COLONOSCOPY: NOTHING TO FEAR!

62 CommentsAgeing/Aging, Creative Writing, Ditzy Ditties, Health and Wellness, Humour

Sung to the tune of “It’s Howdy Doody Time.” Here’s the original to refresh your memory:

 

♫♫♫♫♫♫

The Colonoscopy

The Colonoscopy

Get yours before it’s late

So don’t you hesitate.

♦♦♦♦

That cancer is a bitch

But polyps you can ditch

There’s no excuse for you

Come on, Let’s go!

♫♫♫♫♫♫

Colonoscopy

A year ago, I had my third colonoscopy in 9 years and it saved my life yet again.  You see, my grandfather died of colon cancer and there’s a history of bowel trouble on both sides of the family, which makes me a high risk candidate.

They weren’t kidding about that!  For the second time, a pre-cancerous polyp was removed during the procedure.  Left unchecked, this would have turned into full blown cancer!

FACT:  Colon Cancer is THE MOST preventable of all cancers.

FACT:  Many people DIE of Colon Cancer

WHY?  They’re AFRAID to get a colonoscopy.

I’m here to tell you:  There is NOTHING to fear!

toiletThe most unpleasant part is the preparation before the procedure. The colon must be cleaned out, so, you have to stop eating solid food 24 hours prior, then ingest mega laxatives and consume copious amounts of liquid. Yes, you’ll be running to the bathroom a lot, but look at it this way: You’ll be squeaky clean and might even lose a few pounds.   😉
Several minutes before the procedure, you will be given some lovely drugs, through an intravenous feed.  (If they give you a choice, ALWAYS take the drugs.  Trust me on that!)  They will then check for polyps, remove them and send them out for biopsy.  Most polyps are benign, but it only takes one that’s not!  When you wake up, your designated driver (you must appoint someone as you’ll be too dopey to drive), will take you home and you can sleep it off.  Doesn’t THAT sound good, especially to those of us with sleeping difficulties!  There’s a slight possibility of residual bleeding, but generally speaking, everything goes back to normal the next day.

Piece of cake for peace of mind!

You should have a colonoscopy if:

– You’re over 50 and never had one.

     – You’re under 50 and there’s a history
of colon cancer in your family.

I’m not an expert, so please talk to your doctor about this.

[Originally published Mar. 25, 2014. Revised Feb. 23, 2015]

Have you ever had a colonoscopy?

What was your experience like?

If you haven’t had one yet, do you plan on getting one?

Looking forward to your comments!




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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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62 thoughts on “COLONOSCOPY: NOTHING TO FEAR!

  1. I just wanted to thank you Debbie, for posting about this. My dad was really worried because he found out that he has to get a colonoscopy, and he wasn’t sure on how safe it really was. But once I found your website, I show my dad this, and it was able to calm his down about it right away. So thank you for this. One question though, do you have any tips on how to best prepare for colonoscopy?

    1. Colonoscopies can save lives, Brandon. Glad this post helped calm your Dad’s fears. The only tip I can give is just try to relax, follow the instructions explicitly and stay close to the bathroom. 🙂 Thanks for visiting. I see you are linked to a website of a facility that performs the procedure. I’m sure people will appreciate the info provided.

  2. I’ve had two and my husband (because benign polpys were found two times out of three) has had three. We are both 62 and had our first when we were 50. I worked with a woman whose grandmother and mother both passed from colon cancer and both were the same age when they died. My former co worker was being monitored closely and thank heavens for that. A former neighbor of mine was diagnosed in her 30\’s with colon cancer, and fortunately, hers responded to treatment. But it was a harrowing time for her and her family. I would beg anyone afraid of the prep to do it anyway. It is NOT horrible, (honest) there are so many worse things in life, and this test may SAVE YOUR LIFE.

  3. Hi Debbie,What a very educational post. I am glad you are cancer free dear. I am under 50. Other than people in the family having a history of this, is there any other reason someone might need to consider a colonoscopy earlier on? I have recently realized that when I eat salad I end up with horrible digestive issues. I thought salad was supposed to be good for you? LOL Actually I believe my issue is more gall bladder related but as so glad I read this because the stories people tell almost scare you from it the same way people say horrible stuff about mammograms. It saves a life though. Sacrifice is definately worth saving a life, right?

    Irish

    1. You might have gall bladder problems or possibly irritable bowel syndrome, Irish. I had both of those things too. 😛 Lettuce is a high fibre food. I found this article on the subject:
      http://www.livestrong.com/article/488821-lettuce-and-digestion-problems/
      If you have chronic bowel issues, it would be a good idea to consult with a physician about possibly getting a colonoscopy. It really can be a life saver and once you get past the prep, it’s not a big deal. Good luck!

    1. I’m glad too, Suzy. Pretty much “dodged a bullet” – twice! 😮 It’s really not that bad. The prep is somewhat unpleasant, but not painful and it’s over soon enough.

    1. Oh yikes! I can only imagine…..That’s one thing I was always in fear of, so made sure to follow the directions exactly. I hope you don’t need to get them frequently.

