This post is for anyone thinking about getting a screening colonoscopy, but putting it off.
I turned 50 a few months ago and decided to get one. I tried to talk myself out of it, however, as a "health care provider", I had seen to many people in their 50s with advanced colon cancer.
It's not bad. Others have said the prep is the worst part and I found this to be true. It consisted of clear liquids at noon the day before with was phosphosoda at 2:00Pm and 4:00Pm with a ducolax chaser at 10:00PM. Don't plan on getting working that afternoon or getting much sleep the night before. Your colon must be clean or lesions could be missed.
I arrive at 6:30AM and was promptly seen, processed, IV started and waiting for the physician.
3 people were in the procedure room besides me. The doc and two nurses. One nurse monitored me and gave the sedation meds. The other assisted the doc. They were all younger than me and the nurses were rocking to some radio tune that wasn't from my generation. One nurse told me to roll on to my left side and the other told me she was giving the IV meds (versed and fentanyl) and I might feel a little dizzy. That's the last thing I remember.
Then I woke up on my couch at home.
Apparently, I had a good amnestic response, because all I remember of the procedure is mild cramping. I don't recall the recovery room, or my spouse driving me home, or any conversations. My spouse did tell me that in the recovery room, it was like Robin William's description: I was an Evinrude motor.
Fortunately, the study was negative. I got pics of my terminal ileum and base of my appendix to take home.
The risks of a colonoscopy are very small and it is highly accurate, although not perfect. Sedation protocols vary between physicians and different people react differently to sedation meds. Other options exist ACS :: American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer
, but a good colonoscopy is the "gold standard", and they can remove polyps if they find one.
If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your family.