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#2151487 - 10/27/17 05:37 PM Colonoscopy Screening
thomasj Offline
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Pennsylvania
I turned 50 this past June. I went for a routine Dr. visit and my primary care physician told me what I did not want to hear, that I needed to have a colonoscopy. I had some lame excuses and figured I could put this off for a couple of more years at least. He insisted that I do a less invasive screening at home. When the results for that came back, he insisted that I needed to have a colonoscopy. I reluctantly agreed and had the procedure done yesterday. They removed three "Grape Sized" polyps from my colon that appear to be benign according to the fantastic general surgeon, though they will of course be sent to the lab for confirmation. He said given the size of these polyps, in two to three years they could have turned cancerous. I will need another colonoscopy next year and I will not hesitate.

The doctor who performed the procedure told me that there are no physical symptoms to polyps or early stage colon cancer and that the only way to know for sure is to have a colonoscopy. He stated that once symptoms begin, the cancer can be in a very advanced stage. I am very thankful that the screening that I did at home indicated that I needed the procedure. If it had not, I very likely would have put off the procedure until it was too late.

The reason I am telling this story is in case someone is putting this off, you really shouldn't. It is inconvenient and somewhat embarrassing but I am so glad I had it done. I can't even imagine the consequences for myself and my family if I hadn't.
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#2151499 - 10/27/17 06:13 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
MyBrainHurts Offline
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The colonoscopy isn't bad, it's the prep the day before. Buy the most plush toilet paper you can. Seriously, everyone should take TJ's advice. Don't be like my brother-in-law who would never get one, and didn't know he had a problem until he had rectal bleeding. He had stage 4 colon cancer. After a long, horrible ordeal, he survived, but his health has never been 100% of what it was before the cancer.
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#2151512 - 10/27/17 06:29 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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Scheduled for my first one in about a month...like you, i wasn't looking forward to it and in the past would have put it off....but with my brother passing away from kidney cancer 2 years ago, i am now willing to do it. Hopefully it goes ok and i don't have to do it again for 10 years or so.
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#2151528 - 10/27/17 07:04 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
thomasj Offline
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The prep that my doctor recommended wasn't that bad. It was a 10oz bottle of magnesium citrate and two tablets of over the counter laxative, very inexpensive and very effective. I drank about another half bottle of the magnesium citrate to be sure. It was no where near as bad as I had imagined it would be. Get some flushable wet wipes - it was a much appreciated recommendation from a friend. also, refrigerate the magnesium citrate to get it as cold as possible as it is not the most pleasant tasting stuff.

I was hoping that I wouldn't need to go back for another 10 years, but I will gladly do whatever the doctor recommends. I have NO recollection of the procedure itself (anesthesia is a wonderful thing), but seeing the pictures of the polyps was confirmation that the doctor absolutely knows better than I do.
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#2151530 - 10/27/17 07:11 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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The zero recollection (as others have told me) was the other clincher for me.....i figure as long as i'm not gonna remember it, i can go through it......everybody says that drinking the stuff is the worst part, but bad-tasting food/drink isn't that big a deal to me.
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#2151533 - 10/27/17 07:23 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
RR Joker Offline
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My doctor said she eventually tasted that stuff and said she just couldn't give that to her patients [assume it's the same] so she gives miralax powder [tasteless] and an OTC softener. No biggie, although as much as I had to drink to consumer the miralax, had I known it was completely tasteless for certain, I would have done all water and no juices...so much juice was difficult...that and no eating [because I LIKE to EAT].

the procedures itself is uneventful. Twilight sleep is a wonderful thing...best rest I've had in a very long time, when I had it done. I had a couple small polyps so will have to have it done in another 5, which is probably like 3 now...but oh well...so long as I can wrangle a ride there and back, I know it's not that big of a deal anymore smile
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#2151534 - 10/27/17 07:23 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
waldensouth Offline
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FINALLY ABOVE the gnat line
A friend recommended getting some Baby Butt Paste to use during prep. She was right.

I was having 2 tests run that day - one the colonoscopy and the other required running a scope down my throat. My doc said he would try to remember to change the scope for the 2nd one!
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#2151535 - 10/27/17 07:25 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
RR Joker Offline
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shocked!!!
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#2151536 - 10/27/17 07:26 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
thomasj Offline
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Pennsylvania
Some preps make you drink a LOT from what I've read (like 64oz) but this little bottle of lemon flavored stuff wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Like I said, it wasn't that bad. In fact, I was afraid it hadn't worked because it wasn't as bad as I had expected but the doctor said the prep was excellent. My other big hurdle was the IV. I do not like being hooked up to anything and have this totally irrational fear of the IV tube catching on something and ripping out of my hand. I was thankful for it when they rolled me into the room and it was like someone turned a switch - two hours later I woke up in recovery.
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#2151537 - 10/27/17 07:26 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
doodles Offline
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That must be a standard comment because my surgeon said the same thing!

