Colonoscopies for Dummies

Let’s face it, no one wants to have a colonoscopy.  The bowel-cleansing prep and procedure are no fun, waiting for the results is nerve racking, and asking someone for a ride home is embarassing if you have to share the reason why.  Further, if you don’t have Medicare or private insurance, colonoscopies (and other screening tests) can be expensive.  So why should you have a colonoscopy? Because it is a proven lifesaver.  According to Dr, Sharon Orrange, “Colon cancer deaths dropped for the first time 4 years ago and that is because of screening colonoscopy.“  A colonoscopy  can lead to the detection and removal of polyps, some of which may progress to cancer.

A colonoscopy is one of the most common procedures doctors use to detect and prevent colon-rectal cancer.  Other methods are discussed in Do You Really Need a Colonoscopy? Most doctors recommend having a colonoscopy when you turn 50, which is when I had mine.  I did not discuss the procedure with my friends for many of the reasons mentioned above, but I had an idea that it would not be pleasant.  So, based on the fact that I knew I had to cleanse my colon of waste, I developed a plan.  My methods are not doctor approved or scientifically proven, but this is what helped me breeze through my colonoscopy.  (Your results might vary greatly so please, consult your physician.)

1) Limit your solid food intake.  Three days before I purchased the purging liquid I stopped eating meat, potatoes, bread and other solid food.  I lived on soup, yogurt, jello, juices and smoothies.

2) Be near a toilet.  If you are going to have the runs, then make sure you don’t have to run far – and use baby wipes.  Set yourself up in a comfortable chair and be patient – it will come.

3) Wear comfortable clothes.  Do not weatranything that is difficult to unzip, unbotton untie, etc. as you make your way to the bath.

4) Set up your appointment for a Monday.   This will allow you to spend the cleansing process resting on Saturday and Sunday in front of the TV, with a good book, napping, listening to music, etc.

5) Chill your cleansing fluid.  I believe that I was prescribed Coylte and it tasted better chilled then at room temperature.

6) Rest after the procedure.  You will feel a bit whoosy and/or dizzy, so get plenty of rest and be sure to keep your head above your waist when you stand up.  I also didn’t feel like eating anything, but that lasted for only a couple of hours!

I don’t remember the actual procedure but after I was done, I was told by my friend that I appeared ‘out of it’ and was wise to arrange for a ride home.  Now that I have had my procedure,  I feel much happier knowing that everything is ‘ok’ (for now) and I am not fearful about having another. I readily share my tips with anyone who asks, and encourage them to go into the procedure with an open mind vs. fearing the worse.

Do you have any recommendations for breezing through a  colonoscopy? Your comments and articles are welcomed.

Here are some other articles you might find useful:

Preparing for a colonolcopy

How to prepare for a colonoscopy

Colonoscopy – and how to enjoy drinking the foul tasting purging fluids.



Will I have enough money to live the way I want when I retire?

This is an interesting question because some people don’t feel as though they have enough money to live the way they want to live now!  Sure, we live in the land of opportunity but mortgages are hard to come by, rents are skyrocketing, social security and pension benefits are disappearing and health insurance is expensive.  Further, individuals are living and working longer and for some, retirement might not be an option until they are in their 70s.

As my advisers are fond of saying, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.”  Similarly, it’s not how many years you live, but how you live your years.  So if you are planning to live comfortably (however you define comfortably) for many years after you retire, then you need to start planning now.  Start by thinking about the life that you would like to live and work backwards.  Others might have a different approach by if you can dream then you can achieve, it is just a matter of how.

Planning for retirement is not easy.  It requires that you to make plans without having a crystal ball.  How long do you expect to live?  How much money will you need to live?  How do you adust for inflation?  Will you need long-term care insurance?   These questions are best discussed with a financial planner who can help you put the best plans in place to achieve your dreams.  Perhaps your dreams are unrealistic, perhaps they are not. But one thing is for sure, finding out whether or not you will be able to retire the way you want is best determined when you are healthy and able to produce income vs. when you are demended and living on fixed income.



Do I need long-term care insurance?

Facing your own mortality and acknowledging that one day you might become demented is not easy.  However, given the fact that aging is a fact of life, making provisions for end of life care will help to insure that your needs will be taken care of emotionally, physically and financially.  If you plan well, then you will gain peace of mind knowing that your end of life care will not be a burden on your loved ones.

Medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will pay for some of your expenses, but not all.  Long-term care insurace is very popular and something to look into while you are still healthy and independent. The more information you gather now, the more options you will have for living out your final years as confortably as possible.  Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance? is a good primer for considering long-term care insurance.  Do you have any articles you’d like to share?  Your articles and comments are welcomed.


Did you know?

Here’s a quick question for you.  By what year will demographics shift so that 1 in 5 Americans are over the age of 65?

[  ]   We’re there now.
[  ]    2020
[  ]    2030
Your answer?

If you chose 2030, you would be correct.  This trends raises all kinds of personal and public policy issues.  How are you and your family preparing for this shift?