Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Routine Procedure

The Minnesota Department of Health has run a fairly humorous colon cancer awareness campaign promoting colonoscopies this spring. This billboard replaced one seen last month:
Embarrassment can't kill you!
Being that I've had more experiences with colonoscopies in life by now than I thought I'd ever need, I've had much appreciation for these billboards, even if my screens aren't exclusively for the purpose of looking for colon cancer.

I had my latest routine colonoscopy yesterday (insert cheers and applause here). Like I've said before, the prep is really the worst part. For some reason, the prep this time (the same concoction I've used before) was awful. I'll spare you the details, but I was up until 2 am.

The billboard is right in that embarrassment won't kill you. And really, colonoscopies shouldn't be embarrassing, especially if you focus on the science of it - it's the human body and "everyone poops." But I'll be honest. As you sit in the procedure room, discussing and signing off on the risks of the procedure, reviewing your pharmaceutical regimen and your overall condition with your gastroenterologist, there's a part of you that can't stop thinking, "this person is going to stick a camera up my ass."

Fortunately, the procedure went well. I was happy that no ulcers were found and that my anastomosis (the part where my intestines were resected) had not narrowed significantly since a balloon dilation 2.5 years ago. The anastomosis was, however, red and inflamed, but biopsy results will indicate if it is due to active Crohn's or simply irritation. Once we get the test results, we can go from there. At least I have confirmation of what the pain I have in that area is. I have a photo here - but it's not pretty, so be warned.

Meanwhile, my stomach is still angry about what it's been through, so I'll keep my diet pretty simple for a few days (liquids, oatmeal, bananas). Today's lunch was 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter and some greek yogurt, and even that hurt. I was foolish enough (after that pain dissipated) to try some hot dog for dinner. Yeah, that only served to irritate other issues.

Oh, well.

As a total aside, do you suppose the model for that ad was excited? Calling home to exclaim, "I'm on a billboard! You can't see my face but my right butt-cheek looks fantastic! I'll send pictures!"?

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