  4. I have just heard of colonoscopy. Glad to know that it actually helps the person. Gladder to know that you are doing well. Sharing experiences like yours and talking about is a real help for everyone. Hushing the matter away will do no good for anyone. Thank you for sharing this with us, Debby.

    1. It can and has been a life-saver, Vinitha! I’m trying to show people that it’s nothing to fear. Too many die of colon cancer and it’s completely preventable. Glad you found this helpful. Thanks for visiting.

  5. I actively fought against having one when I visited a Nature cure facility a few years ago, Debbie. Firstly, I’m ‘regular’, if you know what I mean. Second, I was scared of getting an infection. Glad to know it works so well for you.

    1. If you have no issues or family history, it’s okay to wait until you’re a little older, Corinne. My husband had his first one at 62 and was told to come back in 10 years. Lucky him! I get mine at the hospital, so hopefully infection would be highly unlikely! We also have good clinics that do nothing but such procedures. I fought against that first colonoscopy initially, but the discovery of precancerous polyps scared me into getting them as recommended, every three years. Imagine if I hadn’t! 😮

  6. Thanks for shining light on such a dark and taboo topic: colonoscopy is a dreaded word that I recently heard from my doctor pending results of a bowel sample, only to discover I had a parasite. However, good to know and learn as that is one way to avoid being afraid. You make it sound a lot better and lighter with your fun song there Debbie. And by the way, glad that the polyps was benign. 🙂 <3

    1. You’re welcome, Elly. There really is nothing to be afraid of. Parasite doesn’t sound too good and I hope that issue has been resolved for you. Actually, the polyps were not benign, they were pre-cancerous. Without their removal, I would have developed full blown colon cancer. So you see how important a colonoscopy can be!

    1. It’s an important procedure for cancer prevention and peace of mind. I thought a silly little song might make it seem “friendlier”. 🙂 Glad you liked the post.

  7. I did not wait until I was sixty. I jumped in, enthusiastically, a couple of years early. There is not substitute for the peace of mind in knowing, I am in good shape, concerning these issues.

    1. That’s great, Myke! If only more people thought about it in those terms. I’ve had three colonoscopies and two of them stopped cancer dead in its tracks. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  8. I’m so glad you were proactive and got these done, Debbie! I know it’s something I will need address and of course dreading it. Absolutely, bring on the drugs… 🙂

    1. I had to Mike, given the family history as well as my own chronic bowel issues. No need to dread it. 🙂 Just think of it in terms of cancer prevention and possibly saving your own life. Yes, they have great drugs!

  9. Hey Debbie!

    I’m so glad that they caught whatever it was and it saved you! I know people who avoid a colonoscopy just because of fear it will hurt. However, I’m so into prevention, I had my mammograms earlier than required. 🙂 Now I’m going to wait until I’m 50 for the colonoscopy but I’m not going to NOT have it done. Prevention is #1 in my book!

    Thanks for sharing gf! Fab post!

    B

    1. I’m glad too, Bren. 🙂 It’s a shame that people are still dying of colon cancer when it’s so easy to prevent! Glad to know you’re going to do it. If there are no issues, then you’ll only need it once every 10 years. Glad you found this helpful. Thanks for visiting.

  10. Your post is timely because only last week I called the doc to schedule one for my hubby. I had asked for it a year ago and they said there was a one year waiting list — we never got the call so I am pursuing it. This post confirmed that. Thanks

    1. I’m glad you’re pursuing it, Carol. We have long waiting lists here too, probably because of our ageing population, coupled with not enough doctors who do this procedure. Hope your hubby gets his appointment soon!

    1. I’ll admit, the first one was a bit scary. Once I knew what to expect, then it became routine. The prep will always be unpleasant, but the main thing is, these colonoscopies are preventing the dreaded cancer from spreading!

  11. Gee, I wrote a long comment on this but I don’t see it here. Must have forgotten to check that spambot box or something. Thanks for the information, Debbie and your cute parody. You’re so good at those. You helped us see that a colonoscopy doesn’t have to be a frightening procedure. I had a barium enema once and found the prep pretty miserable. I imagine it’s the same for a colonoscopy.

    I have diverticulosis which I control with fibre pills. Once I got diverticulitis and didn’t know what was happening. It was very scary, especially with my nurse mom making me think I had reproductive troubles which I didn’t. Nurse moms are a mixed blessing. I found out what was wrong on the Internet when I saw a diagram of a bowel with a balloon in it. I could feel something strange in my back and that was it. Now I take fibre pills daily which seems to help. I can still feel that scar where the balloon was and sometimes it twinges. I haven’t had any more diverticulitis flare ups though, thank goodness.

    1. Hi Cathy; Sorry you lost your comment, but I’m glad you tried again. 🙂 Colonoscopies can certainly be life-saving and there’s nothing to fear. I remember getting barium enemas as a child (chronic bowel trouble) and the prep is similar; unpleasant but necessary. The diverticulitis must have been painful! I’m sure your mom’s diagnosis didn’t help any. Hubby had a flare up of that when he was suffering with a kidney stone. I read that fibre does help and we try to follow a high fibre diet. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  12. Here in the US, the recumbent is to have the first one at age 50 and then every 10 years, but if you have a family history of colon cancer or even benign polyps (I have them too, like my father), the recommendation will be to have them more often. The prep is, shall we say, unpleasant. I had terrible time consuming all the fluid you’re supposed to have. It can be clear fluids that aren’t red or orange. I ended up freezing mine which is how I got through it all. The drugs make you blissfully unaware during the procedure itself. I wouldn’t skip them. That’s the best part.

