Monday, February 4, 2013

Colonoscopy 101

If you've never been through this procedure (and until today, I had not), I don't intend my remarks at all to discourage you. There was no discomfort, the nurses and doctor were great, and the results for me were good. For people my age, having a screening is good preventive medicine and it can save your life.

Note to self: Never schedule a colonoscopy on the day after the Super Bowl.

It would take me a long time to list all the great food that I didn't eat on Super Bowl Sunday. Here's the shorter list of what I did eat:

Consommé - This is something intended to be an ingredient, not to be consumed as "dinner."

Chicken broth - See consommé.

Jell-O - Better when it's in that dish some people serve at Thanksgiving with whipped cream and nuts.

What was much more interesting was what I had to drink. The pharmacy keeps this stuff in a corner reserved for prescriptions to be dispensed with the tag line: "You're gonna have fun with this."

It's a gallon container with a mound of white powder in it and a selection of four fun flavor packets: Pineapple, orange, lemon-lime, and cherry. I selected orange, although the idea of adding more than one flavor did cross my mind. When I was a kid, we called it a "suicide" when you mixed all of the flavors at the 7-11 fountain.

I dumped in my flavor packet, filled the container with water to the four liter line, replaced the cap, and shook vigorously. The resulting solution was completely clear and nearly devoid of orange flavoring.

My task was to drink this stuff within three to four hours. I started at noon so that I'd be done before kickoff. The instructions state that you'll be hitting the head in about an hour. The instructions were right.

By the time you get to the last two or three glasses, you'd believe that your esophagus is directly connected to your colon.

When I awoke this morning, I shaved and took a shower before performing the last task for my doctor: The obligatory enema in the "green box."

The instructions had drawings of optional positions for taking the enema that are only exceeded in their scope and artistry by the Kama Sutra. I chose the "dog burying a bone" position and Mary administered the ice cold enema with what I perceived as a big smile on her face.

When we arrived at the surgical center, I answered lots of questions (the same ones that were on the forms I already filled out three weeks ago) and signed a half dozen releases that read like the agreements I click "Okay" to when I'm installing software.

The waiting area was pleasant, but what they had on TV was not. It was Rachel Ray cooking up some great looking dishes, remarking "mmm..." whenever she licked her fingers. Did I mention what I had to eat yesterday?

I was called back to the pre-op area and answered a bunch more questions, which somehow morphed into a discussion about medical marijuana. The nurse was very pleasant and professional and seemed to know a lot about marijuana.

I then dressed in my johnny gown and non-skid socks and paraded by a number of other patients in the pre-op like the emperor in his new clothes. Even when they're tied up properly, your butt is in plain view of anyone behind you.

The anesthetist and doctor chatted with me, asking about the governor's plans to raise taxes by $2 billion and some other small talk...

Then I was awakened in post-op about 45 minutes later. That Propofol is crazy good stuff. It puts you to sleep before you can count backwards from 10 to 9 and leaves you with no grogginess or headache afterward.

I had a muffin and cranberry juice, got dressed, and Mary chauffeured me home.

I admit that I've been a little skittish about having this done, but I do feel much better knowing that everything checked out okay.

When I do this again, I'll try to avoid booking it on July 5th.

29 comments:

  1. Randy, Glad to hear all went well. Those screenings are very important and everyone should have them as directed by their doctor.

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  2. Sounds familiar. Best part was the waking up from the sedative and wondering, "what just happened"? Great to get a clean bill of health too. Whew!

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  3. I think your story is not only funny, but familiar. Mine was 7 years ago. I due in three years. I found it rather invasive of my space.

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  4. Ahhh doggy style. That's how I lost my virginity too.

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  5. I don't understand. Did you have to have an enema out in the front yard?

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  6. Randy, welcome to the club and what an important club it is! We lost our dad at the age of 31 because this simple yet annoying procedure did not exist in the 1950's. When a family has a statistically significant event such as an early colon cancer death...then screening becomes a life saver. There were four of us kids that began this necessary screening at age 40 due to the history. All of us have the precancerous type of polyp (adenomas) and regularly undergo followups for removal. We don't remember a thing, well, except the prep. Doesn't matter what night you choose Randy, you only get to pick cherry or lemon flavor. I appreciate you sharing your event with us because it is a very important tool for doctors. Young men and women NEVER have to die of a colon cancer that could have been prevented. For those that are curious, hyperplastic polyps are the more normal and less threatening type. I urge everyone to look at their family history and ignore the stigma associated with the procedure. It has been the butt of many jokes for years, pun intended.

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    1. Well original, I am sorry you have the polyps, but am surprised as I thought you were perfect.

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    2. Stigma? A prostate check from my Doctor is more of a stigma. I have to see her again next year.

