“We look forward to serving your Gastroenterology needs.” That’s what is written on the summary sheet my new internist gave me last week. Well guess what? I am not looking forward to it.
Let me begin by saying how proud I was of myself (much the way a newly potty trained child is) for undergoing a complete physical exam. As I have mentioned before, my dad died of cancer at the age of 53 so going to the doctor, while necessary, is not something I enjoy doing. For years, after a few health scares of my own, I had to do some serious talking to myself (and play Motorhead’s Ace of Spades) to get through a doctor’s appointment. Most of the anxiety had lifted, however, after five plus years of routine (i.e. scare-free) examinations.
This past November my OB/GYN announced that I had borderline high blood pressure (just another mid-life indignity) and needed to see someone else to get it treated. So last week I went for my official new patient appointment with the internist. I was feeling fairly upbeat. I had already gone through all the women-specific tests, had started a medication for the borderline high blood pressure and had no other issues to speak of. Figured I’d be in and out within 30 minutes. Wrong. Unbeknownst to me, if you have a parent or sibling who was diagnosed with polyps during a routine colonoscopy you must have one yourself–ten years prior to the age they were when treated. My dad had some polyps removed at the age of 50. That means two plus years ago I was supposed to have a date with a colonoscope. To quote Ren and Stimpy, “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.”
Today, I will pull up my big girl pants and call to make an appointment for my first colonoscopy. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime…