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You Should Too

Story ID:10678
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2015
Person:Friends
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This is an important message. I added years to my life. You can too.


You Should Be Too

I turned fifty years old in 2009. It was time …time to schedule my first
colonoscopy. I think my hands shook, when I called the doctor. They scheduled a
date. I was ready to go through with it.

Two weeks before the procedure, something came up. I rescheduled. As the
second date approached, I was let go from my job and lost my health insurance. I
cancelled the colonoscopy.

2015 rolled in. Five years had passed. I had a poor health insurance plan
but it pays something. I went to the doctor, received a checkup and scheduled the
dreaded colonoscopy.

The day before the colonoscopy, I ate very little. In the evening I drank the
magical rocket fuel and spent an evening reading and losing weight.

The next morning, I repeated the rocket fuel procedure and off we went to
the surgical center.

Ginny helped me tie my little surgical gown. The anesthesiologist entered to
prepare me for the reaming.

They wheeled me into the operating room, rolled me on my side and within
seconds, I was out.

I woke.

The nurse saw my eyes open, “Well …hello! Glad you are awake. Do you feel
OK?”

“I think I’m fine.”

“Mr. Smith, they removed quite a number of polyps from your colon. The doctor
will explain shortly/”

They brought Ginny into the curtained area. We held hands and waited for the
doctor.

My doctor parted the curtains, slid them closed and sat down. “Mr. Smith, I
removed twenty three polyps. One really concerned me. We have sent them for
biopsy.”

“Twenty-three?”

“Yes!”

“Isn’t the normal …something like two or three?”

“Yes! This is why I’m concerned.”

Twenty three? My head spun. Did I have cancer?

Two weeks later, I sat in her office.

She entered. She shook my hand and sat grimly in front of me. “Mr. Smith,
as you know, I removed twenty three polyps …” She listed the areas they were
located. I understood none of it.

“Mr. Smith, fourteen of the polyps were precancerous.”

My jaw dropped. “I am so glad I went through this.” I stared in shock at her.
“I probably would have had cancer within the year …right?”

“Most likely, yes. I want you back here in a year. If the number of polyps
has decreased, we’ll extend the timeline before the next visit. For now, I want you back
here next year.”

“Doc., I’ll be here with bells on my toes and a skip in my step. I just extended
my life.”

“You did.”

Learn from my experience. Do not delay your colonoscopy. Drink-the-drink,
poop-the-poop and walk into the surgical center whistling. It could save your life.

I am now an advocate for colonoscopies.
You should be too.


. Michael T. Smith