That was a pain in the butt.

This is a discussion on That was a pain in the butt. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; As many of you know, I'm been a tad grouchy the past few days, and I've admitted that I have a doctor's appointment coming up. ...

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Thread: That was a pain in the butt.

  1. #1
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    That was a pain in the butt.

    As many of you know, I'm been a tad grouchy the past few days, and I've admitted that I have a doctor's appointment coming up. I urge you to do the same.

    I hate to admit this, but at the age of 55, I had my first colonoscopy. And I'm damn glad I did. They found three polyps; two were obviously benign, the third is going to require that I get check-ups every three years or so. Oh, I'm healthy, nothing serious--but it almost was.

    You see, cancer doesn't run in my family. For over twenty years I had the same doctor and we've discussed the same bleeding issues. For example, I'm a lifter, I have hemorhoids, my diet is poor and I've had Harley-Davidsons pounded up my butt for many decades. I'm surprised when they don't find blood.

    But Dr. George Benton, one of the best in Madison, Wisconsin, who has saved my life once from a broken neck, urged me to go through this invasive and embarrassing procedure.

    I had to fast for 48 hours, drink over 3 ounces of some salty concoction that tasted and smelled like rhino sperm (and not the good kind), and dance the porceline tango for all hours of the night.

    (Bumper, my apologies for taking it out on you.)

    After they tied me in the usual backless hospital gown, they jammed me full of more wires than my bike sees on a dynamometer, and they shot me with something that numbed me better than sipping tequila. I heard some disembodied voice say, "Turn to your left--good night, Mr. Balistreri..."

    ..."would you like a Diet Pepsi, Mr. B?" asked a nurse.

    "Yeah, I would, is it over?" I asked, "Am I okay?"

    "You're fine, here's what happened..."

    That's it, guys. No pain, no hang-over, no worries. Get over the embarrassment. Go see your doctor, especially if you have a family history. And don't think it doesn't involve you if there is no family history.

    I'll be around for many years antagonizing forum moderators and noise conscious neighbors.

    And I called my brother. His odds went up today. I'm happy to tell you he already has a colonoscopy scheduled for early this summer.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Fjolnirsson's Avatar
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    Glad you're ok, man. And glad I have a few years before I have to go through that.
    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be like water, my friend."-Bruce Lee

    My Blog

    "Luck, often enough, will save a man if his courage does hold."

  4. #3
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    You don't feel a thing. In fact, I drove my wife to the nearest Chinese buffet and darn near closed the joint.

    If they find nothing, as in most cases, you are free from additional exams for the next ten years. I'm good for the next three to five. Most of my Corsican cousins do "three to five" standing on their heads.

    Come'n guys, we talk here all day about aggressors and gun fire. Are we then afraid of a narrow gauge fiber optic wire and a little embarrassment?

    Face it. Defeat it. Own it.

  5. #4
    Member Array Fjolnirsson's Avatar
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    Actually, fear doesn't have anything to do with it. I just object to that sort of thing without at least being treated to dinner.
    Seriously, my biggest complaint would be the 48 hours sans food. I get mean if I miss a meal. I get meaner if I'm making repeated trips to the WC.
    I'll take a rain check for a bit, thanks.
    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be like water, my friend."-Bruce Lee

    My Blog

    "Luck, often enough, will save a man if his courage does hold."

  6. #5
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    You think I've been easy to live with? Man, read the 'babe' thread.

    I've been eating chocolate cookies and draining Mountain Dew since I got home.

    My mental attitude improved by dropping from 'butcher the masses' down to 'perhaps torture a few dozen.'

    Food is a wonderful friend. You gonna finish that?

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tourist
    (Bumper, my apologies for taking it out on you.)
    You owe me no apology, Tourist, I figured after a couple of posts you were going through something, hence the "let's just move on" thing. And now that KNOW what it was you were going through I can say I fully understand.

    In May of 2002 I was two days from getting on a plane and flying to the Florida Keys for a dive trip. I had been "tender" in about the appendix position but on the left side for a couple of days before. I came in from work, plopped down to watch some TV and after a bit felt like someone was slowly sticking me with a hot knife. My wife, knowing I can take a lot of pain without getting all gaspy knew something was wrong and decided to take me to the emergency room. I didn't argue for three reasons. One, I was in some serious pain. Two, I had a secret that I had been hiding from everyone, including myself for almost 4 years. And finally, without anyone telling me, I knew what I was wrong.

    She took me to the hospital and I spent a couple of hours of doctors coming in taking blood, asking me questions and poking around on me. One thought I might have IBS and gas, another thought diverticulitis, another wanted a scan before he would even offer his thoughts. The radiology report said I had an "eccentric 'mass-like' thickening in the sigmoid colon with surrounding inflammed tissue. The doctor's verdict was diverticulitis, possibly perforated diverticulitis. The radiologist thought it looked more like cancer. And yes, they said it front of me. The single thing in life that scared me the most just got thrown in my face. The blood count came back with my white cell count elevated so they put me on some heavy duty antibiotics and sent me home to go to my primary care doctor. He referred me to a specialist I didn't like so I walked out and called for another referral. He sent me to the another specialist that I really did like. I got an immediate sigmoidoscopy in his office. I had diverticulitis that was very close to becoming perforated. He gave me another antibiotic prescription and an appointment for a colonoscopy in 6 weeks. The infection and colon wall had to heal so the scope would not perforate the wall during the procedure. He told me I could probably go on vacation but I should stay in the vicinity of a large metropolitan area and not dive. I cancelled my (prepaid for 4 people) vacation went back to work. The pain subsided, no bleeding. I shifted my dread to "the silver stallion" like every other guy. I had my doses of phospho soda, which Tourist described as "rhino sperm". I describe it as seawater that has had a sweaty pair of gym socks soaking for a couple of days. Bad? Oh my GOD you guys are in for a treat.

