Colon Cancer Screening: What To Expect When Getting a Colonoscopy
What is A Colonscopy
What is a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy is an exam where the Dr. can look into your large intestine to make sure everything is okay. The Dr. can see the lining of the colon and rectum. They use a very thin tube which is called a colonscope. They can see if you have polyps, bleeding, inflammation or tumors. It is a great thing to have done because if you have any precancerous tumors (polyps), they can take them out during the colonoscopy. I will tell you what it's like, from my own personal experience. This way you don't have to go by what you read when you get the pamphlet. They don't tell you everything as far as details like I will.
A Colonoscopy Is One Of The Most Important Things You Will Do
Of course there are small risks involved in getting a colonoscopy, but they are very small risks and I have had about 7 or more in less than 8 years. Remember, if they see something, they can remove it right there. Polyps can turn into cancer, so that's another reason to get a colonoscopy. Why not get them out so they don't turn into colon cancer.
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What's The Hardest Part About Getting A Colonoscopy Done
The hardest part of getting a colonoscopy done is the preparation. It does suck, trust me. It doesn't hurt, it just plain sucks and there is nothing you can do about it, you have to do it. It's called a Bowel preparation. In other words, you get "cleaned out." It would be nice if you could just take a couple Ex-lax and call it a day, but that ain't gonna happen. They prescribe you a bottle of NuLytely. It does come in different flavors such as: Cherry, Lemon-Lime and Orange, but it don't matter. It is still not wonderful. I am not going to tell you it is. The jug is huge and you have to drink it all. You start off drinking one cup about every 10 minutes. The first couple cups is okay, then after that, you will want to vomit from the feeling of being so full, but it's just once every 10 years, (normally) so you can deal with it for one day.
The Operating Room
The Colonscopy Procedure
Well, now that you are squeaky clean and have had nothing to eat after midnight (or before) depending on what time your colonoscopy is scheduled for, you can now get in your car (You may want to bring a towel to sit on just in case you aren't quite done yet), and head down to the hospital. I have had so many, that it doesn't even phase me, however; my husband had one done a few years ago, and he was shaking so bad that I had to drive him to the hospital. He was absolutely mortified. But, he is a man, and men are chicken *%!*^s.
When you walk in to the little prep room, you will get undressed of course, from head to toe. Nothing on except your birthday suit. You will put on your gown and go back to the pre-surgery area where you will get your IV and get your blood pressure checked, temperature, etc. When it's your turn to get violated, they wheel you and the cart you are laying on, into the operating room. Now, before I was used to getting them, I would ask them to sedate me a little bit before I saw the operating room. It just really freaked me out for some reason. So, I was lucky enough my first few times to be able to have that done, it depends on your Doctor and anesthesiologist.
Picture of Inside Your Colon
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During The Colonoscopy
Now that you are laying there on the gurney, you are staring at the ceiling and looking at all the instruments you are going to be touched with. It's a little overwhelming and you want to get up and run like hell. Well, that's why I am writing this, so you don't have. Seriously! It's no big deal and it is one of the most important surgical procedures of your life. It could save your life, so think of it that way. What's better? To find something early and get it fixed, or be a chicken and find out later that if you would have went, you could have been cured if they find anything. It's your decision. Anyway, back to the story. The anesthesiologist will then put the medicine into your IV, so you don't even feel it. You will then be in so called "la la land." However, you are wide awake and answer to every move the Dr. tells you to do. The medicine used is called Versed (Ver-sed). The Versed makes it where you don't remember what you God forbid said basically (not really, makes you forget what you went through)- You don't care what is going on nor do you remember what happened afterwards. Now, you may be remember bits and pieces, but it's like trying to remember a dream. You either do, or you don't. But either way, you don't know, and you don't care. End of story. No other comments to make on that .
Are You At Risk For Cancer?
Getting a colonoscopy is so frightening to some people that they absolutely refuse. Again, I reiterate the fact of the necessity and life saving probabilities of getting a colonscopy. Not only can it detect any problems of colon cancer, but it can find the polyps, diverticulitis, crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. Get yours scheduled today and you will feel so much better that you did. Ladies, It's like getting your annual pap smears like you should. if you have not got your pap smear or pelvic exam, maybe you need to. If you read my personal journey of having cervical cancer, you may think twice. If you would like to read that story, feel free. You can read it here: My Story of Cervical Cancer.