Why I’m So Glad I Begged My Doctor For A Colonoscopy


Courtesy of Jen Frase

So yeah, I had a colonoscopy final month. I’m solely 45, which isn’t even shut to 50 (I imply, not tremendous shut), which is once they formally begin recommending them, however my mother was identified with colon most cancers six years in the past and since I’m a raging hypochondriac, I’ve mainly begged my physician for one yearly since. (My mother is okay, by the way in which). Here is my colonoscopy story. Sit down, seize a espresso and luxuriate in your self.

For six years, since my mother’s prognosis, my physician has instructed me that my mother was sufficiently old when she was identified that it wouldn’t be thought of hereditary, so there was no want for early screening for me. But you’d be stunned how adamant a middle-aged girl with a wholesome case of generalized anxiousness dysfunction might be. At my bodily this 12 months, my physician lastly checked out me and mentioned, “Fuck OKAY already. You can have a colonoscopy if you promise to shut the hell up about it.”

He didn’t say that. But he did conform to it.

So I scheduled it. First up was a compulsory COVID-19 check. I suppose COVID can fly out of your anus into the physician’s face, so that they need to be sure to don’t have COVID earlier than a colonoscopy. The extra you realize.

My COVID-19 check occurred to fall on the primary day they determined to make sufferers begin swabbing their personal nostrils. Let me inform you what doesn’t work: Swabbing your individual nostrils. I simply caught it up there and the nurse form of snickered and was all, “Yeahhhh, that’s nowhere near far enough.” And then I began sneezing just like the dickens and needed to begin over. I lastly get it up far sufficient and she or he says, “That’s good, now twist it around.” So I punched her.

I didn’t have COVID so now it’s time for colonoscopy prep. Not positive in the event you’ve heard about this, but it surely’s by far the worst half. First, you need to cease consuming 24 hours earlier than the process. 24 hours. My doc tells me this and I scream, “Are you kidding me?!? 24 hours!? I MIGHT DIE!” And he’s all, “Smidge dramatic, no?” He didn’t say that. Anyway, then the night time earlier than, you need to drink a 16-ounce combination of this liquid/gel/demise relish and it’s horrendous. I gagged with each sip. They tried to taste it strawberry which seems like attempting to cowl the odor of a corpse with an Anthropologie candle. Doesn’t work. And someway, makes it worse.

I get it down after which mainly pooped uncontrollably for the foreseeable future. Not solely that, however I type of felt like crap too. So I empty out my bowels utterly and go to mattress early as a result of regardless of feeling like I’ve meals poisoning, I’m ravenous. Because, you realize, I’m me.

I don’t have to leap away from bed to poop even as soon as in a single day! So that’s a hit. But guess what? I’ve to drink that shit once more that morning. I repeat final night time’s gag fest and proceed pooping nonstop, however by this level, it’s all air. Pooping air is an attention-grabbing sensation, FYI.

I head to the colonoscopy place – my mother drives me as a result of I can’t function a automobile afterwards, however she’s not allowed in with me, due to COVID. (Funny how I wished my mommy there with me, even at my age. Such a child.) Anyhoo, I get undressed, get in a robe, all that good things, after which I get an IV and we’re nearly able to go.

They wheel me into the small working room and the anesthesiologist explains that I’m not beneath common anesthesia, however she can be giving me propofol. I’m not afraid — I simply ask her to observe my respiration rigorously which now cracks me up: The hypochondriac reminding the physician to do her job. She tells me it really works super-fast and wears off super-fast and, in my thoughts, it’ll really feel instantaneous from the second she begins it to the second I get up.

Indeed, that is precisely what occurs. I keep in mind her saying she’s beginning the propofol and actually the subsequent second, I’m being woken up within the restoration room: “Jennifer! Jennifer, wake up. Do you want some animal crackers?” Now they’ve acquired my consideration. Yes, please.

