A sandwich and an apple

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AGMA’s tired.

I awakened at 4:20 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I knew that Son #1 and wife just checked into a hospital in Chicago 5 minutes earlier to start…

The Great Baby Watch of 2019!

My third grandchild is about to be born.  Maybe.

He/she seems to be a bit reluctant to appear.  Evidently it’s pretty cozy there in my DIL’s womb (what a great word!)   I don’t blame the munchkin.

It ain’t all rainbows and unicorns on the outside.

I mean, my God, Donald Trump is President.  That’s enough to make a little one want to stay put until, say, 2020.  It’s enough to make me want to find a roomy womb to crawl into to wait until, say, 2020.

But instead, AGMA had a colonoscopy.

Nice segue right?

Colonoscopies are actually rather comic affairs and a great subject for a blog post if handled delicately.  Or not.  Here’s my first post on the experience.

AGMA’s had 3 in the last 8 years.

2011 was a standard preventative screening.  The 2016 was because I was having “issues”.  This one was a “hey, let’s take a look to see what’s going on in there cuz it’s been 3 years.” one.

Since this isn’t my first rodeo, AGMA tells the doctors office what kind of prep I want.  OTC all the way for me.  None of that prescription prep stuff if they want me to actually drink it.  Yuck.

I used a store brand version of Miralax and mixed it with orange gatorade. It was pretty tasty.  For the first 3 glasses.

After that, I got kinda sick of orange gatorade.

And I got sick of jello jigglers too.  They’re fun and games when you first start jiggling and eating them, but since that’s basically ALL you can eat for the entire day before, they get pretty old pretty fast.  To mix things up, I decided to have a couple of cups of chicken broth.

I know – I’m a wild woman.

What AGMA finds fascinating is the huge part your mind plays in the prep process.  You know you basically can’t eat the entire day before the procedure, so you don’t really get all that hungry.

I wish I could trick my brain into thinking every day was the day before a colonoscopy.

Anyway, the gatorade elixir worked its magic and AGMA could boldly declare later that night “This house is clear!”

The next day, we toddled off to the outpatient surgery center where they treated me like a queen.  Seriously.  Warm blankets, warm socks, a nice cushy bed.  Almost made the day before worth it.

Almost.

Three different people quizzed me on what I ate the day before.  I thought that was odd.  Until hubs and I heard the guy next to me.  Then we realized why they quiz people multiple times.

“A sandwich and an apple.”

That was his answer to the “What did you eat yesterday?” question.  And he too was getting a colonoscopy.  Maybe.

The nurse asked if he had received the prep instructions from his doctor’s office.  Yes, he had.

The nurse asked if he had read it.  Yes, he had.

I couldn’t see the nurse, but I could actually hear her eyes rolling back in her head.

He had two options:

  1.  They could try to “flush” him out with water in the procedure room, if the doctor gave his okay.  Wouldn’t you hate to be one of the techs to draw the short straw to work in THAT procedure room?
  2. He could cancel the procedure for that day and would have to do the prep all over again for another appointment on another day.  Minus the sandwich and apple.

At that point, AGMA was rolled out of my cubby to the procedure room so never found out what option sandwich guy went for.

I truly hope that sammy was worth all the hassle.

Per standard AGMA, I chatted up everybody in the procedure room (my doc included) until the anesthesia tech started the propofol.  “See everybody later.” I said and promptly zonked out.

I think they just wanted me to shut up.

Did AGMA mention that I LOVE propofol?  It is GREAT stuff and you wake up back in your cubby feeling like you had the best nap ever.

Unfortunately they cut me off a little early and I woke up in the procedure room as they were getting me ready to wheel me back to my cubby.

Bastards!

But the good news was that everything looked great – much better than 3 years ago.  And I don’t have to do a repeat performance for another 5 years.

Yeah!

Now for the public service announcement…

As much as I like to make fun of colonoscopies, they DO save lives.  According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the US.  It’s also the second most common cause of cancer deaths when men and women’s numbers are combined.  Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women.

Two years ago, during a normal, screening colonoscopy, Hubs had a large polyp removed.  Turns out there were cancer cells in it.  It was caught very early and he just had to have a minor procedure to remove the area around the polyp.  He had clear margins and didn’t require any other treatment.  He returns to his colorectal surgeon on a regular basis for rechecks.

Early screening saved Hubs life.

If you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, get thyself to the GI doctor!   And if it’s been over 10 years since your last colonoscopy, call today to get an appointment for another one ASAP.

I love all my blog friends and want all of you to be reading AGMA for years to come.

