The Colonoscopy Chronicle

Just waiting for the cranberry to kick in…

Tuesday, May 21, 4:45 PM

Colonoscopy scheduled for 8:45 AM tomorrow.  Let the games begin!

I just drank a bottle of Clenpiq.  It is supposed to clean out my colon.  Actually mine stays fairly clean – if you know what I mean.  The box says it is cranberry flavored.  Is that what that was?  Maybe cranberries that were eaten and thrown back up.  Mixed with rotten cabbage.  And raw beets.  Dis-gusting.

At work today, they served make-your-own deli sandwiches at our Board meeting.  I drank water.  In fact, I haven’t had solid food since last night.  I fear that out of desperation, my stomach will eat my spleen.

I am sucking a lemon cough drop to rid myself of the “cranberry” taste.  It is embedded in the crevasses of my mouth.

7:11 PM

Ooops.  Forgot to take the laxative at noon.  Well, forget is the wrong word.  I choose not to take it because I work.  Someone told me I should have taken Tuesday off for the prep.  What would I tell HR?  I need the day off to poop?  I’ll take it now.  Better late than never.  I guess.

7:42 PM

The laxative is working.  Thank goodness for Spider solitaire.  I wish I had a TV in my bathroom.

9:22 PM

I am now peeing out of all orifices.  This is unreal.  It is as clear as Evian.

10:56 PM

This must end.

Wednesday, May 22, 2:00 AM

Henson and Fuerst Law Firm.  Who advertises on local TV at 2 AM??  Who is watching this except people prepping for their colonoscopy who also didn’t take the laxative until 7:11 PM?  I think those attorneys need a new marketing director.

6:00 AM

It continues but how?  I think the fluid from my brain is coming out.

8:45 AM

I am nude save a cotton gown with a slit up the back.

Me:  “Can I get the IV in my hand?  I don’t like you digging in my arm veins with that teeny little needle.”

Nurse:  “You can if you have good veins in your hand.”

Me:  “I have the best hand veins your eyes have ever seen.”

9:12 AM

“We’re gonna give you some medicine that will make you drowsy.”

10:01 AM

“Mr. Tanner, it’s time to wake up.”

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in that 49 minutes of my life.  They could have shot me out of a cannon at the circus.  Who knows what they did to me?  I feel so clean.

Doctor:  “You have a beautiful colon.”

Me:  “I KNEW it!”

I also had an endoscopy.  They stretched my esophagus so I could eat larger amounts of food more quickly.

10:50 AM

Chicken salad bagel, salt and vinegar chips, coffee.

Free and clear.  Ten more years til the next.

 

My wife died nine years ago at age 39 from colon cancer.  We take colonosopying very seriously at my house.  My daughters will start theirs at age 29 due to family history.  If you are 50, don’t delay, make your appointment today.  If you are any age and are having significant issues with your digestive system, please go get checked.  If you have a family history, you already know what to do.  Many forms of this disease are treatable if caught early.

When In Doubt, Get Checked Out!

Ham Family

Eric was sick around the same time as Lisa.  He was younger, early 30’s, married.  He grew up in Raleigh but lived in California, and he was hilarious!  I never met him but reading his CaringBridge page was funnier than a night at Goodnight’s Comedy Club.

Brian was an athlete, a swimmer and a real outdoorsman.  He was a doctor, my doctor.  Not an ounce of fat on his body.  He was serious and cared more about his patients than other physicians I’ve met.  When you were in his office, he was with you.  One-hundred percent focused on your needs for as long as it took.  Cool wife, two teenage sons.

I grew up with Angie, she was in my older brother’s class at Terry Sanford Senior High School, Go Bulldogs!  She was a cheerleader, not only in school but in life.  She worked at PSNC, the place that keeps the residents of Raleigh warm for the winter.  Ironically, she read my book not long before her own diagnosis of colon cancer.

And there was Lisa.  My wife.  Mother of three, just shy of 40.

All died.  All of colon cancer.  The oldest was 52.

Current recommendations don’t call for colon cancer screening until you’re 50 unless you have a family history of the disease.  But while rates of colon cancer are decreasing for older people, the are actually climbing for the younger generation.  And while rates increase, young folks are less likely to be diagnosed until the cancer has progressed.

http://www.wral.com/colorectal-cancer-a-growing-problem-in-young-people/15597972/

Colon cancer can respond well to treatment if caught early.

Younger people think and are often told by their doctor that they aren’t susceptible to this disease.

Younger people put off getting stomach problems checked out assuming it’s a reaction to food or stress.

Many are active which can cause hemorrhoids.  They attribute blood in their stool to a sore butt from running or biking.

And who wants to have a colonoscopy?  I’ve done it.  It was not fabulous.  I drank sixteen gallons of white syrup and 45 minutes into my feast, I ran to the bathroom like I was headed into a Black Friday sale.  It was awful.  But once I was cleaned out, the procedure actually wasn’t that bad.  And there was something sort of invigorating about imploding my innards.  I felt fresh and new.

Not every stomach ache is colon cancer.  But if ongoing, check it out.  If you just don’t feel right down there, you know your body, check it out.  If you have blood in your stool, RUN to the doctor’s office.  And don’t let them tell you it’s nothing.  Press for answers!

When in doubt, get checked out!

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