Full disclosure, I had a healthy dose of Propofol about 3 hours ago, so what follows is, well… the best I can do.
If you visited my page yesterday, you know that I had my first ever colonoscopy today. To recap, people with CF need to get colonoscopies younger than the general population because there is an increased risk of colon cancer for the CF population. The correlation between colon cancer and CF isn’t totally understood, but it does, unfortunately, exist.
The prep wasn’t actually so bad. I give 100% of the credit to my feeding tube, though. If there was ever a reason to get a feeding tube, it’s for a colonoscopy. Drinking that laxative would not have happened without it, so a huge shout out to 20-year old Gunnar for going through with the g-tube placement! As for the frequent trips to the bathroom, I have to recommend Tucks (super on brand) anal anesthetic. I must have pooped no fewer than 25 times yesterday, and I didn’t feel it a single time. It was simply amazing.
@Tucks… if you need someone to endorse your products, give me a call. I have been a loyal customer for close to a decade.
My day in the colonoscopy suite didn’t start off so hot. I decided it would be a good idea to break the tension (read: my stress) with a poop joke, and it fell totally flat. The joke went something like this…
Nurse: “Do you need to use the bathroom before we start?”
Gunnar: “Should I actually go to the bathroom or aren’t they just going to suck the poop out of there anyway?”
Nurse: “No… no they are not.”[pause]
Gunnar: “Okay, I guess I will use the bathroom.”
In fact I brought attention to my terrible attempt at comedy on Twitter, and per usual, the Internet did not disappoint.
From there, I had a minor anxiety attack, and then after some soothing words from the nurse, it was lights out (with a little help from my friends Versed and Propofol). The next thing I knew, it was an hour later, and I was in the recovery room clamoring for a cup of coffee. My mom delightfully went to the coffee stand downstairs.
The best news of all was that my colon looks perfectly healthy! There was no sign of polyps or anything worse.
My hemorrhoids were the culprit for some of my GI discomfort as we had suspected. Shout out to my relentless effort in the gym (straining = hemorrhoids).
For those of you keeping score at home, here’s a picture of the inside of my butt.
In fact, as it turns out, they actually also assign a rating on of scale of 0-9 as to how well patients do with their prep, and I was given an 8, which qualifies as an excellent rating. Again, I give 100% of the credit to my feeding tube, and, of course, to the always amazing team of doctors and nurses at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City!
In all seriousness, though, I have learned a lot over the last few days. Most notably, colonoscopies for people with CF are very serious. We need to do them as suggested by the care team, not fear them.
Just yesterday when I posted my blog on Facebook, a number of the CF commenters (or folks who reached out to me directly) mentioned that their colonoscopies didn’t go quite as well as they had hoped, and that they are now either dealing with colon cancer or precancerous polyps.
My goal isn’t to scare you, but rather to encourage you to discuss common CF complications with your care team so that you can get out in front of them.
I am so glad that I brought up my hemorrhoids to my doctor in clinic a few weeks ago. In fact, I happened to do it in the middle of general conversation. But now here I am with some peace of mind. I won’t need another colonoscopy for at least another decade!