Thursday, June 3, 2010

public service announcement: COLONOSCOPY

thanks for jumping over!

almost 5 years ago, my mother died of colon cancer at age 71.
she had not visited a doctor for any reason in 40 years (since my younger brother was born).
she got really sick, really fast as it had spread to her brain and who knows where else.
she died within 6 weeks.
i realize that's how she wanted it, she didn't like intervention and her death was quick and relatively painless.
for her.
you see, the suffering is for those left behind...especially for my father, who was her totally devoted husband of almost 50 years.
he is still lost without her.
sometimes, i feel a little angry with her for that.

colon cancer is highly treatable and many times avoidable with early detection.
that means colonoscopy!
i just had one today and wanted to share with you that is was not that bad at all.

when i went for a physical this spring, my doctor advised that i go ahead and have a screening colonoscopy because of my mother's history, even though i am only 46.
most people can wait until 50 if they don't have symptoms or risk factors.
i was hesitant and told him i would check with my insurance company.
well, since it is preventive, they cover 100%.
great, i had no excuses.

my neighbor had recently had his first "screening" and used dr mike campbell and lake norman regional medical center. he was pleased, so i had my doctor (steve ferguson) set the appointment.
i went and talked to dr campbell, we mostly talked about our kids and his upcoming mission trip to africa. he listened to my heart and then i scheduled the procedure for tuesday july 13.
that was it.

so late last week, i went to target to pick up the HALFLYTELY "colon prep".
too bad there were not any gift card deals going on :)
if you have to pick one of these up, take your reusable shopping bag. it comes in a big box that says "bowel prep kit" in huge letters.
you will want to hide that.

while you are shopping, pick up the following items too:
moist toilet wipes
air freshner or a scented candle
A&D ointment
true lemon crystallized lemon
tucks pads or witch hazel
any clear liquids you might enjoy including...
-popsicles and jello (not red or purple)
-clear broths or boullion
-juices or flavored waters

*it's also a good idea to plan ahead as to what your family will have for dinner that night.
i didn't really think of that beforehand.
thankfully i had some beef stew in the freezer that DH just heated in the microwave.

on monday july 12, i enjoyed a clear liquid diet starting in the morning.
i was kind of nervous so really the only thing i drank all day was some capri sun.
i missed my coffee because i like to have a little milk with mine and milk was not on the list.

around 10 am, you pop a couple laxative pills. i think they are the same thing as ducolax, they are included with the kit.
go ahead and mix up the liquid stuff now.
put it in the refrigerator. the colder the better.
the pills may start the action, it did for me.
then around 4 pm, start drinking the 2 liters of solution.
it's made up of PEG-3350 (miralax), salt, baking soda, and potassium chloride (which is sometimes used as a water softener!).
anyway, this solution cleans out your bowels while hopefully maintaining your electrolyte balance.
also in the package are 4 flavor packs.
my research told me to stay away from those.
after reading the ingredients on the back of the packs, including artificial flavorings and other weird stuff that i would not ordinarily consume, i pitched it.

i tasted the drink plain.
it was like soapy, salty water.
dr campbell told me i could use crystal light if i wanted.
i tried that in the first 8 oz.
too sweet.
next glass i tried using some "true lemon" that i got free at harris teeter not too long ago :)
it is crystallized lemon, 100% natural. that was much more tolerable.
next time i may get "true lime" and go for the margarita effect!
i kept switching my container of fluid from freezer to refrigerator.
trust me, the colder the better.
i poured it over crushed ice and used a straw.
i didn't gag.
and i made it through.

now the real fun began.
by 7:30 or 8 pm, i was cleaned out.
i had read it's like peeing out of your butt.
perfect description.
when you are cleaned out, there's no mucous, no nothing, just looks like pee.
i laid on the couch, watching youtube videos (did you know harry smith of cbsnews did an on-air colonoscopy? and you can see it on youtube!).
i was drained.

i slept well.

i got up and weighed myself, thinking about how skinny i must be.
i only lost 2 pounds.
my charming husband said, "i guess you weren't that full of crap after all".

i had to be at the hospital at 7 am for my 8 o'clock procedure.
all the nurses and techs were so nice.
they asked health history questions and started an IV.
the anesthesiologist came in and asked a few questions.
i didn't know, but my husband would have been able to come sit with me while i waited for my turn.
but he left and got his leaking tire fixed, which was fine by me, because i wasn't feeling like talking anyway.

when it was my turn, the nurse came to get me.
her name was lisa lamascola. our son's had played legion baseball together last summer!
so we talked about baseball as she wheeled my stretcher. they put some oxygen on me with a nasal canula, and a device on my finger to read my oxygen levels.
the anesthesiologist pushed some drugs through my IV. it was propofol and it was good stuff!

the very next thing i remember, i was back in the holding area. i woke up wide awake, no nausea, no gas pains, no wierdness at all. it was just as if i woke up in my own bed!
dr campbell came in for a second and said everything went well. he removed one hyperplastic polyp and they would send that off. (i came home and googled "hyperplastic polyp" and it means benign. but it's these kind of polyps that can turn in to cancer).
the nurse offered me some graham crackers and a drink.
i got dressed and warren and i were leaving the hospital by 9.

i'm still not too hungry.
but i feel just fine.

and my husband thanked me.

facebook and shutterfly team up to give you a free photo book!

great post by jenny on how to get a free photo book from shutterfly.
looks easy!
go here for the details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

lowes food 6/2- 6/8

i'm posting some lowes lists this week because their boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.89/lb. these are so good, all natural chicken.
their wheat kaiser rolls are $1.50, great price.
i also found a coupon at the davidson harris teeter near the cookie dough for the kraft parmesan cheese. it's $1 off chicken when you buy the parm cheese (on sale for $2.69).
here's what else you can get while you are there!
coupon teacher
couponer 101

*there is a 55¢/1 sunchips coupon in the 05-02-10 SS
sunchips on sale for $2.50
final price $1.40

harris teeter 6/2- 6/8

here's the ad from a full cup.
lists from:
hot coupon world
southern savers