    Anyway, the day of truth, they hooked me up, knocked me out and had their way with me. When I woke up I was in a hospital bed groping my wife (this is a documented after effect of the drug they give you to knock you out) in the recovery room. Boy is this an experience. About ten beds full of patients (with curtains between them) and nurses urging them to "break wind" so they could go home. The doctor came in, showed me pictures taken during the procedure, told me he removed three polyps and biopsied a fourth one that was too big to take out with the snare. He ignored my question about what procedure they did use to remove it and told me to call and make an office appointment for 3 days from then. Poof, he was gone. The challenge the nurse had given me was quickly met with me laughing like a mad man. I think I may have rattled the windows. During my office visit, he showed me the pictures again, reiterated that I had diverticulitis and went over the colectomy procedure to remove the last polyp. Basically it was "we'll cut you from here to there, take out about 13" of your sigmoid colon, join it back together and if all goes well...." If all "goes well"? What the hell does that mean? Well, there's a possibility that they will have to also do a colostomy. Oh, no, you're not doing that to me. Well, the biopsy came back malignant so that argument didn't go far. Malignant? Like in cancer? The answer was yes. In my efforts to "get right with Jesus" I fessed up to knowing that for the last few years but not wanting to admit it. Not from the bleeding that had gradually worsened (which was my secret) but from a feeling that something was there that didn't belong.

    Anyway, the day before my birthday 2002 I had 13" of my colon removed, along with my cancer. For two years I got colonoscopy per year and a load of blood tests loking for evidence of cancer. So far, there's no sign of it returning and hopefully I have now paid my cancer related dues. I will admit to you that after having been diagnosed with cancer I cried like a little girl. It was, in my mind, a death sentence. Now I know that colon cancer caught early is very curable despite the "killer" statistics. If you get colon cancer, I would fall just short of telling you it's YOUR fault. Approximately 95% of colon cancer develops from a polyp. In most cases, it takes 5 years for a polyp to become cancerous. If you have colonoscopy every three to five years you will get the polyp removed before it can become cancerous. And it can be removed during a colonoscopy.

    If you say "no, they ain't doing that to me" you're being foolish. Don't worry about it, don't dread it, just do it. As Tourist said it's really not that bad. They will most of the time (all of the time if you insist) put you completely asleep. And, believe me, you would rather have a colonoscopy every month than have a doctor tell you "you have cancer". Now I am only in fear of the sight of a colonoscope; at the mere sight of one, I bend over.

    Do yourself a favor and get one if you are over 50.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  8. #7
    Member Array armoredman's Avatar
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    37....got a few before I do that, though after reading your post, Bumper, I may just goa ahead and schedule one....gah....
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

  9. #8
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Man, I was riveted to your story. And I had a haunting idea where the conclusion was heading. I had no clue before reading your entry.

    Yeah, we have to get the word out. I was also preparing for the worst and "praying like a little girl." This is an enemy that you cannot smack, shoot or stab. You just lay there.

    Bumper, one of my pet peeves in the forums is that constant tales of daring-do send the wrong messages to younger guys. They get so caught up in the pics of shiny Bowie knives that they forget real lives hang in the balance. All too often you get called a wuss for bringing people back to reality.

    Bumper, you may have just written the most effective treatise you could to save the lives of CCW members here in the forum. No glitz, no glamor, just the template that a real man must face in this world.

    My prayers--AND RESPECT--to you.

  10. #9
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    Bumper

    What a grueling ordeal in combination with a mind~bending psychological hit.
    I am happier than you can imagine that you are here & "alive and well" to tell us about it.
    Take Care,
    QK
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  11. #10
    Member Array scbair's Avatar
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    Ya know, my doc said it was time for me to "experience" this; set up an appointment, went to a consultation, received the "formula" and instructions, and set the appointment for the procedure. This doc works out of two different facilities. I very clearly told the young lady which facility I wanted to use. She repeated it back to me and I confirmed. She gave me a date & time; no problem.

    Two days prior to the appointment, she called to remind me, and told me to be at the OTHER facility by 7 a.m. I reminded her that was the facility I specifically stated I would NOT use; she said, "Well, that's where Dr. ___ will be, so . . ." I replied, "Fine, 'cause I won't be."

    I considered it fate, and was actually quite relieved. I guess when it's my time, at least I'll go "unviolated"!!

    Tourist, glad you survived the ordeal!

  12. #11
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    Tourist - hey, I knew something was biting you!! I am glad this ordeal is over and things are looking good. Welcome back.

    Bumper - a salutary tale - in the extreme.

    As I expect you do, both of you - make every day special - I have for a long time worked on the basis of ''tomorrow carries no guarantees''.

    Take care.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman
    37....got a few before I do that, though after reading your post, Bumper, I may just goa ahead and schedule one....gah....
    Actually, on my first office visit, the guy that went in to see the doctor ahead of me was 33 years old. The doctor told me that the age of people having colon problems, including diverticulitis, patients requiring a colectomy and/or having colon cancer is steadily going down. It's not a thing to put off, believe me.

    By the way, if you are in the Mesa/Phoenix area a damned good doctor to go to is Dr. David Larson. He has two offices, both in Mesa. He is a very good doctor and surgeon, softspoken, honest without being brutal and has had no malpractice claims against him (I checked). He's also the only one allowed to, ummm, enter my backside....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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