There are some rather big milestones built into our life that we pass through as we grow and mature into adulthood and beyond. Think “Terrible Two’s”, “Sweet 16”, gaining the right to vote at 18, the right to drink at 21, and the ability to collect Social Security at 65.
This week, I got to experience another one of these milestones that it is often neglected. The right to have a colonoscopy at the age of 50. Personally, I waited until age 51, this was not a right of passage that I was looking forward to or one that got me excited.
I am an advocate of choosing health whenever possible and a colonoscopy while not pleasant is a cancer screening tool that is highly effective. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and develops from the slow growth of polyps. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can actually remove any polyps found, thereby preventing their growth and potential cancer formation.
The colonoscopy preparation was not fun and I am glad that I don’t need to do it again for another 10 years. I had some support from friends and from my honey that made it a bit easier to bear. In preparation for the procedure, I wasn’t allowed any solid food from Tuesday night until Thursday morning and had to drink the medical concoction designed to clean out the bowels. I was determined not to whine or pout, or to get overly cranky, however you have to admit this was no fun.
I started texting 2 of my best friends when I was drinking the medicine and running to the bathroom. What are friends for if they can’t help you get through this type of ordeal? One of them has already had her first colonoscopy and seems to have rather enjoyed the procedure, or at least the aftereffects of the drugs that she was given. My other friend has her colonoscopy next month so she was able to offer support while getting some “live” feedback.
Our 3 way texting back and forth over the next several hours made me laugh even when I wanted to cry. Their support was appreciated and their witty banter made this experience a bit less awful. Thank you my friends!
My honey was also incredibly supportive. Not only did she chauffeur me to and from the doctor, she helped me from becoming a whining mess. I told her the night before the preparation began that she should let me know if I whined or complained too much by telling me to STOP. She is not a complainer and sometimes I feel bad when I know I am on a roll and can’t change the negative voice in my head.
The picture below is what I woke up to the morning I was to begin fasting. The note that said “no eggs” was in the frying pan and the one that said “no coconut milk” was taped to the coconut milk in the refrigerator. The rest were spread on the kitchen table and helped me start the day on the right foot! Coupled with my “love notes” I took lots of quiet time, did my breathing exercises and stayed fairly positive.
So I chose health this week by braving the Colonoscopy Milestone and I survived. I am relived that I don’t need to put myself through it again for another 10 years. This experience was just another reminder that sometimes doing the right thing hurts.
I was seriously dreading this procedure and could have continued to put it off for years. It is easy to put off preventative medical procedures because of time, cost or the fear of the experience. In my case, the time involved was manageable and the full cost of the procedure was covered by my insurance. As for being fearful of this or any experience, well my advice is to Kick Fear Out Of The Way!
I want to be around for years to enjoy the milestones not yet reached. I want to collect Social Security and enjoy a long and healthy retirement. I fully expect my old age to be one hell of a ride! I want to age with my siblings and watch my large family get even larger. I want to see my great nieces and nephews reach their own important milestones. I want to grow old with my honey.
Choose health by getting your colonoscopy, it is after all an important milestone to pass. Having it done just might be the reason you reach the milestones that follow! Guess I better get my mammogram scheduled.