(ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Katie Couric has done it. Jimmy Kimmel has done it. In this Utah Caring Stories, I did what everyone over 50 should do.
What is “it?” Everyone over 50 should get a colonoscopy. The first step is the infamous “prep.” Dr. Brett Doxey of Utah Gastroenterology explained; “The bowel prep is a cleaning solution that essentially maintains fluid in the gut and washes out all the other stuff that is normally in the gut. “
Jimmy Kimmel recently turned 50. Katie Couric has been a champion of colonoscopies after the death of her husband to colon cancer. Katie accompanied Jimmy for his first colonoscopy. They had fun with the prep portion. As they put it, “Can I get you a drink. Yeh sure. Is that the stuff? Cheers. How was it? Vile. That’s all there is to it. How long does this take to work. Oh, wait it’s working. “
Couric says; “Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer for men and women combined in this country so that’s why it is so important to get screened.”
So off I went to Utah Gastro. The prep the night before wasn’t that bad, but I do agree with Jimmy that the stuff does taste pretty nasty.
The morning of my colonoscopy I filled out some paperwork and was then brought back to the procedure area. I got outfitted in a stylish, but slight drafty hospital gown. The next person to see me was Travis Bernie, the Chief CRNA. Translation, this is the guy that was my best friend for the next 20-30 minutes to make sure that I get the right meds to give me a nice comfortable nap during my procedure.
Travis gets me set up with an IV and wheels me into the procedure room. You’ve got to remember that my awesome videographer/editor, Ed Wilets, is taping this whole thing. It’s a good thing I trust Ed. I give Ed a thumbs up and say, “It’s a cheeky story but somebody’s got to do it.”
Dr. Doxey is a very knowledgeable Doc with a great bedside manner. He explains what is going to happen during the procedure and also tells me how important getting screened is. What is pretty cool is how explains that if they find anything that they will be able to remove things, so I basically end up (pun intended) with a fresh start.
As I watch the video that Ed did during the procedure, I felt like a fly on the wall in my own experience. Thankfully, I didn’t remember a thing…but I was amazed how fast I went to sleep. Apparently, my wife is correct when she says I snore.
It’s kind of a weird feeling for me to watch the video as Dr. Doxey explains the procedure play-by-play to Ed. “See that teeny little piece of tissue there. Open. Very small. Very benign looking, but it is going to be completely removed. Close. So, it never has a change to grow up and cause cancer. Good remove. Thank you. Sample 1 – Ascending colon. Okay. Polyp #2. Forceps And he is done.”
I came back to Utah Gastro after the results from the pathologist were in. Dr. Doxey explained that he found and removed what ended up being two pre-cancerous polyps. I asked him what could have happened if I had put off getting my colonoscopy. His answer made me grateful I hadn’t waited longer; “The types of polyps that you had, on-average, have a between 1 to 5 percentage chance, per year of developing cancer. So, if you had postponed coming in, getting screened you would have been at moderate to high risk over 5 to 10 years.”
The next thing he said made getting a colonoscopy on TV worth it; “You’ve got a clean slate now. And we’ll check again in 5 years.”
Glad to hear that Doc. Thank you. Thank you very much.
These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.
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