Monday, February 23, 2009

Colonoscopy and "Situational Neurosis"

Huzzah, I can eat and drink again. I completed my colonoscopy; no cancer, one tiny doodad snipped off that they'll check out. If it's nothing, I'll be back in five years. If it's precancerous, I'll be back in a couple of years.

I got a bit nervous when I had to put on the patient robe to prepare for the colonoscopy--it started seeming real then. But I was completely unaware of the procedure. They opened the tap into the catheter for my arm for the anesthesia, and I was out within a few seconds; when I woke up, I thought the colonoscopy hadn't even happened yet.

The most annoying part of the colonoscopy was drinking the stuff that flushed out my system the day before, and having my system flushed out. It wasn't awful, it was really more an annoyance. Not eating for 36 hours also wasn't great, but wasn't terrible.

Before the procedure, I chatted with the anesthesiologist, who said my pulse settled down to the 60 to 62 range before the operation--before going into martial arts eight years ago, my pulse was somewhere in the 70s. Blood pressure was 135 over 90, which I thought sounded worrisomely high, but he said no, it was fine, even though I was in a situation of "situational neurosis." I said I liked that term, I'd never heard it; he said another term might simply be "anticipatory anxiety."

He said my oxygenation level (measured through a clip on my pointer finger) was 100%, so that was good.

So: Don't fear the colonoscopy, folks.

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