Story by Carrie Tergin | Jan 01, 2018

The Day “Central Dairy Day” Almost Happened

My first mammogram was documented on the news when St. Mary’s had a “Mammathon,” so why not document my first colonoscopy? As mayor, I have a platform to get the message out — we should take care of ourselves.
Thankfully, the press didn’t get word of my procedure, or they might have been there. My only regret is that I didn’t take a selfie, even though I’m sure most would want to keep this private. After all, why would anyone want to talk about this? Should I tell my neighbor why I was up all night? Should I tell City Hall why I wouldn’t be in that day? Of course I should, if for only one reason: to remind everyone the importance of health screenings, taking control of your health, visiting your dentist annually, getting eye exams, etc.
Back to the colonoscopy. I armed myself with a pink Corkcicle cup to make the prep drink — the whole gallon of it — more bearable. Upon the first stip, I instantly realized I needed something to rescue my taste buds. I ran to the nearest gas station to purchase $10 worth of bubblegum, which prompted the clerk to ask, “Someone have a sweet tooth?” to which I answered, “No, I’m having to drink that awful prep for my colonoscopy tomorrow, so I need this gum for the terrible taste.” You should have seen the look on her face. I’m sure the young clerk was wishing she could un-hear me!
My next colonoscopy tip: find mindless TV to get your mind off of the prep. I almost gave up in the middle of the night, thinking I really didn’t care what the results of this test would be, that I was done and couldn’t handle it. The nausea and exhaustion got to my head.
My hospital transportation, Nurse Irene (a.k.a Mom), showed up bright and early the morning of. When we arrived, the anesthesiologist said I might be out of it after the procedure, so “be sure not to sign anything important while under the anesthesia.” I deeply regret that nobody came to me with a “Central Dairy Day” proclamation; I would have signed it instantly.
I was glad to go under during the procedure. I needed the sleep. The anesthesiologist was ready to send me to my happy place, which I told him was “somewhere on a beach with Dierks Bentley,” but the procedure was so fast, Dierks and I barely got on the plane!
Colonoscopy results are available instantly, and I’m thankful that my test was good. This procedure is lifesaving. Many problems, from digestive issues to cancer, can be found and treated thanks to a colonoscopy. To any who are avoiding this test due to embarrassment or thinking they’re fine: I urge you to do it. My grandfather George lived a full life to the age of 96. He wanted to live to 100, but colon cancer got him.
So the doc says I’m good until my next one, which is great because I have enough gum to last me for five years. Thank you to Dr. Dundulis and the staff at Capital Region Hospital for making this awkward test an easy experience for someone like me who does not like to be a patient. A really great idea would be a prep that tastes like mint-chocolate-chip. I’m going to see if I can make that happen — whoever patents that will be a millionaire!

#ToYourHealth! #OneLifeOneBody #MayorTergin

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