No Shame in the Colonoscopy Game
My grandfather died of colon cancer when I was going into my senior year of high school. To me, he was an old man. Now, 75 doesn't seem as old as it did back then.
I never realized it until recently, but I am a spitting image of my grandfather. It got me thinking about how he died and what I could do to prevent it.
Obviously, a colonoscopy would be a good idea but I'm years away from 50, and just thinking about it made me shudder. I kept telling myself that I was too young for that and that I didn't need it now. Colonoscopies are something my dad gets.
Finally, my mother and my wife harassed me enough to make an appointment to have it done. I put it in the back of my head and didn't think about it, because I didn't want to.
Earlier this week, I realized that today was the day. I had to get a COVID test a few days ago, but the thing I really dreaded was the "prep" the day before the procedure. I'm not going to lie, the prep was unpleasant, to put it politely.
I have to say, though, the actual procedure was ABSOLUTELY uneventful. I was worried about feeling pain while it was happening and after it was over. Neither proved to be true.
An anesthesiologist knocked me out. I closed my eyes in the operating room and literally the next thing I knew I was waking up and it was all over. It was probably the medicine talking, but the very first thing I said was, "I feel like a million bucks." And I did.
I am being totally honest when I say that years from now, when it's time for another colonoscopy, I will schedule it and have it done without an ounce of anxiety. I mean that. I'm someone who hates medical procedures, but the risk/reward for this is a no brainer. There is zero pain and it could save your life.
Colonoscopies get a bad wrap because, understandably, no one wants to have that happen to them. There's also some level of embarrassment, but there shouldn't be. Is the prep inconvenient? Yes, but so is chemotherapy.
The procedure was done this morning, and here I am in my kitchen writing about it. Good as new.
Dr. Vallone from Hawthorn Medical Associates told me that they now recommend colonoscopies for people 45 and over. If you fall into that category, please book one. They aren't as bad as they seem, I promise.