A Little Medical Talk…

28 Mar
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This is a clue …. not a running post and not a skirt post.

This past week was  a big one for me, medically speaking anyway… and, honestly, it might have a little too much information for you, so I’ll totally understand if you pass it by!  But there’s some good stuff in here!

Not only did I celebrate the first year of officially being on my insulin pump but I also had my first colonoscopy.

You can only imagine which of these events made me happier!!

In a year being on the pump, my A1c has dropped from 8.5 or 8.7 or something in that area (maybe even higher!) to 6.2. This is a pretty big deal, it means that I have good, or ‘tight’ control of my diabetes. I’ve had few problems and can’t imagine ever going back to taking several shots a day!

Now, the colonoscopy is another story entirely!! Everyone hears the horror stories and there is advice all over the internet there is loads of advice and how tos to make eat “easier”.

My procedure was actually rescheduled a few times – from last December to January to last week. It had to be an earlier appointment in the day to keep my sugars from getting too messed up so we ended up in late March!

I didn’t give it much thought until a few weeks ago. I got my ride lined up – since you are sedated in the procedure you shouldn’t / can’t drive yourself. NB you’re also supposed to have someone stay overnight but …that wasn’t going to happen!

One of the big pieces of advice I read, was to kind of clean up your diet at least a few days before the “prep” day! So, starting on Monday, I cut out meat (actually, that probably happened on Sunday!) and at all my veggies from the fridge so they wouldn’t go bad. My plan for breakfasts and lunches for the few days at work was yogurt and hard boiled eggs. And then soup for dinner. Plus LOTS of water – best to go in fully hydrated since the prep can be dehydrating.

And then Thursday rolled around. Starting Thursday morning until I was finished Friday I could only have clear liquids – non-red liquids. Jell-O is a liquid ya’ll! And so are gummy bears (they become liquid at body temp so go through your system as a liquid!) – again, not red though! I was all set!

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Why yes I *do* buy my soda at WalMart 🙂

The gastroenterology office had prescribed an “easier” prep solution – instead of having to drink a gallon of prep liquid, I only had to drink 2 5 oz doses. Wednesday night I made some lime Jell-O – that was my breakfast plan!! I actually only had a couple of bites of it before work. I brought some beef broth and a couple of bottles of flavored water to work and I was all set!

Throughout the day, I had a few pretty short moments of feeling hungry, but overall it wasn’t so bad. I called into the endoscopy clinic in the early afternoon and found out my appointment was at 7:10 the next morning. left a little early so I could get Phred walked before I took my first dose.

What I learned from my first dose was that it would be easier to handle if the water was cold! According to the instructions I had to have 45 ounces of clear liquid in the next 5 hours. Which is easy peasy for me! And I had to wait. Not as easy for me. I kept waiting for/dreading the onset of …well…After a couple of hours I started to think I had done something wrong. But eventually, the prep started working.

Now, everything you will read will say that you need to stay close to, if not actually *on* a potty so I was surprised that I managed to go to sleep for a few hours before my second dose at 1 am. Yep. 1 AM. Followed by 24 ounces of water in the following hour. Then once it was 3 am I was to put nothing in my mouth at all.

I fell back to sleep around 3 and my alarm was set for 5 so I could take a shower. By this time, the prep seemed to have completely, ahem, done it’s job. My colon was pristine-ish.  My first instinct on waking up was to take a huge drink of water and the bottle was in my hand before I remembered –NOTHING IN YOUR MOUTH!!

Got dressed and waited for my ride to arrive  – my running friend Kimberlee was the lucky winner in that lotto! I got signed in, and didn’t wait long before I was taken in to the prep / recovery room. Changed into a gown (open in back of course!) vitals taken, talked with the anesthesiologist, then Stephanie,  the anesthesiologist who was going to actually shoot me up and had an IV put in. Then waited. Finally Stephanie came to bring me in, and we chatted the whole way down the hall.

The procedure room was very bright (which you would hope!) and I met a couple more of the nurses who would be in the room. Stephanie got me situated then added the propofol to my IV, which burned like a mofo. THEN she said – “I just added the sedative” and before I could say “Yeah, I felt it” I was out cold.

The next thing I new I was being woken up and given something to drink. I moved from the bed to a chair and was able to get dressed while the doctor came in to tell me she had removed one small (1-2 cm) polyp and it would be sent to be tested. The results would determine if I had to come back in 5 years or 10.

Kim brought me home and I really did nothing the rest of the day.

All in all, the whole experience wasn’t nearly as horrible as I imagined. I think that my diet in the few days before made the prep easier and less stressful. The staff at Middlesex Endoscopy was awesome! The worst parts of the whole day Friday were the insertion of the IV needle and the dosing with the sedative. And the sticks to check my blood sugar (I hate those every day though!) – but, I have to say, I remembered them telling me they would check before I went in and before I came out – I was wide awake for the before and didn’t even realize the after had been done while I was still out til I saw the poke mark on my finger!

So, PSA – if you are 50 or older (yes, I know it’s so very hard to believe I fall in that category!) you really need to get this done. It’s a once every 10 years kind of event and as long as you’re prepared for it, it is not bad. And it can save your life. Really. And I want you to save your life!

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