Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just a gut feeling ...

OK, I'm having a huge internal debate. (And that sentence itself will probably sound a little funny if you read on a little bit ...)

Recently (a year and a half ago) I turned 50. One of the lucky things that is supposed to happen to you when you turn 50 is that you're supposed to get a baseline colonoscopy. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Well, it didn't sound like too much fun to me, exactly. My colon has always felt just fine, thank you very much. Most of the time, anyway ... unless I eat one of those little "Madness" habanero sushi things at the Blue Ocean sushi bar. So anyway, my wife (the nurse) convinced me I needed to get it over with. Therefore, one of the things I was interested in was hearing (from someone who had had one already) exactly what it was like. I had questions!

I talked with several 50+ folks who had already experienced the big C. Mostly they agreed that the procedure itself (because of the "conscious sedation") is a piece of cake compared to the prep. But they didn't get too specific about what the supposedly terrible prep was like, so that wasn't the most helpful statement imaginable.

I realize of course that anything that has to do with that particular end of your body is normally kept fairly private and is not (hopefully) a huge topic of conversation. At least not polite conversation.

I actually appreciated Katie Couric's brave "coming out" when she got her colonoscopy on TV, mostly in an effort to encourage more people to have this life-saving procedure.

Anyway, I went looking for blogs on the topic. I wondered, was anyone out there talking about exactly what they experienced in their colonoscopy? I wanted to be prepared.

I found a number of blog entries dealing with colonoscopies. Some were technical in nature (apparently written by med techs giving advice about how to get the scope moving when it's "stuck" in there), and lots were, "Wow, I have to get a colonoscopy, I'm really not looking forward to that ..."

I didn't find any actually describing the procedure (and the preparation) from the patient's perspective.

So, fast forward to today: I had my colonoscopy a few weeks ago, and it really wasn't that bad (either the prep or the procedure). I mean, I've had more fun at a Tupperware party (just kidding, I've never really been to a Tupperware party) ... but it wasn't as bad as I was prepared for. So, I'm thinking about blogging about it. Sharing the gruesome details for someone else who might be considering it.

But I'm still fighting this feeling that talking about one's hiney on the internet may be sharing just a bit "too much information." Can the blogosphere handle a blog with me describing the entire colonoscopy experience, step-by-step?

So I'm tossing a bone out there. Someone please comment and let me know what you think about this. Would this be a benefit to someone out there who is scheduled for a colonoscopy and wondering what to expect, if I shared my experience in detail?


Gambling Guru said...

You definitely should. I had one at age 30 (I'm 32 now) after my Dad was operated for colon cancer (he fully recovered and is fine - he was in his late 50s when diagnosed and we have no previous history of cancer in our family.)

True the prep is terrible but the actual procedure is a piece of cake. Anything that can be done to encourage people to do it is potentially another life saved - after all you can't act on it if you don't know you have it.

Larry Short said...

Right on ...

... and actually, I didn't think the prep was all THAT bad. So maybe I will write about it.