    1. Good for you, Lee! 🙂 If they find nothing and there’s no history of colon cancer in your family, then you may not need another one for ten years. The prep is no fun, but it’ll be over before you know it.

  13. Yikes Debbie! I’m so glad that they caught that and I have cancer in my family but luckily not colon. I’ve only had one colonoscopy and I agree, the prep is pure hell. I hate it with a passion but they told me I didn’t have to come back for 10 years so I have about four more to go, yay!!!

    Glad you’re okay!

    ~Adrienne

    1. Hi Adrienne; It’s good the doctor insisted I go, otherwise…..? I have to do them every three years, as a high risk candidate, but, that’s okay. The prep is not a lot of fun, but, there are worse things. Glad you don’t have to do them often. My husband is one of the lucky ones too. Thanks for visiting and have a good week.

  14. Yikes! Thanks for turning a not so pleasant sounding medical procedure into something not so scary. And I like the idea of losing a few pounds. 🙂

    But seriously, I do need to get on board and schedule one. Cancer runs in my family, and an older brother has had pre-cancerous polyps removed. Adding this to my “must do now” list. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of this procedure.

    1. Hi Carol; Glad I was able to assuage your fears, as it sounds like you are a candidate for the procedure. Well worth it for the piece of mind! Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

  15. Hi Debbie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us and for posting it at the blog party.

    This post made me feel so much more comfortable. I thought they just undressed you and stuck a tube up your bum without a proper introduction, lol.

    Now that I know they give us drugs, I’m more likely to have one done ;).

    Thank you again and loved the poem! Happy Thursday!

    1. Oh yeah; the drugs are good, Corina. 😀 It was my pleasure to share this as I feel it is an important message. The little ditty at the beginning was meant to lighten the mood. 😉 Thanks for visiting and TGIF!

  16. Never had one and don’t know anyone here in my family who’s had one. But, this prompts me to think about it.

    Thanks for the musical introduction. Kind of dims the reality 😉

    1. Glad it prompted you to think about it, Shailaja. 🙂 That was the intention. Yes, I used the little ditty to soften the blow. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

    1. Yes, it becomes especially important as you get older, or, if there’s a history of colon cancer in your family. This cancer is completely preventable and I wanted to share my own experience to help others. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

    1. This is good to know, especially when you get older. So many people get cancer these days and this one is completely preventable. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

  17. It’s a great way to get the message across Debbie, and it’s so , so important. My partner’s a few years older and he’s had the test and it’s amazing how it eases the mind from worrying about something which if caught early can be cured. xPenx

  18. I had one a few years ago. They are not bad at all. Great info and I’m glad you went. I know it’s scary to know that was in you and probably a relief to have it removed

  19. Hi Debbie, I am glad you are fine. I usually don’t check anything unless it hurts but as we all know cancer can be very tricky and when it hurts it might be too late. I don’t know if I will ever change in my avoidance of testing and doctors but I certainly like to read about these things, because it gives me a sense of control. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I was the same way, Elena, but my doctor INSISTED I get one, as I was having other bowel issues. That’s when they found the first pre-cancerous polyp. Imagine if I hadn’t gone?? I’d be dead now, probably! You may find, as you get older (and closer to dying), that you’ll be more willing to take preventative measures. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  20. Hi Debbie,

    I’m so glad you had it done and they were able to catch the polyp.I’ve never had one done but am kind of dreading the prep. I hear the prep is worse than the actual probing of the bum area. 🙂 So many people don’t have it done because of the “Ewww” factor or they are just afraid. Unfortunately, many die from colon cancer just because of that.

    Again, glad you are safe and healthy now my friend. I’m passing along to share a bit of awareness.

    1. Hi Bren; Yeah; the prep isn’t the most pleasant thing, but it’s not that bad either. Certainly worth doing, especially if you fit the profile. I could be dead now, if I hadn’t done them! You’re probably still okay for a few more years, unless you have bowel issues. Thanks for visiting and sharing! 🙂

      1. Debbie – Firstly thanks for this important post. I think this will help many like me bust any myths or fears regarding colonoscopy. I am going for one tomorrow. Had been reading a lot about the negative side effects of this procedure and was extremely anxious as I started getting closer to the date. I feared mostly the idea that the procedure itself might cause damage to your guts and may induce the risk of bad polyps/cancer in an otherwise healthy person, as claimed by few people over the internet. Though I must confess that I still am not absolutely sure if my fear is addressed, your article did help alleviate the anxiety. Looking forward to more words of encouragement from you!:-)

  21. I think the Stones should record your tune. 😉

    Colon Cancer runs on my father’s side of the family and besides for hitting him it hit my sister and my nephew. Just shows how important testing is.

    Stay well! ♥