Thursday, February 28, 2008

Exploring The Inside Passage

Larry Katz, my primary care doc, had set me up appointments at just about every specialist he could think of, as long as Medicare would pay for it. All kinds of examinations and tests were in the offing. This particular day I was waiting to meet Marwan Iskandarani, M.D., a gastroenterologist. The plan was for me to get a colonoscopy, where the doc checks the inside of your colon for things like polyps or cancer.

I wasn't in his office for the exam that day. Rather it was so he could ask me a bunch of questions about my health in general, drug allergies, that sort of thing, and explain the procedure to me. He assured me that they'd give me a shot to knock me out before he did it, and that I'd awaken quite groggy so I shouldn't plan on driving myself home afterwards. Claudia, my ex, had offered to take me there and pick me up afterwards, but they offer a service to pick you up at your house and drive you home for only $20, so I decided that made more sense.

In this photo I'm looking at the inevitable display on the wall, with a picture of the digestive system along with several little booklets about the various things that might be wrong, and the wonderful drugs the company makes that are available if you're suffering from one of them.

A week later I went back. When I awoke Marwan told me that he'd removed a few polyps, nothing looked cancerous, but we'd have to await the lab results to be sure. He seemed surprised that I didn't have my camera with me. I replied that it would have been really awkward photographing the procedure even if I'd been awake.

Update: Four days have passed and I got a phone call from the doc's office. The lab results were back and the polyps are benign. I was healthy! I should come back in three years to enjoy the experience again. Oh thrill!


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