It's colonoscopy time!

Here's a quirky thing: it's almost my birthday and that means it's this gal's annual doctor appointment season! I started planning my annual doctor visits to coincide with my birthday day or birthday week on my golden birthday, twenty-two years ago. I'll explain why I'm having the pooper checked in a minute.

Jeez, is it really 22? You know that day, I saw a resident doing his OB/GYN rotation. He was from Russia, very religious and socially judgemental. He was so outrageous during our exam that his nursing assistant left the exam room, grousing under her breath. She took me aside and apologized for his behavior when my exam was finished and encouraged me to file a complaint. I got his information and did as I was told. When I made my way back to the clinic after speaking to administration, I noticed a gurney in the waiting area, policemen and clinic staff huddled together, whispering with smirks on their faces. Apparently the doctor saw a pregnant teen mom after me, said the wrong thing and got knocked-the-***k-out. Good times.

Right. Where was I? My hematologist wants to know what's going on in my colon, so I'm headed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester today for my pre-op consultation. The colonoscopy will be at insane-o'clock Wednesday. This is a routine checkup for everyone the age of 50 and over. After the first, most people have them every 10 years. Should you have one sooner? Visit the hyperchondriac's homepage and review their Wise-Health section of the topic titled "Which test should I have to screen colorectal cancer". I had my first at the age of 40 because of stomach pains and familial, personal history with assorted cancers. Our family's glad my general practitioner ordered it, because they found a teeny-tiny-infinitesimal adenoma or polyp. After the polyp was removed, I learned on Medscape.com that, "Race per se is not a major risk factor for colonic polyps. However, studies indicate that [African Americans] have a somewhat higher incidence and an earlier onset of colorectal carcinoma. An American Gastroenterological Association task force recommended beginning colorectal cancer screening in blacks at age 45 years, rather than the standard age of 50 years."

On SessilePolyps.com they say, "Most medical societies recommend that a person have a colonoscopy performed at age fifty and then every ten years after that. If a person has colon cancer in the family they should have their first colonoscopy ten years before the age that their family member was diagnosed. Therefore the adenoma tubulovillous and sessile polyp can be removed [and] prevent the formation of colon cancer." Since my polyp was found at age 40, my daughters should begin colonoscopy screening at age 30. Only 19 short years to go, ladies!

So, wish me luck. If anything 'comes up' I'll be sure to over-share it here, right on the Daily Planet.

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Rachel Dykoski's picture
Rachel Lovejoy