Please, Get Your Colonoscopies

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have just read several comments from members who refuse to get this test becaue it's invasive. Yes, it is but the patient is given a very light anesthesia and feels nothing. The worst part is the prep but, on the other hand, it is an opportunity for a good cleanse.

    Polyps in the colon become cancerous over a very long period of time. The doc removes them and the patient does not feel it. If some are precancerrous, the patient has dodged a bullet because left alone, these polyps will become colon cancer. There is no need for anyone to get this horrible form of cancer.

    Most people get a clear bill of colon health and can go anywhere from five to ten years before the next colonoscopy. My biological father, who was a doc, died from colon cancer because he was an alcoholic and didn't take care of himself. He knew better. Because of that, I had to start getting colon exams at age 40. In my 50's, some precancerous polyps showed up and were removed. Since then, I've had the test every three years. There have been more polyps removed but they were benign. I am extremely grateful that I can control this one area of my health. Had I not had the exams, I'd for sure have colon cancer by now or be dead.

    My last exam showed some diverticula so I have changed my diet and added more fibre. I want to avoid diverticulitis, an inflammation in the diverticula which can become quite painful. It can lead to infection and all kinds of misery.

    Ignorance isn't bliss when it comes to colon health. Down here in FL, it's just a common test we all get. We have enough health problems to contend with. Adding colon cancer shouldn't be something we have to contend with. It can be avoided and there is no good reason for anyone to get it. If there is a history of colon cancer in the family, like mine, exams should start at 40 instead of 50. Please, my friends, consider taking care of yourselves. It's so easy to avoid this killer.

    Love, Mikie
  2. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    I've already had two or three of colonscopies starting at age 21 because of IBS symptoms. (I'll be 42 in a month and a half.) My parents have both had polyps, so I know I am vigilant to stay on the ten-year schedule now, which means my next one is in a couple of years. No, they're not the funnest procedure to have, especially b/c I get hungry, but it's very important to do them. Plus, once every ten years (or five for some) is very infrequent to do something that can prevent a horrible cancer.

    As "invasive" as it is, the procedure gets a little easier each time due to advancing medical technologies, including better prep ahead of time. The doctors and nurses are also very sensitive as well b/c they know no one enjoys it. :) Glad you are taking a proactive view (as always :)) and taking good care of yourself, Mikie.

    Love, Erika
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I put off doing it for several years because of the invasiveness of the procedure, could not stand the thought of it. But as someone else said, finally realized that dealing with cancer would be much worse than the test.

    So I had it done last year, and it was not nearly as bad as I thought. They did put me out and it was over before I knew it. The staff were very kind. The prep was the worst part of the whole thing, but I survived. ANd fortunately, I got a clean bill of health.

  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your support in getting others to get this important test done. I forgot to mention that the prep is sooooo much easier. No more cramping and doubling over. Just lots of trips to the john.

    They put everyone completely out down here but it's a very light anestesia. I woke feeling as though I'd had the best nap. One hint: Schedule it as early in the day as possible. If you have to wait until 11:00 with nothing to eat, you will feel sick and likely have a headache from hell. The earlier, the better.

    Another hint: Choose a bottle of smart water to drink last. It will keep you hydrated and it contains electrolytes. I used to wake nauseated and one smart nurse figured out that I was dehydrated.

    One advantage to living down here in God's Waiting Room is that all we old people are getting this done. We drive one another to appts. Some are getting cataracts removed, some are getting tests done, and some are having surgery of one kind or another.

    Katie Couric lost her husband to colon cancer when her girls were young. She has been vigilant getting people to have their colonoscopies. I remember when she had hers on TV with only Valium to sedate her.

    Even if one has had a bad experience in the past, things have changed dramatically and this test is easier than it used to be. It's certainly easier than colon cancer. I want to keep y'all around as long as possible.

    Love, Mikie
  5. clementyne

    clementyne New Member

    I just had my first colonoscopy a few weeks ago & like most people I was NOT looking forward to it! The prep really is the worst part of it & it's not so bad if you follow the instructions.

    I drank my prep in ice cold diet 7-up & it really didn't taste bad - it just took a long time to drink it all & I only got a bit of sleep because of that. I was lucky & my appt was @ 6am. I would recommend trying to get the earliest appt. you can.

    I don't remember anything about the actual procedure, nor do I remember the ride home. My BFF had hers with Propovol & she went out to lunch after hers - mine was with a combo of Demerol & something else I don't recall & I was very tired afterwards. But I went home slept for a bit & felt fine.

    If you aren't having it because it is invasive - you have no idea how invasive colon cancer is! This procedure can save your life. Mine came back clear & now I don't have to have another one for 10 yrs. The peace of mind is worth it!
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    CBS TV is having a contest as part of their CBS Cares public service. You can go to CBScares.TV to enter a contest for a free three-day trip to NYC and a free colonoscopy while you're there. How timely is this considering our discussion here. I'd actually rather be home than in NYC for my colonoscopy but what a great way to get people interested.

    Love, Mikie
  7. mary01

    mary01 New Member

    I second everything you said, Mikie. Just had my endo/colonoscopy last week and they found a precancerous polyp which, thankfully. they removed. I will now, like you, have them every three years. When I asked my GI doc what I could do to ward them off, he really couldn't suggest anything other than getting the tests frequently and having any suspicious polyps removed.

    I'm good with this, but just wondering if anyone has any other advice for prevention.

  8. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I had one done four or five years ago, without any anesthesia, and it did not hurt except for slight cramping for a few seconds when a corner was being turned. It was interesting watching it on the monitors as it was being done. I didn't realize how pink our intestines are. And as I was having it done the doctor was able to explain why doing things like colonics are a total waste of time and money.
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Only 1/3 cup of Kellogg's All Bran BUDS (has to be the buds and not just All Bran) give half of the suggested fibre needed each day. It tastes like cardboard but it can be put in other cereal or in yogurt with fruit, giving one even more fibre.

