Tag Archives: colonoscopy

Tired of being poked and prodded

My mom is sadly getting a taste of what Dad went through over the last year or so of his life. Mom is dreading the colonoscopy, saying that reading the prep directions gives her the “heebie-jeebies.” She says it reminds of her of the various tests Dad went through and how he was “poked and prodded” so much. Dad somehow was fortunate enough to avoid the dreaded colonoscopy, but we did beg him to go through the prostate exams that his doctor recommended after Dad started having prostate issues. He flat-out refused.

Mom seems to be leaning that way herself. Dad had many hospital visits and tests over the last year of his life, and since he lived in a nursing home that final year, he became used to (or at least didn’t fight) being handled by strangers. Mom still has most of her mind, though as she grows physically weaker, I see some of the same mental signs that I saw in my Dad.

But for Mom, it’s an unnerving situation. And because the symptoms seemed to come on so suddenly, she had no time to prepare for a loss of independence, as she was just dumped with a jarring thud into this world of being sick.

Because there are so many elderly that are ill, there’s not a lot of time for hand-holding or encouragement. She received a brief visit from the doctor, who ordered the colonoscopy, handed her a bunch of paperwork and sent her on her way. This is where we really need community health services to grow and fill in the gap. My mom is going to call a local group tomorrow to see if they can assist her.

It’s yet another reason to never take a moment for granted, because none of us know when illness will strike.

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The good old days (not quite)

So my mom is still feeling terrible and her colonoscopy is schedule for 2 weeks from now. (Friday the 13th!) Anyways, we were talking about the prep for the test, which involves enemas (and drinking a lot of nasty-tasting stuff.) I reminded her that she had given me enemas when I was a little kid.

She remembered the story. I was three or four. She said I had not had a bowel movement in a few days. (It was actually more like a week. I remember with dread as each day passed and nothing came out. I was too little to be able to tell time or read a calendar, but I remember begging my mom to give me another day or two.) My tummy hurt really bad and finally I gave in.

Maybe if Mom and Dad had bought me an enema stuffed toy it would have made the experience more fun. Photo: http://kookykitsch.com/

Dad was given the exciting duty of going and buying the Fleet enema. I remember the green and white box it came in. I remember being in the bathroom and freaking out a bit. Finally, Mom got the dirty business done and I was ushered immediately to the toilet. I don’t remember that part clearly but Mom pronounced it a beautiful specimen, ha.

She ended her memory of that story by saying those were the good old days, and she didn’t know if they would ever return. Since she’s feeling so poorly, I didn’t mention that for me, as a constipated child getting an enema, it was definitely not a warm and fuzzy moment.

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