If you have been for a physical, and your doctor suggests a colonoscopy, then be ready for a test of endurance!
If you have to have a colonoscopy because of problems, or just because you have reached that magical age of 50, then be ready for a two day endurance test.
The test itself, is really not bad, actually easy, it is what you have to do for preparation before hand. They are really promoting this test for anyone 50 and over, because if they find any polyps or growths at this stage, they can deal with them and prevent colon cancer, as many of these polyps and growths can, over time, about 8 to 10 years start colon cancer.
Colon cancer is on the rise, especially in the age group over 50, men and women. But it is going to be a hard sell for this test, especially if you don't feel you are having problems, and feel alright right now.
You will basically have to take 2 days off of work, unless you are able to function at work on a diet of broth, Jell-O and tea!. The entire day before you will no longer be able to eat, actually they aim for about 30 hours of this type of diet. That first night is hard, without any solid food, even that Jell-O starts tasting good, as it is about the only food that feels like you are chewing something.
Then there is that lovely laxative they give you.. Very powerful.. I need not describe the results here, I am sure you can figure out the rest, needless to say, you must be near a bathroom, don't even think about leaving the house once you start that part of the regime.
By the time you get to your appointment the next day, you are ready for that nap. You can't think straight anyways, especially if you are a big eater, and are used to large meals. Your brain turns mushy, and you have to drink lots of water and fluids, so now you feel like a big slosh bucket!.
But they give you a sedative, that puts you out for a light nap, with no hangover effects, and you really don't feel the test at all. If everything is alright, then you get a 10 year gold star, and hopefully in 10 years, medical advances, will be such that this test will seem cruel, and there will be a different way. If they find anything, they will deal with it, right then and there if possible, and then have you come back for another endurance test in less years.
This is a good test, but 2 days off work, and you need someone to drive you home after the exam, as the sedative doesn't totally wear off for the rest of the day, and then you have to prevent yourself from wanting to eat the fridge. You were good up until then, as you knew that was a test you could NOT cheat on, or they would find out, and in a nasty wayâ€¦ so you were good, and now they have told you to go ahead and eat regular, nothing is off limits.
So, you go YESSSSSâ€¦ and start to eat, then quickly not feel so good. You have to remember, that your stomach has probably shrunk, depending on how big an eater you were before, so if you are heavy, use this time to get used to smaller portions. But don't cram food in there right after this test, start slow, or you will be back on that Jell-O and broth again, and you don't want to have to do this endurance test again!