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February 21, 2011


Interesting info. I'm about to turn 40, so I may have to have one done soon. I'm not looking forward to it. I live in South Korea and generally the doctors here are pretty good, but I went in for another problem and they just jammed a hose inside me. The whole waiting room heard a sound like it came from a very angry person. That was me. I hope when I have it done for real it isn't that bad.

My wife, an avid dog lover, pointed out to me after my colonoscopy that recent research found that canines can sniff peoples' poop and detect cancer cells with something like 97% accuracy. See:

But this requires a trained dog, so it wouldn't have been enough to have our Serena accompany me into the bathroom and sniff the toilet after I'd taken a crap. Plus, dogs can't detect benign polyps that could cancerous, or remove them.

Yes, the prep is definitely the worst part. Whatever they use around here - Boston, MA area - is absolutely the worst tasting stuff I have ever experienced.

For my first colonoscopy, in which some polyps were removed, I was sedated but awake and was able to watch the monitor. Which was kind of interesting. The second time they must have used propofol because one minute they were talking and getting ready and the next minute they were saying "all done." I was disappointed that I didn't get to watch and didn't really realize I had been unconscious. I thought maybe they tricked me and didn't actually do the procedure.

What is a virtual colonoscopy?

Laurie, a virtual colonoscopy uses CT scanning to check you out, rather than physically invading your colon. I had one back in 2006. See:

The downside is (1) polyps can't be removed if found, so the patient has to have a regular colonoscopy after the virtual one, and (2) the radiation exposure.

Now that I've had two regular colonoscopies, I'd recommend going that route, as the prep is about the same, and with new sedation techniques, there's actually less discomfort with a regular colonoscopy -- since with a virtual your colon also has to be filled with air/oxygen/carbon dioxide, and that can be pretty uncomfortable when not sedated.

I just wanted to thanks for taking the time to blog about your experience . your photo helped also and I'm on my way to the store to shop for the same products except for the jello as that isn't vegetarian.

My former primary care physician (now retired) was a gastroenterologist. Some years ago, he casually said to me that he was going to schedule me for a colonoscopy. I told him that he should not bother, because I would not show up for the test. To which he said "believe me - you do not want colon cancer". I replied that those who actually have colon cancer probably feel the same way.

I am two months shy of 64 years of age. I am half deaf, have serious vision problems, have been on high blood pressure and cholesterol medication for 15 years, have an enlarged prostate, my spine is dissolving and I have lost almost 2 inches of height after 2 spinal surgeries, and have just developed type 2 diabetes and just started taking metformin.

Each night I clench my fist and point it up to the non-existent God in the sky and say: Colon cancer? Go ahead, I dare ya!

WIllie, I like your style. You're outwardly cynical, but, damn you, I sense that inside that falling-apart body beats a warm heart. You curse and dare God, yet I have the feeling that with people, you're a pleasant guy.

That said, I also suspect that you drive your doctors crazy. In an interesting way. Keep up the craziness. It's all we have to keep ourselves sane.

I would never curse God, afterall someday you will stand before him and have no more pain. God gives me the strength to get through whatever I have to.

I’m getting a colonoscopy this week due to bleeding, so this was good to hear. I am also vegetarian, so I will be fasting with a lot of vegetable broth!

Just as a heads up, Jell-O is not vegetarian. It contains gelatin. I did confirm I can have vegan Jell-O though!

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