Sunday, March 21, 2010

My First!!!

On Tuesday (Mar 16, 2010), I had my first colonoscopy.  Oh my goodness! To prep for the procedure, my diet on Monday was restricted to clear liquids.  For the day, I had to drink 36 oz of clear liquid or more.  I mixed my water intake up with apple juice and white grape juice.  I did have some light colored jello during the day, which of course was a pure delight.  Then around 6:00pm on Monday I had to drink a not-so-fun 36 oz. liquid cocktail (9 oz. every 15 minutes until the drink mixture was gone).  Along with the liquid concoction, I had to drink an additional 6 oz of clear liquid to stay hydrated because about 30 minutes after finishing the drink mixture all my bowls started loosening.  I was on the bathroom throne for over 2 hours literally flushing out my large and small intestines.  (The picture I'm creating doesn't look pretty, does it!) Even after this, I still had to continue drinking clear liquids.  I want you to know during the night hours my whole abdominal area felt like it was being plummeted by ping pong balls and it was making horrendous sounds that would make even a dinosaur jealous.

Tuesday morning (the morning of my procedure) I had to get up at 4am to once again down the nasty 32 oz liquid (9 oz every 15 minutes until the mixture was gone) finishing each segment up with another 6 oz glass of water.  I am literally floating on water by this time.  I couldn't believe a person could drink so much and not drowned.  I couldn't eat or drink anything after 5:15am until after the colonoscopy.  What an ordeal!!!

Lynn and I arrived at Mercy and met with a countless number of medical aides and nurses and then met Dr. Seigfried for the first time.  Dr. Seigfried took his time to explain to me, and to Lynn, what the procedure involved.  What they would do to me in the surgical room, the type of anesthesia he would use, if I had any questions, etc?  Even if I had wanted to make a mad dash for the door, an IV was in my hand and I was in the lovely hospital gown attire, so there was no way out, I was in too deep already.

Lynn kept assuring me for weeks that the worst part of a colonoscopy was the prep time.  Lynn had already endured 2 colonoscopies, so he was my expert witness.  I still was not convinced that the prep was the worst part of the procedure as the nurses were wheeling my bed (w/me in it) down the long hallway to the surgical center.  Is it just me or are all hospital corridors extra long when being wheeled to surgical centers? In the surgical center, I was given oxygen and the nurses said I wouldn't be strapped down like I was during my other operations, so I was pretty relieved about that.  The propophol they were using was like an off and on switch.  On, I was out like a light. Off, I was (somewhat) awake.  The last thing I remember in the surgical center was a nurse giving me oxygen and another kind lady saying, 'it's time to sleep!" and that is all I really remember except when my dazed and somewhat bleary eyes started to focus on Lynn!  :)

I can't remember much after the 'it's time to sleep!" stage and until I noticed Lynn; however, Lynn says after the procedure he could hear me talking up a storm all the way down the hall, thanking the nurses (I'm glad I was thanking them ...) for helping me and chatting about everything.  I can't remember any of this conversation.  I do not remember anything from the surgical completion to about 30 minutes later when I became fully conscious of my surroundings.  Dr. Seigfried arrived after I was awake to talk and show me the results of my colonoscopy. -- Prognosis:  Me = Good, Colon = Excellent, Next Visit = 5 years!  :)  Dr. Seigfried did not have to remove any polyps, which meant my diet would not be restrictive.  I was cautioned though to eat light during the next 24 hours.

I am somewhat relieved that my colon came out with flying colors.  There are so many real life horror stories of men and women dying of colon cancer.  One of the major news anchors, Katie Couric's, husband died quite young, due to colon cancer.  Katie has been trying to raise the publics' consciousness to the hazards of colon cancer and how to prevent it. 

I came home from my colonoscopy with pictures, 28 glossy colored pictures of my intestines and colon.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with all of these pictures.  When Lynn had his 2 colonoscopies, he came home with 2-8x10 sheets of 4 colonoscopy pictures, 8 pictures altogether.  My pictures are rather small, but I still have 28 pictures!!  What am I to do with 28 pictures from my colonoscopy? Should I cut them up and send a picture of my colonoscopy w/each Christmas card or should I turn them into framed art pieces and hang them on our wall?  To save all of you the thought of getting one of my highly valued photos or for the mad rush to our house to see the art exhibit, I decided to post the colonoscopy pictures here on our blog.  That way no one will feel deprived or feel 'unloved' for not receiving a photo.  You can see the pictures for yourself and on your own timetable!  Now, if there is one particular photograph that you'd love to have hanging around your house or in your wallet, just let me know.  I will pop it into the mail for you.  :)

Speaking of colonoscopies!!!  If you are over 50 and haven't had one, please do so.  If your family has a medical history of colon or adnominal cancer or if you are young and are worried about your health, get a colonoscopy.  It is a relief to you, to your spouse, to your children and those who love you! Lynn was right.  The preparation for the colonoscopy was the pits, the procedure itself was a cinch!

* I hope you enjoy the pictures!!!!


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