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  7. I am glad to hear you made it through and the news was good. It is something essential for one's health.

    (Now for the political satire on this subject)

    I get this done to me all the time, only it has a different name. It's called "Being a Massachusetts Resident". State and Local officials are constantly prodding themselves up my (you know where). You were lucky to have received anesthesia for your procedure. I just have to lay down and take it. Now that you've recovered, could you please work on telling Deval and his gang of socialists to do the same with his proposed "transportation" tax hikes. Feel free to tell him to "Shove them (you know where)."

    Some would say "if you don't like it here, move!"... to which I reply "Trust me, I'm trying".

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    1. Carl Johansen would say to Greg, not the 'original'

      Non of us are perfect, we all have some imperfections. During ones life time, each of us will face a challenge of life on this earth as we know it.Those that choose to not take appropriate measures, in the end get to pay the piper and a shorter life span.

      Then again you may find someone like me that is just plain outspoken. Having gone through three life changing events in my time here on earth, where life stopped, you sort of get a different outlook that transforms you into taking care of what you can take care of and leave the rest up to the man upstairs.

      Now to just plain Greg[not the original] perhaps you may need to reconsider your remark, as who knows,it just may be catching. It is called karma in the land of mystical behavor some times it is good, sometimes it is bad. I am sure that the original greg would only wish you good karma in regards to your evaluation when ever that time may come.

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    2. Keep trying, Michelle. Really. Vaya con dios. I make a point to hold the door open for exiting whiners.

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    3. That's not very nice. Hard to sell a house in the town with the highest taxes and least amount of services. I'm not whining, it was satire, 'ya jerk.

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    4. Oh honey, no. What you typed was mere sarcasm. Satire is... well, funny, for one thing, and requires a certain cleverness. Anyway. Bon voyage, dear. I know Sandwich has many wonderful Realtors who can help you on your way.

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  8. I do not understand what it is you wrote Mr. Johansen, but I do know that I just wanted to say that I thought that the original Greg (as you refer to him) a perfect A$$$##e. Now I know that he is not. A complement of sorts.

    As for you my good sir. You are outspoken and most usually with a nasty approach. I read your diatribe In the local rag last Friday and jumped out of my seat. I think your words are not necessary and very mean spirited. Was there a need to attack one Selectmen? If you had bothered to speak to him, you would know he understands the need for a public safety building. When I was opposed to it, it was he who convinced me of its necessity. As I have read and understand him, he is questioning the cost. As far a public officials, he is the only one that I have heard that has done so. Truly commendable. He is at least thinking about the Public. The Public Service Bldg. is not an investment in the future, it is a necessity NOW. People need it NOW. Our children will not live here for they will go where there are jobs that make money. Yes, we live in a nice place, but it has NO FUTURE for our children. Your arguments on economic development would have held up for the proposed library that you so vehemently opposed. Your words are hypocritical at its best.

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  9. Chester Goode, Dodge City KSFebruary 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Mr. T American--thanks for writing what I was thinking concerning hypocrisy. My guess is that we may receive a response from Carl Johansen, but rest assured it will not answer the accusations but it will go on to state something to the effect that we are all different and read and say things differently. He most likely will not address his attack on Frank. Some of the past writers of this blog have suggested he should run for office. I think he should so that when he loses he will then understand that people have caught up to his unfamiliarity with debate despite what I believe is his knowledge and recall of the facts. Basically he should not kill flees with a steam roller as sometimes it is not necessary. He should understand that the strength of his argument should stand on its own without the personal attacks on people.

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  10. Carl Johansen would state to unknown posters in regards to Selectman Frank. He has had over five years to get it right in regards to why he feels we the town of Sandwich, can not afford to put in place a new safety complex. Say what you want his record speaks for itself and that is a fact when it comes to replacing the two patchwork buildings that have not been kept up to todays standards. The last time we had this proposal brought up, when he was a sitting member of the board of selectmen,his influence over others, assured that this subject matter was not going to go before the citizens of Sandwich, for a vote, by the people who get to pay the bills. The Citizens of Sandwich have the right to determine there own fate in that matter, if it passes or not.

    If you listened and followed his position closely, he indicated by his actions that WE the citizens of Sandwich do not have the capacity to make that decision for ourselves.

    When an elected official expounds upon data as factual and apparently it was not, in order to reduce the value of what may be replaced by building this safety complex, in a place he does not approve of[ He wants it some where else and is on record saying so]it demeans the whole democratic process in my opinion.

    He has managed to vote that our taxpayers dollars be used to perform another study , on top of a study that our tax dollars were used to provide our town with the best location and every time the same place was chosen by the experts. How many thousands of dollars does it take, before one realizes , maybe the people we payed all this money too, might just be right.

