Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Here I go again - UPDATED

UPDATE - One very small polyp removed. And I do get a break until August, 2014! Guess I can start rolling now on all those plans we have for next year. Can you say "relief?"

This morning I'm "prepping" for my afternoon colonoscopy - the fourth prep I've done in 2 1/2 years.

In May, 2012 I had my first, life saving, colonoscopy. I didn't eat the night before, drank nasty stuff before going to bed and again the next morning, had the procedure done and was home by lunch. It wasn't too bad, the nasty stuff was tolerable.

The following week I prepped for the afternoon colon surgery which removed the cancer discovered during the earlier scope. That prep was fairly simply - drink a LOT of laxative diluted in gatorade.

I actually asked to do that again for my follow up colonoscopy last August, but its harsh effect is only appropriate for surgery. Instead I had to drink even nastier stuff. After a couple of rounds I cried, I trembled, it was misearable. Fortunately, I got close enough that my failure to drink it all didn't affect the exam. Another polyp removed, I've lived to come around again.

In July of this year the FDA approved a new colonoscopy prep that involves drinking a 5 ounce solution at night and again in the morning. It is stated to be more effective than the traditional solutions such as Movi-Prep (which I used the first time.) My doctor prescribed this new regimen for me, but alas, it is not on the market until October.

(Time out......gotta' go. Be back in a few.)

Instead I'm doing pills - four salt pills taken with water every 20-30 minutes. I can even have a couple of cups of coffee. Through five of the eight rounds it's okay. No tears, no shakes. I will finish about 8:45, after which no more drinking until I wake up in recovery.

I wish I wasn't so bad at drinking the "koolaid" usually prescribed. Most people, including my husband, tolerate it pretty well.

Thank goodness there are alternatives and continue to be medical innovations improving the effectiveness of colon screening.

Colon screening saved my life. If you are due for this routine test, don't put it off! (And say a prayer there are no polyps for me today so that maybe I can go TWO years before I need to do this again!)

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