In the meantime, The Great Baby Watch of 2019 continues…

I can’t wait to tell my new grandchild when he/she gets older that I blogged about his/her birth in a colonoscopy post.

I hope they have an AGMA sense of humor…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This House is Clean!”…rewind

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(This post was originally published in 2014.  It’s a humorous take on a subject most folks are reluctant to discuss.  For obvious reasons…

I’m reposting because it want to make sure EVERYBODY (and AGMA means EVERYBODY) over the age of 50 knows how critically important it is to get regular colonoscopies.  Sooner if there is a history of colon cancer in your family. 

A little over a year ago (February 2017), Hubs went in for a “regular” colonscopy (his previous ones had been clear).  The GI guy removed a large polyp and it turns out there were cancer cells hiding in the polyp.  

Damn cancer cells.

It was very, very early colon cancer – literally only a few cells grouped together.  It wasn’t even staged.  In May, the area around the poly was removed and the margins turned out to be  clear.

There was much dancing and celebration at Casa AGMA the day the pathology report came back!

The survival rate for early detection of colon cancer is very high.   This is a very good thing!

So this is all to say, if you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, get thyself to ye olde butt doctor NOW!)

On the way to a group run Monday, my running buddy told she was getting her first colonoscopy next Thursday. A colonoscopy virgin. Grasshopper has much to learn…

(Leave now if you don’t like TMI ‘cause this is going to be “one of those” posts!)

She complained that she couldn’t have any solid food on Wednesday; just clear liquids. She said she would be hungry. She was obsessing over how hungry she would be. “Oh honey,” I wanted to tell her, “hunger will be the least of your worries next Wednesday.”

I’ve had two colonoscopies. I think this puts me into the “experienced” category when it comes to this sort of thing. Lucky me.

Studies show that early screening for colon cancer save lives. I’m all over that. And, a colonoscopy really isn’t as bad as people say. Really. Maybe not.

I’ll give you that the prep is kind of yucky. My friend is going to be taking pills to “get ready” for the big day. I’m jealous. I was never offered a pill option.

The first doc in Ohio wrote me a prescription for something that I had to mix with water. It made 30 gallons. It seemed like it was 30 gallons. They said I had to drink it all over the course of the afternoon and evening the day before the procedure.

Game on!

Initially, it tasted like a cross between Gatorade, Pediacare and lemon-lime Kool Aid. Not too bad I thought at the time. “At the time” being the key words here…

Three gallons and three hours later into the prep “protocol”, my upper GI tract started to rebel. It was getting hard to drink the stuff. It was now tasting like a cross between horse sweat and liquified, stale Easter peeps. My throat was starting to clamp shut.

‘Round about that same time, my lower GI tract started to join the party. That’s the nice way to put it. I hovered close to the water closet. Very close. I was thinking of moving in for the night.

Several hours and several more gallons of the now totally undrinkable foul witches brew later, I took a stand. Enough is enough. The gag reflex had started kick in. This is never good. And what I did manage to force down started to shoot through me like I was a goose on speed. I made the unilateral decision that I had successfully completed the prep phase.

My second doc in Missouri didn’t write me a prescription for a prep concoction. He told me to get several over the counter products at the local drug store. Said they worked just as well. And it was cheap. No 30 gallons of toe jam peep sweat. No clamped shut esophagus. It was much more civilized with basically the same squeaky clean results. Easy peasy. Kind of…

So once the prep work is done, you’re basically home free. Other than the next day they snake about 15 feet of tubing up your colon while the doc wears a miners light on his head, a hazmat suit and stares at his monitor with live video of your now clean as a whistle innards. Can I order that on NetFlix?

But the best part of the whole process is the amazing twilight sleep stuff they use to knock you out! You have no idea at all what’s happening. This is very good. And you wake up feeling like you’ve had the best sleep you’ve had in years. In a sick way, it kinda makes it all worthwhile…

So if you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, for heaven’s sake schedule one! It’s a relatively simple procedure that could save your life. Plus you end up (get it – end up?) with some pretty good stories that you can swap with other 50+ types. Good times.

But I do have one question – when did they stop calling them proctologists and start calling them gastroenterologists? Proctologist is just such a great word. It’s the stuff great jokes are made of…

Two proctologists were talking about their patients (obviously pre-HIPPA…) The first one said that he was probing one of his patient’s “nether regions” and pulled out a bouquet of flowers. In stunned amazement, the second protologist said, “Where did they come from?” The first proctologist answered, “I don’t know. There wasn’t a card attached.”

Badum-CHING!