Colonoscopy Procedure Can Bring Peace of Mind
I am Lynn Slaney and I live in the countryside near Toronto, South Dakota. Outdoors, I like to go hiking, trail riding, fishing.
Why are regular colonoscopies important to you?
My dear father died from colon cancer 31 years ago. And it was tough on all of us because it was rough for my dad. And then it was tough on all of us to watch him go through one challenge after another. We had urged him to go earlier and he wasn't ready to and then when he did go, it was full blown colon cancer. Then he had to have chemotherapy that just wreaked havoc on his system to kill the cancer and he had to have radiation and he had to have another re-sectioning until finally he just couldn't take anymore. And he died at 59.
How did you prepare for the colonoscopy?
Preparation involves eating certain foods before, maybe three days before, that are very low in fiber and then the day before your procedure, you need to take something that cleans you out. So it's about 18 hours of having to be very close to a bathroom. It's a nuisance, but one can deal with that. I would much rather have to deal with the preparation in the colonoscopy than the challenges of dealing with colon cancer.
How did the nurse anesthetist accommodate your past reactions to anesthesia?
I asked about the anesthesia because I sometimes don't feel so terrific after the anesthesia wears off. Nauseous and a headache. This time around, I was told by the anesthesiologist that there was a new formula for anesthesia that eliminated the headaches and the nausea. And they used that on me and it worked beautifully.
What do you remember from the procedure?
I was just told step by step what I was going to do next. And then they just put this nice warm blanket on you and pretty soon you're drifting off and you wake up. I got the news from Dr. Oey that, "You're fine, Lynn. Everything went well. Everything is clean," which I was so thankful for, "and you need to come back and five years."
How did you feel after your colonoscopy?
The rest of the day was just fine. I was hungry. And I had a good appetite, no headache and no being nauseous so I started devouring food again. I was a little tired. I went home and took a long nap. Next day, I was just fine.
How did the staff support you?
The staff here are remarkable. They were available and if they had to leave the room, you just push this button and one of us will be there. They all seem to be very compassionate and committed to their work or you could call it a calling, and they loved what they were doing. They were just so dedicated to their work and they made me feel important to them. I felt completely safe, okay, and that I was being well taken care of. And there is a level of confident caring that I noticed here. It's not, "Well, we'll see what we can to do." It's, "We will get this taken care of. We're going to take a look at our options." And there's confident caring going on here and I think the staff supports each other. I think that's quite evident. Not only their patients, they support each other.
What advice would you give someone hesitant about their colonoscopy?
Not to worry about it. The procedure itself is painless. I mean, you go to sleep and I appreciated that warm blanket they put on me and then I was out. When the prep and the colonoscopy itself are over with, I just realized I'd much rather deal with that, and again in another five years, than have to deal with the challenges of battling colon cancer, because it's a challenge. The colonoscopy can detect early stages and then now there's so many cures for it. It's more treatable than it was when my dad was going through all that. So I would urge anybody who is questioning, "Oh, should I go? Should I not go?" Please, go.
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