    It is very clear to me that 1,38 and 3,56 are the same and that is fine with me.

    As far as debate goes, one cannot deny that economic development here in Sandwich are just a bunch of hollow words.

    For some further factual data, my recall of events have been recorded by others and myself over the years and if you feel that any one who we elect into any office are not doing the peoples business for the whole of the community then they take the chance of being written about. You may not like what I put in the paper, however I have spoken to these elements of democracy before, just like you will continue to deny it never happened.

    Now as far as Mr. Frank goes, the subject matter before us, if indeed he is for this project as you stated above, why has he continued with the same dialog since its inception and not taken steps to correct what he observes as a disagreement with the experts we the people have paid for?

    All we the citizens of Sandwich are asking for is the opportunity to Vote on a matter of great impact to the whole town of Sandwich.

    It may not pass, but at least the citizens , those whom pay the bills get to decide there own fate going forward as a community in a democratic process that some here, in my opinion want to take away from us.

    Do we need a new safety complex, absolutly.

    Will it help Economic development, absolutly

    Will it help the tax base, absolutly

    Will it increase the potentional for a stronger town government ,absolutly

    Is it the right time, absolutly

    Will it guide us into the future, absolutly

    Will it provide a stronger and resilant community, absolutly.

    Let the citizens decide the fate they want to see going forward, it is only part of the democratic process, no more no less.

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    1. Johansen, once AGAIN, you fail to understand. It is not whether or not Frank is correct or incorrect in what he has done or said. It IS whether or not you are correct in bringing up the NEGATIVE and making it personal.

      You are arguing that the citizens should have the right to vote on building or not building a Public Safety Complex as has been recommended to go forth to Town Meeting. That my good sir is fine. I like you feel that it should go before Town Meeting and then the citizens in May. As you so astutely pointed out, there had been a vote that was 4-1 in favor of putting the Complex on the TM warrant. There was no need for you to point out what you incorrectly believe to be the failings of Frank
      in the matter of Economic Development.

      He was the only one of those involved in the decision, the committee and the other selectmen. They in my humble opinion, did not ask the correct questions. It is hard for me to believe that this whole process was not a set up. One townsperson, at one of the TM actually asked the Town Manager and the Selectmen "What is plan BCC" She NEVER received an answer. I assure you that if this fails, there will be another plan. Why don't the Selectpeople let us know now. Is it because it may be cheaper and yet better? Frank is not the problem, he is part of the solution. The solution being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      You have taken a stubborn stand. Lighten up and go for coffee tomorrow.

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  11. Carl Johansen would state to poster 513 Glad to see that you agree that this should come before the voters for a vote, up or down. The whole town and not just at Town meeting.

    If Frank is part of the solution as you indicate, why in almost 5 years has his involment with bringing this before the citizens been has more about where he wants
    this complex to go. Rather then where the folks, we payed hard cash have indicated it should go?

    As far as Economic Development goes they go hand in hand with any long range goals that he also has been involved with from the very start and yet we still are waiting for something to show up from the $50,000 we gave to this group.

    Now those are facts as well to put in your words.

    Where has his influence been in directing or a lack off, a more open and transparent process to the citizens of Sandwich?

    You may not agree , but until we see a new safety complex here in Sandwich, the corner stone to economic development, non of us will ever see any new business coming here. They are tied together like two peas in a pod.

    The stand I take, for me is the right stand, given many personal experiences with Mr. Frank over the years.

    Years, where not only where we helped get signatures and walked the lines for Mr. Frank,to get him elected. At one time I did feel he had the capicity to save our town , We no longer feel that way and we are sure that many others have seen a different person then when we first supported him in public as well.

    Time tells all and in the end the pie is still baking, do we see a new Sandwich, where new business will increase the money flow, allow us to rebuild our town government that has been allowed to fall apart. Enhance jobs, educational opportunities that will provide for the future citizens of Sandwich, in a manner that is progressive or do we continue a remain in the days of the horse and buggy.

    No easy taks, but it only can begin if we the citizens step up to the plate and make it happen and not leave it up to some politically oriented group that is more self motivated.

    You can keep me company on the coffee, just give me a time and place and we will meet and discuss this to your hearts content

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  12. Johansen, you really don't get the point, do you?

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  13. Carl Johansen would ask , in regards to your point. We know that you would never sign your name from the unknown world of shadows. We also know that you have also posted here under severel different signatures. As I indicated in another post that is ok, but why not further explain your point, I have allready explained mine and I signed my name to them.

    We even offered to further show you the documentation from evaluations that have provided me with my reasoning as to my points, over a cup of coffee.

    My points are based upon factual data, care to have a cup of coffee and we will only be to glad to debate the differences.

