Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Colon Is Better Than A Semi-Colon

Due to my family history with cancer, specifically my father's experience with colon cancer, I have a colonoscopy every five years. As many of you well know, the procedure itself can pass with hardly a blink.

The at-home preparation, unfortunately, is not much fun.

So, I'm having my first colonoscopia (Spanish colonoscopy) Friday morning. I've been stressing about it for days. The preparation this time is different from my past experiences. It actually sounds like it will be less unpleasant and I therefore haven't really understood why I've been so nervous.

"NO PUEDE TOMAR," AT RIGHT, IS WHAT I CAN'T HAVE.
FIFTH LINE DOWN... CHOCOLATE!!!

I've been provided with preparation instructions. There's a limited diet for today, Wednesday, two days before the procedure; a liquid diet Thursday; and then a prescription called CitraFleet (yeah, guess what that's for) to be taken Thursday night and again Friday morning five hours before the procedure.

CHEESE, BREAD, LOW-FAT YOGURT.
CHICKEN BREAST,  BREAD, AND GOOD COFFEE AT EL JAZZY.

Today I can have low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, a little butter, fresh or hard cheese, white bread or toast, cookies (but not whole-grain), chicken or fish broths, rice and pasta (not whole grain), grilled white meat, grilled or boiled white fish, strained juices, infusions, teas, coffee, and non-carbonated beverages.

As I read the instructions for the sixth time, it dawned on me why I've been so stressed.

For me, this is like [fricking] cooking. And we all know how much I love [fricking] cooking.

Worst of all, I can't have chocolate until Friday afternoon. Can you imagine? More than two entire days without chocolate! Our friends Ray and Jean just arrived with four bags of truffles for us. Thank god I consumed one entire bag of Rum Truffles yesterday before all this "cooking" started.

SAN GERALDO HAD ONE. I HAD THE REST.
I MIGHT HIDE THESE UNTIL FRIDAY AFTERNOON. MINE. MINE. MINE.

But, wait! I lied. The chocolate isn't even the worst of it. San Geraldo is baking another several loaves of Jamaican Black Cake (click here) and I can't have any of that until Friday afternoon either. Meanwhile, he just finished pureeing all the ingredients and has a contact high from the alcohol fumes.

All joking and whining aside, I'm grateful this procedure is available. It's considered one of the most effective cancer screening and prevention exams. It may even already have saved my life.

So, I can live without Jamaican black cake — and even chocolate — for a couple of days.

28 comments:

  1. my spouse had one last year; all clean. blobby had one too (blobby's blog); all clean. YOU CAN DO IT! and look what's waiting for you - CHOCOLATE!

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    Replies
    1. anne marie:
      I am going to be so ill Friday night... chocolate, wine, cake!

      Delete
  2. Well, nasty but something that is definitely worthwhile having done, and you can gorge yourself on treats when it is finished. Like gold at the end of that rainbow.

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    1. Cheapchick:
      Ha! I'm not going to think too long about that gold at the end of the rainbow analogy!

      Delete
  3. Healthy is all about maintenance and chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. March 23rd I have my consult and then I find out when I go through the chocolate denial process. You have helped me immeasurably, Mitch!

    many thanks!

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    1. Ron:
      My prep has been different every time. This is my fourth, but first in Spain. But I've never ever had any unpleasantness with the procedure itself. And it is SO worth it.

      Delete
  5. 'The procedure can pass with hardly a blink'??!! Are you kidding?! My first attempt I almost jumped off the table! So it was rescheduled and I was 'put under'. They found a growth which turned out to be benign.
    I had another just last month and the doctor said that since I was in the 5% that finds the procedure painful, that he would make sure I got enough 'relaxer drug'/sedative that I wouldn't feel a thing. It went ok...I have a very low pain threshold....I know, like a lot of men! I was 'as clean as a whistle', he said. I will see him in 5 years as well.
    The program is very successful here in Nova Scotia where they provide free screening and treatment for everybody over 50.
    Good luck Friday and HAPPY eating too on Friday!! I totally get your angst, Mitchell.

