It’s been 5 years, so this week I got to go in for my colonoscopy again. Time flies when you are having fun, but nothing like it does under the influence of Michael Jackson’s favorite drug – Propofol. That is the stuff they give you, via IV, in the operating room, right before they perform a colonoscopy.
About 1 in 20 Americans will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime. 140,000 cases are diagnosed each year and those result in 49,000 deaths. It is the third most common cancer and one of the most preventable. 49,000 deaths. That is more than the combined total of persons dying from murder, shark attacks, car accidents, and dinosaur related deaths.
Doctors recommend a colonoscopy starting at age 50 every 10 years. If they find some polyps during a colonoscopy, they usually remove them at the same time and then the recommendation changes to once every five years. You have to renew your driver’s license more often than that, and you don’t even have to go to the DMV for a colonoscopy. If you have insurance, it will cover it according to the schedule your doctor prescribes, usually at 100%.
The worst part of a colonoscopy is not the procedure – that’s pretty much the fun part, as you are knocked out cold while your doctor plays roto-rooter man. No, the worst part is drinking the weird stuff they give you the night before the procedure. It is designed to clean out your system so roto-rooter man can see with his tiny camera. Just stay close to the bathroom the night before and all will be fine.
On the day of the procedure, you will report to the hospital or clinic and a whole bunch of people will ask you if you followed the rules and had nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Assuming you did as instructed, they will inject you with some Profolol and within seconds you will be out like a light. About 20 minutes later, you will wake up and once you can tell the nurse your name and who won the 1956 World Series, you can go home. You have to have someone drive you out of there, as you may be a bit groggy for a few hours. In my case, I went home and took a nice nap and then went and judged the Texaco Country Showcase that evening at Rhythm & Brews. No big deal, and I get to live a while longer without colorectal cancer to get in my way.
If you are 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy, talk to your doctor about getting one. It doesn’t have to be that bad – make a fun day of it. This year, I asked my doctor to be sure and tell Pat that he didn’t find my head in there anywhere, as I have been accused of having it there on more than one occasion. I even bragged to my friend Bruce that I got to have one Wednesday and he didn’t. He was quite jealous, too, as he also enjoys his colonoscopies.
There is lots of fun stuff to do in Chattanooga this weekend, including the Beaters 150th anniversary reunion at Rhythm & Brews tonight. Queen Lightning is at Buds, tonight. Toad the Wet Sprocket is at Track 29 tonight, but tomorrow’s Old Crow Medicine Show is sold out. Soul Survivor is at Sugars BBQ Downtown both nights. Megan Jean and the KFB is JJ’s Bohemia on Saturday Night, and one of my new favorites, Rag Doll, is at Bud’s Sportsbar on Saturday night. Don’t forget Nightfall tonight and the Chattanooga Market on Sunday! I can do all of those things, and I had a colonoscopy 48 hours ago, so you have no excuse. With a little luck, I'll be able to them for many years to come, too!
For local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com or www.chattanooganightscope.com. They both have great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.
Email Bob Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.