    Now Smile

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  14. Not with you, thank you

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  15. I think that the Safety Complex should get a positive vote, especially because of what happened at the police station during the last blizzard. I do wish the price tag could be less. I don't think we should spend as much money as we will spend and not have proper coverage throughout town. I do accept what the professionals have said concerning the location of the new Safety Complex, but know that we could better serve the town with two more small stations in addition to the one that will go near the high school.

    Its time to stop bickering on this blog about personalities. Maybe we should all meet for coffee if someone wants to set it up.

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    1. Without bickering (I agree that accomplishes nothing), you say that the safety complex should get the Yes vote, but then say it should be done differently and at less money. So why would you vote Yes? I think we should start to ask more questions as to why this is the one and only plan. Don't just vote Yes. I would think that since the town failed so miserably during the blizzard it only proves that they don't know what they are doing and do not deserve something new until they can manage what they already have. A Yes vote will just pass over 30 million of our hard-earned dollars, when we all agree it can be done a better and less expensive, more effective way for everyone in this town. Don't just vote Yes and hope for the best. Yes, we should progress; Yes, we need better facilities; Yes, we should consider better options for revenue; But Hell No, not this project. To the town I'd say get your acts together, then the Yes votes will be easier to give you. At this point, the town "deserves" nothing.

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    2. It would be hard, in fact impossible, for me to disagree with what you write. I do not see anyone stepping up to the plate, and, no, I will not either, to lead those who might think otherwise, to vote against the 44 million for the complex. That said, it seems to me that we have two choices, to accept that which was rammed down our throats or to vote in a clearly needed complex at a ridiculous cost. Rest assured that if I do vote for it, I will vote against any "townside" override for the length of my life or the length of the payback on the bonds for the complex, whichever comes first. I will vote, if warranted for a school override. I think the complex should come out of the hides of the "townside" budgets. If it is acceptable, I would like to call myself by the name I have ascribed above.

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  16. Carl Johansen would state to 1;11
    The cost of this project only goes up, every year we continue to debate the final cost to put in place a safety complex. Like every thing else our town has done over time is to pass the buck onto the next generation of family's.

    We can no longer afford to follow that thought process, the recent storm may have been bad, but not as bad as what mother nature can throw at our fair town going into in the future.

    Unfortunitly we have issues that take money to get them done and some need more communcation's with the right groups.


    It is unfortunt that some one had to lose there life during this past storm, because the power failed and they did not survive the cold.

    We as citizens need to resolve the ever increase demand upon our fire and police, whom did a magnicifant job , given the lack of a proper and safe place to work out of themselves.

    We also as a town need to resolve the impending disaster forthcoming from any more breaching of our barrier beach. If we do not act as town to resolve the safety complex, we just may have two areas that will need to be addressed at the same time. Besides property losses, we stand to observe many life threating issues that better planning and communication might be able to resolve. Let us not continue the process of passing off to the next generation these issues, we should do better as a town and community.

    My name is in the book and should you like to engage , We will be more then welcome to respond.

    Mr Hunt if the State can declare a state of emergancy , the town of Sandwich should also be able to do the same thing and at the very least begin to find a way to stabilize the barrier beach, with out moving any of the sand that has allready been washed into the town creek area.

    It has been done elsewhere. We should be able to find federal and state dollars to bring in sand to close up the breaches from the front
    or ocean side of the dunes, along with expediting any permiting process. This is something that your office can do, what say yee grand wizard of this blog

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  17. This is all a bit weird, discussing the proposed public safety building on my colonoscopy post. I'm sure I'll post something about the May town meeting sometime in April.

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  18. Carl Johansen would agree that the subject matter did digress from the original subject matter you started with [We call that sidetracking the original conversation] It was never my intention to debate unrelated issues , however given the mystery folks, a debate of sorts ensued.

    We would appreciate both the Safety complex and Beach problems have seperate focal points here , long before town meeting comes to pass.

    From my perspective we have four very important subject matters which needs to be discussed and addressed by the citizens of our town.

    Saving the barrier beach
    Relocating the police and fire
    Putting in place Economic Development
    Increasing the educational opportunities for our children

    For me they are all tied together, if Sandwich is to advance and takes its rightful place as a safe and progressive place to live

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    1. mystery person number 1,387February 18, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Number one for me is the barrier beach

      Number two is economic development and I mean real economic development

      The fire/police station is a done deal

      dr Canfield is doing just fine with the schools He has made advances that have not been made since the canone years

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  19. Since this thread has turned into "things that stick in my ...." well you know the rest...

    What about the Community School? Why has that been allowed to fester so long? They've been losing money since their Dance Academy fiasco a decade ago.

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