If you’re like I was a month ago — “past a certain age” and still colonoscopy-free — you’ve probably been procrastinating more because of the idea of the bowel cleanse than out of fear of the test itself.
Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended to begin at age 50 and continue until age 75, according to the CDC.
I’m proud to say I finally bit the bullet and got my first-ever colonoscopy, and it was nowhere near as bad as I’d expected. Here’s my story.
Colonoscopy is one of those words that is wrapped in fear for many people. The idea of actually paying to let a doctor insert a camera into a most private portion of your body — your colon — to take a look around seems to defy logic.
That’s one of the excuses I gave myself for the last several years as I put off making the initial appointment to meet with a gastroenterologist to learn more about the procedure. (That’s a doctor who specializes in the digestive system, which includes the intestines.)
Lucky for me, I moved across town and changed to a new family doctor who not only recommended that I get a colonoscopy and gave me a referral, he actually had that doctor’s office call me to schedule the appointment. No more procrastination allowed!
Meeting the Doctor
The initial appointment was about what you’d expect. The doctor’s assistant asked all the typical questions about my health history and past surgeries as well as my diet and exercise habits. Nothing to brag about there — I eat what I shouldn’t and don’t get anywhere near as much exercise as I should.
Then I met the doctor and we got to the fun part — talking about the actual colonoscopy.
The fearful part of my brain was relieved to hear that I would be asleep the entire time, so I wouldn’t even know what was going on. The curious part of my brain that is fascinated by how the body functions was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to watch the camera working its way through my insides!
Preparing for “The Cleanse”