Saturday, June 2, 2012

Reflections of a Colonoscopy

As some of you know I had my first colonoscopy yesterday and although I am only 41, I have a familial history of colon cancer and early screening can often determine the difference between life and death.  Colorectal cancer ranks second or third in total annual cancer related deaths in the U.S depending on the source and it's very serious.

This blog isn't.

But it's a blow-by-blow (please pardon all puns herein - intended or otherwise) account of my experience.

May 31 2012. 7 PM.  Magnesium Citrate first dose.  The protocol for the procedure at the Endoscopy center where it was conducted called for two - 15 ounce doses one the day prior and one the morning of.  The label of the 'MagC' as it's commonly known as, says it's a 'Pasteurized Sparkling Saline Laxative'.

I want to personally meet the marketing knucklehead who came up with that tag line.  It's as though they wanted me to envision myself enjoying a glass of Pouilly Fuisse on the Champs Elysees.  The bottle actually has a pic of a lemon on it.

I wouldn't criticize said marketing knucklehead for irresponsible labeling or anything of that sort.  Rather they've missed a unique opportunity to cross-brand or strategerize a marketing synergy or whatever.  Think of a vodka based cocktail:

Magnesium Citratini.  Nip and Purge.  No doubt any one of the other desperate real housewives who like to get drunk and lose weight at the same time will pounce on this opportunity.

JELLO. The only 'solid' food I could have the day prior and I kept hearing Bill Cosby saying "If you have a colon, the first thing you need to do is eat JELLO".  Oh Jeez, it's going to be a long night.

June 1 2012. 1 AM - 2 AM.  Sleep.  "When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes'." - Steven Wright.  

An hour's sleep is all I got prior to the procedure and it wasn't restful.  It was like I was caught in a collaborative short film by Woody Allen and Tim Burton.  I dreamt I was running through a cheap looking rubbery synthetic colon lined with attacking polyps.

June 1 2012.  7 AM - 8 AM.  Traffic.  The morning drive from Winthrop to Wellesley was hellacious  and during it I added a new phrase to my medical diction.  "Angry Bowels".

June 1 2012. 9 AM.  The procedure.  Hmm... I won't go there.  

Postscripts 1.  The physician removed a 'suspicious' polyp.  The image I got in my head was a camo-fatigue clad polyp with a Beret sporting a goatee smoking Clove cigarettes.  Course I was hopped up on Fentanyl and Versed at the time.

Postscripts 2.  Casting for a spin off of Jersey Shores has begun now that we have Toomey and Paulie.

Postscripts 3. 'Paulie' is being biopsied but the likelihood of him being malignant (unlike the other Pauly) is minimal since we caught it early.  

Postscripts 4.  Two words - Sympathy sushi.


Solitude.Peace said...

Your mind/imagination is by far one of the most complex and humorous. You can blame it on the Versed and Fentanyl but I know better.

I actually love the idea of the Magnesium Citratini - I know I would drink it, at least for my colonoscopy. This may indeed be something that you could market for all the Hollywood chics.

And thanks to you I now envision a new Apple app called 'Angry Bowels' instead of Angry Birds. Different sections of the colon shooting out polyps towards their targets in hopes of a high score. You know...We could come up with a few things here to sell between the Mag Citratini, Bill Cosby and Angry Bowels. My mind is spinning!

I have no idea if our minds work the same or not (actually, it is a scary thought) but I so get the camo-fatigue clad polyp with a Beret and sporting a goatee and smoking Clove cigarettes while he sits casually around a fold in the colon.

After you get the results from the camo-fatigued polyp you better write a blog called Toomey & Paulie. That is brilliant!

On a serious note - I am so happy that you believe in early detection no matter how stubborn you may be. I know that those of us that are close to you are relieved that you - even though tired, hungry and 'hmm...won't go there' - followed through. I, for one, am pleased. I would imagine that it wouldn't be easy to go through and then wait for results even though the chances of it being malignant are minimal. I have spent the last thirteen plus years working in Endoscopy and I have seen too many times what happens when it isn't caught early. For what it is worth, I am proud of you my friend.

The next time I see you - I will personally buy you some sympathy sushi. And I have no doubt that you will remind me.

Mari G said...

I've been following your blog a bit, having the love-bug for canines. I had to make a comment about this cuz I too had a colonoscopy a couple of days ago and wrote about it on my blog. There is nothing fun about the procedure or the prep or the recovery for that matter. :o)

Rosie Willett said...

Rolling On The Floor...LOL. I took Miralax. One whole large container mixed in 64oz apple juice....drink 8oz every 20 minutes until gone. Then the fun begins. Seriously, my younger brother died of colon cancer at age 50 having been diagnosed with stage 4 at 46. It's not so bad to give up 2 days in order to save your own life.