Because, even though the title may sound like the essence of juvenile stupidity, if you read this—if only to see what the hell I'm talking about—it could save your life. And, no— I'm NOT kidding about this.
I'm talking about colonoscopies—one of the most feared words in the English language.
The reality is that something that is so feared is actually rather enjoyable. Nope—I'm not kidding. And I know what I'm talking about. I've had enough of these done that I'm considering adding it to my CV under "hobbies."
It sounds horrible, but it really isn't. So, I thought it might be a good idea to tell you what it is really like. Maybe this will prompt a few of you to get past the fear and get it done. The following is more or less what you will experience:
- Someone will put a little IV needle in the back of your hand; it does not hurt.
- An anaesthesiologist will inject a syringe full of milky white liquid into the port; this does not hurt either.
- Try to count to 10.
- You better count fast or you won't make it past five.
- You will wake up from the best nap you've had, feeling perfectly fine.
- You will he hungry.
- An hour later you'll be walking out of the facility looking for a donut shop.
- Does this sound scary? No — and it's not, thanks to the coolest drug around: Propofol.
It is such a great anaesthetic because, unlike older general anaesthetics, it will not make you sick. In fact, it is sometimes used to combat nausea and vomiting after surgery.
It's also cleared from your blood very rapidly, so you wake up very quickly and feel groggy either briefly, or maybe not at all.
And, if the doctor sees any polyps in the colon, they will be removed—well before they become cancerous. Colon cancer is terrible to get, but terribly easy to prevent.
The only downside to the whole thing is the day before: the prep. It is unpleasant, and there is no disputing that. But there are a number of different formulas — ranging from merely hideous to worse. They are just plain nasty tasting. But, it's not the end of the word. (Although it is the end of your freedom to spend time away from your bathroom that day.)
Of course, without the prep, which cleans you out (and good), the gastroenterologist will not be able to see what he/she is doing. There are a few foods you can eat that day, one of them being Jello (but not red). It is unlikely that you will ever crave Jello again after this.
All in all, it's not all that bad. You drink a bunch of nasty-tasting stuff, take a nap, eat donuts, and maybe avoid Jello for the rest of your life.
Almost 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancer in a given year. Why be one of them?
Adapted from a similar article from the American Council on Science and Health website.