Sunday, August 25, 2019

Personal and indelicate

Testing. Testing. One, two three.

Just checking. I'd just come out of anesthesia and I wanted to make sure I'm the same person I was going into my colonoscopy as I was coming out. I guess I am, although the thought has occurred to me that while anesthetized, it would have been a really good time to insert a few more IQ points, perhaps intravenously. But I don't remember signing a waiver for something like that and Lord knows what that would have added to my final billing.

I need to take a few steps back right here to explain.

About a month ago, I did the Cologuard thing, where you send off a stool sample (Indelicate. I told you) for analysis and, based on your DNA, it can be determined whether your colon has any issues, like maybe cancer.

I chose to do Cologuard because it's a non-invasive procedure with something like a 93 percent (maybe higher) detection rate. You've probably seen the commercials on TV where an animated Cologuard box happily dances around the house to let you know this procedure is an option in your life. Hmmm, OK. My Cologuard box didn't dance. I simply wanted to avoid a colonoscopy. In fact, I did this procedure for the first time three years ago with no problem.

This time, I got a call from my doctor telling me my Cologuard analysis came back with a positive result, and the next step was a colonoscopy, the very thing I was trying to avoid in the first place.

What you need to know here is that, in my life, I've only been to the hospital twice: once, about nine years ago when I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and was kept overnight for observation; and the first time was 68 years ago when I was born.

So we scheduled a procedure. Now look, I know colonoscopies happen all the time, that it's a common outpatient procedure, and nearly everybody I know, including family members, has had it done. But I was a little apprehensive anyway.

The hospital even sent me an email with a three-part video primer attachment to prepare me for what was coming. I was OK until they got to the part about some risks (although rare) involved. "We don't want to scare you, but..." warned the video.

Well, that scared the poop out of me (indelicate). It could have served as part of the prep for the colonoscopy.

Further adding to my concern was my AFib. I take a blood thinner, Eliquis, to help prevent blood platelets from pooling in my heart and throwing a stroke. I had to come off the Eliquis for three days, just in case any internal bleeding occurred. Even after the procedure, I'm off the Eliquis until Monday. So, yep, I'm as calm as a summer breeze.

I could go on, but I'll cut to the chase.

I had the procedure done on Friday. When I came out of the anesthesia, Kim said one of the first things I said, apparently in a rather loud voice that could be heard in the hallway, was "I didn't feel a damn thing" and then, trying to be funny, "Let's do this again."

Careful what you wish for. Don't try to be funny when coming out of anesthesia.

Two polyps were found, one of which they snipped out and sent off for biopsy. The other polyp is larger, more than an inch in size, and lying flat on its side against the colon wall. I know, because I saw the pictures. In fact, I should have brought the pics home with me to help illustrate this blog. Sorry. I wasn't thinking.

Anyway, a second procedure is needed to remove the larger polyp. It could be anything from laparascopy (usually an outpatient event) to full-fledged surgery. All that still remains to be determined.

I'm not complaining. I know there are people out there dealing with issues that are far more serious than mine – perhaps even life threatening – that makes my little adventure look like a walk in the park. I know that.

It's just that this is my adventure and I have to negotiate it in my own way.

Maybe I'll sign that waiver about adding IQ points after all.

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