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Still Waters: My sister has a tattoo

Posted: Friday, May 3rd, 2013

She’s not likely to let anybody see it, though. Not unless they’ve got a scope and an M.D.

With colon crud running in the family, we all have been getting colonoscopies, and my older sister Beth’s first colonoscopy was last Thursday.

That’s when she got the tattoo, her first and probably only one. The doctor who performed the procedure took out two polyps, one of which was “concerning,” so she marked the spot with a “tattoo.”

I doubt it was Tinkerbell, but that would have been appropriate since Beth is a Disney fan. Her husband joked it might have been a “Hello Kitty” tattoo. We’re not likely to ever see it unless the doctor took a picture of it. What color was it? Red? Purple? Black? A combination? Was it in the shape of a rose? Did it read “mom”?

I am proud of Beth for going to get the colonoscopy, because our mother is a colon cancer survivor, and her mother, our grandmother, died of colon cancer. Of course she was nearly 93 at the time, so we’ve got some pretty good chances.

Having recently gone through the experience myself, I had a few pointers for my big sister, but I’m afraid it didn’t make drinking the nasty preparatory solution any easier for her. My first time in February here in Alamosa wasn’t too bad. I had to drink magnesium citrate, which isn’t the worst and can be purchased over the counter for minimal cost.

I was supposed to have a follow up colonoscopy in Pueblo on April 1, an appropriate day for it, I figured, but that time I had to drink the really nasty prep solution, which had to be purchased with a prescription and mixed with tons of water and a bit of “flavor.” I don’t think I will be able to drink orange flavored anything for a long time.

That stuff, which was similar to what Beth had to drink last week, was like slimy water, if that’s possible. Every swallow brought a challenge not to gag. I was able to get most of mine down with some Diet Coke in between, which is what I suggested to my big sister. She had her choice of soda handy too, but I don’t think she was able to get the whole jug drunk either.

Bless her heart. She has to go back and do this again in six months, and she is waiting to hear more about the “concerning” polyp. We’re all hoping and praying the tattoo will be the only reminder there was anything concerning there.

In my case, I drank the nasty stuff and went in to Parkview in Pueblo only to be told the whole prep experience was a waste of time because the doctor there would have to refer me to Denver. Somebody couldn’t have told me that before I drank the nasty stuff? I didn’t do it just for the enjoyment or to lose the two pounds it took off.

Oh well. I’m still waiting to go to Denver. Referrals take time, apparently.

I just hope the next time I have to go through this I won’t have to drink the really nasty stuff, or at least I get a cool tattoo out of it.

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