    Probiotics are a necessity for a healthy colon and immune system. ProHealth sells excellent probiotics with a wide variety of strains in the billions. We absolutely have to supplement the "good" bacteria in our bowels or the bad bacteria will take over and cause disease, like Leaky Gut Syndrome, a very serious condition.

    All of our health begins in the gut so we need to take care of it.

    Love, Mikie
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You know me well enough by now to know I don't sugar coat things. Thank God, Kellogg's hasn't sugar coated the bran buds just to make them more palatable. They bran buds don't taste bad; they just don't taste good. On my taste scale, they are a zero.

    I'm glad you got a laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. You have a wonderful sense of humor.

    Love, Mikie
  11. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    After almost 3 months of what did turn out to be IBS related problems I had my first colonoscopy. Was I looking forward to it - well heck no, BUT, I have had the Versad before (the drug they give you so you don't know what's going on) and know that basically you kind of wake up when it's over.

    The prep was the worst and even the worst part of that was that I was so full. Drinking 3 liters of stuff (8 oz every 15 minutes) is very filling! I found that having some broth (Ramen noodle broth) to have on the side made it easier for me.

    So, even though I did NOT go 'under' during the procedure. It was not bad and I would recommend everyone do it. They found a good size polyp. Although benign it was an aggressive form that usually does turn into cancer if left.
    I just went through Breast Cancer with no family history whatsoever. If we can do something that helps prevent a horrible painful disease from causing our death for a few hours of unpleasantness, then I say it's worth it.

    Just my friendly 2 cents.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm so sorry about the breast cancer but I'm sure glad they caught the polyp in your colon before it turned cancerous. Thanks so much for helping to get the word out about the importance of colonoscopies. Getting this vital test done is the best way to prevent colon cancer. The docs say that colon cancer is totally preventable if one gets the colonoscopies. I especially need to be careful since my biologica father died of colon cancer.

    Love, Mikie
  13. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    You're welcome although you do not need to thank me! I am not 50 yet, so my screening wasnt' covered as such. BUT, I am So glad I had it done! Really, we all go through so much on a daily basis, this is a piece of cake.

    After my breast cancer, which never in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine I would have, I realized that things can linger and hide inside of us and if we are lucky enough to catch it before it takes our life, than we should do all we can to push our luck along a little bit.

    PITATOO Member

    About 15+ years ago in my 30's I starting bleed, and a lot, went to emergency room and first Dr. said it was hemroids, NOT that much blood, lucklily they did an emergency scope and cauterized a bleeding polyp immed. but if it had not bleed I may not have had a colonoscopy until now when I'm 50. May have been too late. Not sure percentage that become cancerious but I now get a full coloscopy every 3 years, it's no biggie at all to have done as long as you have good ins. and Dr.s'

    But please do.
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I read that the average person "gets" cancer 200 times a day but that our immune systems kills the cancerous cells. It's when the immune system fails to kill a cancerous cell that the cancer can grow. So, a healthy immune system is the first line of defense. The article was explaining how probiotics help keep our immune systems working since immunity begins in the gut.

    I've been told that all polyps in the colon will eventually become cancerous and that's why colonoscopies are so important. Colon cancer is slow growing most of the time so getting regular colonoscopies will ensure the polyps get removed before they become cancerous.

    Same is true for women and PAP smears. My daughter had a precancerous polyp removed when she was only 17. I had the same in my 40's.

    These two tests are so important. Most cancer we can't do anything about until it is established. These two tests can catch cancer before it becomes life threatening. Of course, there are always exceptions but if women would only get these two tests, it would help us improve our chances. Mammograms are more controversial but I do believe they help in screening.

    Getting a screening for skin cancer is another way to catch cancer before it has a chance to become a life-threatening situation. My daughter, the same one, got a fast-growing melanoma on her side and was lucky in that it was removed before it spread. I got screened because melanoma in a family member increases the risk. I didn't have a melanoma but my face was so covered in skin cancer that I had topical chemo on it. I still go and get the stubborn spots frozen off. FL is bad for skin cancer.

    Finally, men need to get prostate exams which include testicular exams. This screening saves a lot of lives.

    So much of our health can be improved by what we do ourselves and part of that is insisting on the tests which help identify cancer. We have enough on our plates as it is without having to deal with it.

    Love, Mikie
  16. Saoirse3

    Saoirse3 Member

    First, a funny story. When I got my first colonoscopy, the doctor was drop-dead gorgeous and I was VERY self-conscious. It was back in 1996, before the new anesthesia and it was uncomfortable back then. After it was over, I felt awful. Later, my husband suggested we go get some ice cream. As I was sitting there, who should walk in, with his wife and kids but the doctor! He said hello and introduced me to his wife. I wanted to cringe. But even worse was my husband's comment to me later: "I wonder if he said to his wife, 'Oh, look! There's the a****e I dealt with this morning!" Isn't he a scream?

    Seriously, folks, Mikie is right. A colonoscopy is a lot more comfortable these days. After my last one, I said "What do you mean it's over? You haven't DONE anything yet!" And they said yes, indeed, they had! I couldn't believe it! I felt NOTHING! There is no need for embarrassment. And it could save your life. It IS "invasive", but then so is sticking an insulin needle in your tummy twice a day. So are pills - after all, you're putting them into your body. The bottom line - no pun intended - is that it SAVES lives! And life is precious. YOUR life is precious. Be like Nike - JUST DO IT!

    Soft hugs,