But I’m completely on planet Q. I don’t know what the hell is admittedly happening, as I’m half-asleep shoveling animal crackers into my mouth. The physician is available in and begins firing off info that I actually can’t comprehend and don’t find yourself remembering. I’ve recollections of him saying, “Huge polyp. HUGE.” And “I’m so glad you came in” and “It took much longer than normal” and “I didn’t finish” and “precancer” and “You need another colonoscopy in three months.” My thoughts is spinning and I’m terrified and so very confused. Do I’ve colon most cancers? What is a large polyp? I’ve to undergo this shit once more in three months? Aren’t colonoscopies beneficial each ten years? What the fuck? Oh and in addition, am I dying?

They inform me that my mother is right here to get me, which doesn’t appear proper since I’m attempting to grasp what I used to be simply instructed and I’m nonetheless tremendous busy consuming animal crackers. And I’m actually supposed to face up proper now? That doesn’t really feel protected. So I don’t. I simply maintain consuming.

Finally, they’re all, “Um Jennifer? You can get dressed and leave anytime now.” Fine, I’m finished with my crackers anyway, and so they don’t appear to be providing me any extra. I cry all the way in which dwelling and all night time lengthy. I’m terrified and I believe I’ve most cancers. I hug my children tight that night time and cry some extra. I don’t need to be sick.

The subsequent morning, I really feel a lot better. Physically, I simply really feel slightly bloated and drained. Emotionally, I really feel far more optimistic. Why did I believe I used to be dying final night time? The propofol wore off shortly however I felt tremendous bizarre for hours and I wasn’t ready for the overly emotional aspect impact. I used to be so weepy and barely keep in mind that whole afternoon/night. I depart a voicemail for the physician to name me and go over what the hell he instructed me, as I actually don’t keep in mind the main points.

He calls me again, and right here’s the deal. Colon polyps (little plenty) are tremendous frequent, normally small, and may simply be eliminated throughout a colonoscopy. They can flip into most cancers in order that’s why you will have colonoscopies — to take away them earlier than that occurs. Small polyps are lower than 5mm and bigger ones are 5-10mm. Mine was fucking 25mm. Did you hear that? 25mm. I imply…that’s mainly a useless mouse in my colon. I don’t even understand how poop was getting by way of, to be trustworthy. Just how vast is my colon?

He says he doesn’t assume it’s most cancers but, however now we have to attend for pathology outcomes to make sure. But it was positively precancer. Awesome.

A painful three weeks later, I get the outcomes that it’s pre-cancer, however so so so fucking near most cancers. So shut. He mentioned to me that if I had waited even a number of extra months to have this colonoscopy, “We’d be having a very different conversation right now.” That’s scary to listen to.

The repeat colonoscopy in three months is to verify he acquired all of it out — it was HUGE, as you realize, and he needed to take it out in items. He mentioned he tattooed the spot in my colon the place it was so he would know the place to look when he’s again in there. I requested if he tattooed something enjoyable like a coronary heart with my canine’s identify in it, or cranium and crossbones. He didn’t appear to know this joke.

He additionally tacked on this small element — as a result of my polyp was “huge” and tough to take away, I used to be beneath sedation for too lengthy and so they needed to lower the remainder of the process brief, so he DIDN’T EVEN FINISH trying out the remainder of my colon. Good lord.

Overall, I really feel extremely fortunate and relieved. I’m not joyful to do that shit once more in three months however I’m grateful I went in after I did. And apparently, I’m high-risk now, since I had this massive polyp, so I might want to watch this extra rigorously than most individuals.

So right here’s my plea — COVID is all anybody is speaking about, but when I ignored my inner-psycho about my colon for one more 12 months, I’d have colon most cancers. Take care of your self, don’t overlook your common checkups, and be an advocate in your personal well being! Truthfully, what my physician mentioned the previous couple of years was appropriate – it shouldn’t be hereditary as a result of my mother was 67 years outdated when she was identified, so I truly don’t blame them for not permitting me to have a colonoscopy 5 years in the past. But I’m actually glad I stayed on it.

**Update: I had a follow-up colonoscopy three months later and all the pieces was clear. I did poop my mattress the night time earlier than although.

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