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    1. Jim:
      Wow. That's why I said it "can" pass with hardly a blink. I have never experienced anything at all, but I can't speak for everyone. My first time, I wasn't put under (local only), felt absolutely nothing, and got to watch the entire procedure on an overhead monitor. That was the best time for me because there was no recovery from anesthesia. But the recovery time has been minimal. I sure am looking forward to getting it done... until next time.

      Delete
  6. So much like cooking; I can understand your stress. (BTW -note the use of the semi-colon in the previous sentence.) Having a colonoscopy is win-win. You can relax if all is clean and, if it is not, well then you have the opportunity to take corrective and potentially curative measures. My advice is to lose the stress and go with the flow, or the flush as the case may be. Cheers!

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    1. Wilma:
      Thanks for the use of the semi-colon. I had meant to make more use of it in the post, but was just so overwhelmed with the stresses of cooking that I completely forgot.

      My plan (on medical advice) is to always stay one step ahead with the procedure, so that whatever they DO find, they find before it becomes cancer. It's been working! The flush starts tonight!

      Delete
  7. I lost two uncles and an aunt to colorectal cancer, so I have been very faithful to regular colonoscopies. The procedure has gotten easier and/or I have become accustomed to it. I think the first time the worst part -- okay, the prep is always the worst part, and to be honest, even that has become easier -- was all the things people told me that created high anxiety. At any rate, my last couple went so well that I get to wait ten years for the next one.

    Enjoy all that chocolate come Friday afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael:
      That was my father's first cancer and it was caught so late that, although not immediately known, it had already spread, which is why I started getting tested at the age of 34. And it's a good thing I did. Being one who would never even acknowledge what the toilet was actually used for, the prep remains the only uncomfortable part for me. But, obviously, I'm doing a lot better with that!

      Delete
  8. Its a horrid proceedure chin up

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    1. John:
      The procedure at home is for me the horrid part. After that, I don't care.

      Delete
  9. "Colonoscopia" - when you say it in Spanish it sounds like a menu item or a sidewalk cafe.

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    Replies
    1. Frank:
      Can you imagine?!? Café Colonoscopia. I love the sound.

      Delete
  10. I've had this procedure twice and it gets easier each time.

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    1. Stephen:
      This will be my fourth. I can't say it's gotten any easier. The procedure has been surprisingly not unpleasant. It's the prep. I'm hoping this round will not be as unpleasant. It seems to make more sense.

      Delete
  11. Bills dad died of colon cancer... colonscopys became an annual thing with us and our doctor in Ohio... now, every 5 years. But... not only has the prep day become easier... a person doesn't have to camp out in the bathroom for a whole day now... the anesthetic has become less stressful and "waking up" is easier. Now Bill can actually remember getting dressed and going home from the outpatient clinic. Hey... in the past it would be hours before he'd be coherent. It's not the procedure, Mitchell..... it's the comfort in knowing they got rid of all those nasty little polyps and you probably won't die of colon cancer in the near future. (I know... something else will get you... but let's not worry about that)

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    1. Sharon:
      The last time, five years ago, the recovery from the anesthesia was a breeze (but the prep was the most unpleasant). So far so good here.

      Delete
  12. I'm a 5-year guy, too. Just had the second one last fall. Bottoms up!

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    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      And it's so musical in French... coloscopie. Reminds me of calliope.

      Delete
  13. I'm due to have my first one this year... having gastroparesis (as a result of Parkinson's and diabetes) puts me in a higher risk category. Bottoms up?

    Enjoy your chocolate reward Friday afternoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cranky:
      It's really bottom sideways. And the idea of a chocolate reward suddenly sounds less appealing!

      Delete
  14. I had the same procedure in Italy a few years ago. The day before I checked into the hospital and they gave me several gallons of a not unpleasant tasting drink that by the time I had finished the last gallon had me gagging. Would that it had been the only effect.......

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    Replies
    1. Willym:
      That's been my past experience. Awful prep. This was SO much less unpleasant and dramatic!

      Delete

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