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#2151541 - 10/27/17 07:37 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
Skittles Offline
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TN
The stuff that thomasj is referencing above is what my doctor prescribed and I couldn't get it down - and almost got sick. IT WAS HORRIBLE!! I had to postpone my second one because of that (had polyps on my first) - so I'm trying a different doctor (and I've moved states) and will try again in January or February. I can drink the magnesium citrate and swallow a couple of pills.
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#2151547 - 10/27/17 07:47 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
RR Joker Offline
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I had to drink a lot, but with the miralax. I say a lot, but it was only 8 oz x 8 I guess...it wasn't bad, but it was so NOT bad, it would have been easier in just plain ole water.
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#2151566 - 10/27/17 09:01 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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So, what is the name of the 'really bad stuff'....i'm sorta wondering now if that's what i got cuz he said he could give me the best, strongest version, or the weaker, "not as good" version and i said just to give me the first one. Like i said, i figured i could handle it....but now i'm wondering if it's just positively so putrid that i won't be able to get it down.
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#2151576 - 10/27/17 09:18 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening raitchjay
thomasj Offline
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Originally Posted By raitchjay
So, what is the name of the 'really bad stuff'....i'm sorta wondering now if that's what i got cuz he said he could give me the best, strongest version, or the weaker, "not as good" version and i said just to give me the first one. Like i said, i figured i could handle it....but now i'm wondering if it's just positively so putrid that i won't be able to get it down.
I believe it is Polyethylene glycol. I've done a lot of research and this is what a lot of people describe as nasty. There are high and low volume methods that use this product as well as a split dose method.

My doc's prep instructions were one bottle of magnesium citrate (10oz) and 2 Dulcolax tablets the afternoon before the procedure. He told me that I could get it at any drug store or grocery store and he was correct. I began drinking more water than normal and ate lightly the day before the prep and continued to drink a lot of water along with white grape juice the day of the prep. I drank the prep and took the tablets at about 12:30 in the afternoon. I was to eat no solid food the day of the prep and honestly didn't want to. I drank another half bottle about 5:00 in the afternoon just to be sure. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day of the procedure.

The magnesium citrate is not pleasant tasting, but it's not horrible. I had no trouble at all getting it down. I didn't have any cramping or pain during the prep.
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#2151577 - 10/27/17 09:21 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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Thanks TJ...i'll check it tonight, as i already have the kit. I know that my instructions involve drinking the stuff (not sure yet how much water you're supposed to mix with it) at 6:00 p.m. and midnight the night before.
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#2151579 - 10/27/17 09:25 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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One other question i just thought of....if my schedule is supposed to be 6 p.m. and midnight the night before....and be at the hospital at 7:30 the next morning....does that mean i'm pretty much gonna be on the toilet from midnight to whenever i leave for the hospital?
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#2151586 - 10/28/17 01:16 AM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
thomasj Offline
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Pennsylvania
I'd be concerned about taking something at midnight! Like I said, I started my prep at 12:30 in the afternoon and by 10pm I was comfortable enough to go to bed and sleep. I was out of the bathroom by late afternoon though I didn't go far as I was in and out a few times after. I too had to be at the hospital at 7:30 in the morning and was thankful to get some rest the night before.
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#2151592 - 10/28/17 07:37 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
Rocky P Offline
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Florida
Thanks for the memories. And describing it best was a Dave Barry article from the Miami Herald a few years ago.

Rant warning - close the door to your office before reading!

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1928847.html

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#2151594 - 10/28/17 09:19 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening Rocky P
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Next to Harvey
Great article!

The first one was truly an event. The second, no, not really. Consider the alternative...
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#2151620 - 10/30/17 02:08 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
RR Joker Offline
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The Swamp
Hilarious! laugh!
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#2151666 - 10/30/17 06:08 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
one deer Offline
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Posts: 75
Any where but work
Yes people please please get your baseline colonoscopy at 50 and then do a repeat as often as your doctor recommends. My dear sweet brother-in-law never had one and the cancer was beyond stage 4 when found. He fought a heroic battle including surgeries and chemo but the cancer won; and the end was hellishly unpleasant. The prep can be unpleasant but pales in comparison to undiscovered cancer.

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#2151678 - 10/30/17 06:41 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
Christine81 Offline
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Posts: 78
Agreed ... get your screening. I had two co-workers go in for there 50 year screening and discover they had colon cancer. The first one they couldn't even finish the test ... couldn't get the scope past the tumor. After many chemo treatments she is about a five year survivor. The second one (and current co-worker) was diagnosed with stage four, and it had spread to his liver. He has had a colon resection and part of his liver removed, and is fighting a great fight (3 years in November).

I agree, the prep is the worst. My first one I felt some discomfort, however, for my one last year they gave me the Michael Jackson drug ... great stuff. Boom you are asleep ... boom you are awake with no side effects and no memory of the procedure.

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#2154363 - 11/21/17 03:00 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
raitchjay Offline
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Got it done.....think i'm good for another 5 years. The day before is absolutely the worst part.
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#2154375 - 11/21/17 04:12 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
MB Guy Offline
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Way, way south.
Anyone know how well the colon test they advertise on TV works? Get, Go, Gone is their catch phrase, Colo-Guard I think is the name. Sounds way easier than a colonoscopy.
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#2154381 - 11/21/17 04:20 PM Re: Colonoscopy Screening thomasj
edAudit Offline
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You are here
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