So yesterday was a fun day: I got to experience the joys of having my first colonoscopy. Yep, big time fun it was.
A few of you have already been through this rite of passage. For those who haven’t, fear not; this is not going to be a highly detailed account of what went down at the endoscopy center.
The reason I was going in a little early (white folks don’t generally need to get scoped before 50 if they don’t have a family history) is that I’ve been having some weird stomach issues for the past year and a half. The symptoms have changed over time, and often didn’t seem related to each other. But they’ve persisted long enough that I went in to see my regular doc and ask for her thoughts. She couldn’t think of any obvious causes or explanations for my issues, and thus sent me off for a scope to get a look inside. I was all for it. Most of you know it was colon cancer that killed my stepfather and I have no reservations about getting tested early.
The results were a mixed bag, but in the best possible way. Unfortunately the scope didn’t show anything in the area of my abdomen where I’ve been having pain. Which is both frustrating and encouraging. It could just be a diet issue, or I may need to do some other tests if the pain continues. They did find and remove a polyp the doc said could have become problematic down the road. So that’s good.
Colonoscopies are one of those procedures that we all seem to dread. I’m guessing they used to be a lot different than they are now. I was knocked out and a roughly five-hour stretch of Monday afternoon is a complete blank to me. There was no pain after. I slept for over nine hours last night and woke feeling crazy refreshed. I would say I still feel a little off today, but more from a combination of lingering effects of the sedatives and low blood sugar than from the procedure itself.
It was the prep that is tough, though. And even that wasn’t as bad as some suggested it would be. The hardest part for me was not eating any real food for 36 hours before the procedure. I’m not a good hungry person and I was getting pretty grumpy before I began the Gatorade and Mirolax cocktail part of the prep Sunday evening. I didn’t get much sleep Sunday as the Mirolax did its work. But, still, it wasn’t that big of a deal.
I had only been knocked out once before, when I was 18 and got my wisdom teeth removed. I have moments of semi-clear memories from after the procedure yesterday, but most of it is a complete fog. Apparently I told S the same story about one of the nurses living in the same neighborhood as several of our friends from St. P’s three different times. When I mentioned it again at dinner last night, even the girls laughed because S had told them I was repeating myself.
(Yeah, the girls laughed and laughed when I told them what I was going in for. “They’re putting a camera where?!?!”)
And then there was just a tiny bit of awkwardness because I met the doc doing the procedure at a social event a couple years ago. He had been enjoying the vodka at that event. I’m glad to say he was clearly sober yesterday. We have some mutual friends, and he and his wife have a lake house on the same lake as ours. We may get together over the summer when our mutual friends come to the lake. I sense an opportunity to compliment him on his boat/house/lake toys that I’ve now helped pay for.
Anyway, it’s all done now. I’m glad the results were good but wish I had a better idea of what was going on in my belly. For those of you who get to wait a few more years before you get scoped, I say don’t sweat it. If you follow the guidelines they give you ahead of time, it’s a piece of cake. And you’ll get to take a really good nap after!