you from personal experience, these tests do the job. So don’t mess around – get them. NOW.
But today I’m writing about the exam that’s discussed in hushed tones. It’s the one screening test you may legitimately put off, at least until you’re 50. But if the Over the Hill cards and black balloons mourning lost youth weren’t insult enough, when you turn 50, along with your AARP card, you punch your ticket for a ride on the Colonoscopy Express.
Ask most 50-year-old about their phobias and you’ll find the colonoscopy falling into category somewhere between public speaking and being trapped in a room filled with attorneys. But unlike being stuck with lawyers, fortunately after a colonoscopy, you won’t remember a thing.
Other screening tests merely require you to show up. But having a colonoscopy, I learned at my 50-year-old check-up, requires planning, fasting, pharmaceuticals and a driver.
Having lost not only my abs along with my dignity after the birth of two children, I wasn’t worried. And since I believe in screening exams, there was no question about doing it.
My motto: Colonoscopy – Put it Behind You.
With the exam scheduled, I had that innocent-looking prescription filled. But when the pharmacist rode out on a forklift, I got worried. Because unlike any diminutive bottle of pills she’d ever dropped in my hand, the box of MoviPrep came in a carton the size of a chest freezer and contained more plastic than a Tupperware party.
Suddenly, I couldn’t put it behind me fast enough.
The day before my appointment, I started the Clear Liquid Diet that, of course, made me obsess about any food that couldn’t be consumed through a straw. I mixed my prep kit powders with the precision of Bill Nye the Science Guy. The directions wisely suggested, “You are advised to have a bathroom nearby.” It should have continued, “equipped with stirrups.” Because you are about to become a participant in your own personal healthcare rodeo of Yellowstone Country.
Because after that first dose, eruptions occur every 90 minutes. Only you are riding Old Faithful.
The next morning at the doctor’s office, I was escorted to a quiet room with a La-Z-Boy. The nurse kept wrapping me in warm blankets and bringing me tabloid magazines. If it weren’t for the backless cotton gown, I would’ve sworn I was at a spa.
I walked to the dimly lit procedure room where the doctor showed me the 50-inch Vizio where he’d be inspecting my innards up close and personal.
Then he said goodnight.
When I woke up a little early, I saw what he was really doing – watching a PBS documentary on the Canyonlands. At least that’s what it looked like without my glasses.
Then it was over. Just like that, the colonoscopy was behind me. That’s what they told me anyway, since I don’t remember a thing.