Okay, this is the kind of information may save your life, etc., but when it first happens to you, it's a bit unsettling.
I have suspected my doctor just likes to order tests and push pills on me for every least little thing. Yes, I am carrying about 100 lbs. more than I should, and I'm flirting with diabetes and a heart condition, but it seems that every time I see him, I have to add another pill to my regimen, or go for another test that my insurance decides is not a test because if it was they would cover it 100%. I'm still paying off a $4,000 bill for running on a treadmill after being injected with isotopes. And I didn't even come close to "Hulking out."
That test was ordered along with a slightly less expensive one: a hemocult screening based on feces samples. Six months later, I'm back for another checkup. The doctor tells me they found blood in my stool, so I need to go in for a colonoscopy. Seems blood in your sample can be a symptom of cancer. So at the age of 47 I get my first cancer scare; yay!
So August 28 I'm scheduled to visit the hospital and get a probe stuck so far up my wazoo that I can taste it. My concern about how this procedure will go down is unsettling, as it would seem to involve pain in areas of myself known for generating great pains before. My only reference to fictional characters that have had colonoscopies is from "King of the Hill." I have to prepare for this thing by taking yet another day off work to consult with the doctor who'll be doing the procedure, and he gives me a little lecture that lasts all of ten minutes. For which I had to burn another vacation day.
Day of the procedure, I go through all the usual preliminaries. Check in, show Blue Cross cards, show cards again, get into a room, don the famous "breezy bottoms" hospital gown Get wheeled into the room where I am shown how to lie on my side and see the monitor they'll using to view my insides.
The only part that really had me worried (aside, again from the possibility of finding a gut full of tumors) was the anesthesiologist. He started an IV drip on me with a mild sedative and cheerily informed me that he was ready to increase the dosage if I felt any pain. I usually take that to mean I should expect a lot of pain.
And I probably would end up not remembering any of this visit.
Turned out, though, to be no problem at all. Really. No more discomfort than a prostate exam. I seem to recall lying on my side for about ten minutes, so maybe I lost a little time, but it sure seemed like I was up for the whole deal. And best of all, they collected a few polyps from inside of me and later told me there was nothing wrong with them.
So a lot of fears over very little. I'm feeling happy and healthy. The next day I go back to work, and on my way home, my car gets sideswiped by a semi.