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Have you had a colonscopy?

By December 11, 2008 - 10:22am
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My doctor says that I should have a colonoscopy (I am 54) and I know she's right, but I keep putting it off just because it makes me squeamish to think about. If you have had one, could you write about it? Were you anxious? Was the preparation as bad as people say?

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Expert HERWriter


I'm so proud of you for taking charge of your health. I want you to be well. You need to have piece of mind too, that you're OK and that your colon is fine:) Then you won't need another colonoscopy for another 5 years. That's what the doctors recommend...anyway.

Big hugs,

December 12, 2008 - 1:30pm
HERWriter Guide

I've had the 'pleasure' of a colonoscopy and it's possible to wake up during one (me!) and it's no fun. The good part is that I don't remember the pain (much) and the results were great.

Honestly, the prep is the worst - that stuff you drink is dreadful but as someone above said - it's a great way to clear out the system and great piece of mind afterwards.

My husband has a long history of polyps (and he is in his 30s) and an immediate family history of colon cancer so next week he has to have another colonoscopy. It's just part of life's unfortunate necessities I'm afraid but we're lucky that we have these testing facilities available!

I like Michelle's story about wine and candles! I should have done that! Well, no, the doc was a lady in her 60s. Not my type ;)

Go for it, Anne, it's not so bad - and the safety net by doing these procedures is well worth it...

December 12, 2008 - 12:59pm

Thank you all so much for your advice and support.

I got the name of my sister's doctor who did her colonscopy, and I'm going to call today and make an appointment. The Dave Barry article was hilarious!!

Michelle, I really appreciate your philosophy of sort of taking over the room with a bit of your own humor. I am trying to schedule mine before the end of the year ... maybe I can make an "out with the old, in with the new" joke, LOL.

I will definitely report back when I've had the test. What a warm, welcoming "room" this is.

December 12, 2008 - 10:11am

Anne, every patient with a family history of colon cancer is at a higher risk. If you are not in that group, you should still get a baseline exam. My mother was very stubborn and I recall asking her to have a physical when she was 58. She complied and sure enough! The doctor found several pre-cancer polyps which had to be removed on the spot! She was told to have one every two years after that experience. She is alive today at age 75 because she is aware of her risk level. She did not have a family history of colon cancer but kept an unhealthy diet for years prior to that. Her experience made me a person at risk because she is my mother. So I got my baseline colonoscopy at age 40. Since it was normal, I was told that every 5 years was good enough. On the other hand, my mother-in-law failed to have a colonoscopy and died of colon cancer. Also no family history on her end.

I do not want to scare you, but I understand your hesitation. I have had two and they are very easy, there is a cleansing period 24 hours before the procedure which is good for your gut (it cleans EVERYTHING!) and the day of the procedure you will be given "memory loss" drugs that keep you awake but you will not remember a thing! A little bloating afterwards but the next day you are ready to eat normal again.

December 12, 2008 - 1:28am

I was going to share the funny colonoscopy story link, as well - thanks, Alison, for posting it! I can totally relate, as I have to undergo the procedure every few years.

As Michelle said, you just have to go in with a sense of humor. The prep the day before is the difficult part; the procedure is easy (you're usually unconscious).

Hope all goes well for you.

December 11, 2008 - 5:07pm
Expert HERWriter

Hi Anne,

You have to have a colonoscopy!!! It's a must. I know it doesn't sound like much fun and quite frankly, I think the worst part is the cleaning of your intestinal tract... which you do at home. The rest, pretty easy. A little medication puts you to sleep and makes the procedure painless.

Let's face it...it's a bit embarrassing and not something any of us want to do but, what I don't want you to do is not have the test because your feeling uncomfortable and squimish.

If it makes you feel any better...I'll come wherever you are to hold your hand while you have the test done. I'll happily advocate for you.

Please let me know what I can do to ease your mind about the procedure.
I have to tell you (which I can't believe I'm doing) here's what happened when I had my first colonoscopy. I went into the procedure room with several nurses and the doctor. I asked the doctor (who had no sense of humor) if he was going to wine and dine me and light candles before he did the colonoscopy. The nurses cracked up over that but he looked at me like I had three heads.

It made me feel so much better though. I wanted to lighten it up for myself and I did. That's what you need to do:)

Let me know that you had the test done, please.

Go for it, Anne!


December 12, 2008 - 1:23pm

I have not had one, but Michelle shared a funny article recently about colonoscopy, and the author wrote humorously about the procedure (while, also make the procedure itself seem not-so-scary). However, in his article, the preparation and days before the procedure are what seemed the most difficult and anxiety-producing.

you can read the article here:

December 11, 2008 - 3:10pm
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