Testing, 1, 2, 3

In recent weeks, I’ve had several medical tests done. There are no problems, these are just routine tests people my age are supposed to have. Since I have high blood pressure, the doctor decided I needed an EKG, an electrocardiogram, and a heart CT scan. I did just fine on all of them. The CT scan showed a slight build up of calcium in my right aortic branch. It’s minor, and I will probably have to take something like Zocor or Lipitor to halt the accumulation. But it’s certainly nothing that will require surgery. I do have a heart stress test on June 23. That will be a more definitive test. I also had a mammogram, which showed some calcification in my left breast. Also, no big deal. They are very common, and never turn cancerous. Then today, I had my first ever colonoscopy. I got an A+ (I refer to it as my rectal report card). Absolutely no anomalies. I’m quite pleased with all the outcomes. I didn’t think I had any problems in any of the body parts tested, but it’s always nice to be proven right.

The colonoscopy was at 6 a. m. this morning. Of course, I had been toilet-trotting for about 12 hours, was starving (no food, just liquid for about 30 hours), sleepy, and decidedly grumpy from no coffee. The nurse asked, “How are you doing today?” I snarled, “Rhetorical question, right?”

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6 comments on “Testing, 1, 2, 3

  1. Miko says:

    For some reason colonoscopy is a very common procedure here, and just about everyone I know over the age of 40 has it done every other year (the Japanese are a bunch of anal retentives). They tell me it’s a very painful process, though. Did you find it to be so?

    Anyway, congrats on passing your tests with flying colours!

  2. Karen says:

    Wikipedia says the colonoscopy “is now becoming a routine screening test for people 40 years of age or older. Subsequent rescreenings are then scheduled based on the initial results found, with a five- or ten-year recall being common for colonoscopies that produce normal results.” So, I was way behind (snicker) the curve – by 24 years. Most people I know don’t have a first colonoscopy done until they are about 50, unless there are suspected problems. I don’t expect to have to have another for 5 or 10 years. As Wikipedia stated, that’s typical.

    I wouldn’t have a clue if it’s painful. I was knocked completely out. However, people I know who have not had anesthesia or even twilight drugs tell me the actual colonoscopy is not particularly painful. It’s the prep for the colonoscopy that is miserable. Two days before the testing, one has to go to a low fiber diet. The day before, one can have no solid food, only pulpless juice, clear liquids, and Jello. It’s essentially fasting, except one is supposed to drink lots of water. I didn’t even bother to have any “food” until about 7 that night, when I had 2 cups of vegetable broth. Not very filling.

    Then, there’s the purging. I had to take 4 stool softeners/laxatives at 3 p. m., the day before. Then between 5 p. m. and 6 p. m. I had to drink 64 oz. of Crystal Light mixed with 8 oz. of Miralax. That doesn’t sound like much to drink, until one tries to do it in an hour. It’s not easy. I got so sick of it, I though I would hurl before it had a chance to go through me. Then, I felt totally bloated after I drank it all. About an hour later, the real fun begins. Fortunately, I had plenty of practice with the potty-trot, from our trip to Mexico. At least this time, I wasn’t having the runs on an airplane! And I didn’t end up with fever and an aching body for 4 days. So in that respect, it was something of a snap.

  3. Petra says:

    Thanks for the information. So I was right in not doing this lovely procedure. My health care provider pestered me to do it – I asked to be handed enough information to read up on it.

    Afterwards I told them I’d rather wait a bit. 5, 10 years, and then we’ll see. 🙂

  4. Miko says:

    Anaesthesia is not routinely used in Japan for these types of procedures (or if it is, you have to pay extra). I do believe that the lube is free, though.

    When I had my appendix removed here, I was conscious throughout because they used a spinal block and nothing else. I was able to go back to work less than a week later. I thought that was great!

  5. Petra says:

    Spinal block for appendix removal?

    Oh dear.

    Yes, the samurai spirit seems to be still very much alive in the Japan of today.

    P.S. With minimal invasive procedures everyone can be back at work within one week after this operation. Being awake does not speed up the recovery process. But then I am a spoiled Westerner; no samurai spirits to be found here.

  6. Miko says:

    Hey, I’m a spoiled gaijin too. The dentist has to sedate me just for scaling!

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