I've got a screening for colon cancer (colonoscopy) coming up in a few days. My last one was about 10 years ago. I was given the twilight drug versed and I didn't remember most of that day. I was an amnesiac for the rest of the day, unable to function for several hours after the procedure. I have an inkling of what dementia must feel like. As a knowledge worker, I do not like the thought of losing my mind.
At my most recent wellness visit, my GP doctor reminded me it was time for a my 10 year scope up the rear. I begrudgingly acknowledged it was time and his staff kindly scheduled an appointment with the clinic's gastro department that I had seen for my previous scope.
I dreaded the thought of being subjected to the anxiety of the drugs more than the actual procedure. I had asked 10 years ago to forgo the drugs and they declined, saying it would be too painful. Even 10 years ago I had read that it was possible to do a colonoscopy without being sedated or anesthetized.
Two weeks before my appointment, I emailed the gastro office to officially lodge my request for a non-drugged colonoscopy. They flat out stated they would not perform one without sedation or anesthesia. They did tell me they do not use versed and instead use propofol but I had memory problems with that when I had my gall bladder out. It made me lose words. It was like a friend that had a stroke describe to me the way he knew things but couldn't get the exact word he wanted. No thanks, I'll pass again.
So, I canceled the upcoming appointment and used my insurance's doctor search feature to have them look for a local gastro that would perform a colonoscopy without medication. It took them 3 days but the response was nobody within 25 miles would do one. They widened the scope to 50 miles and finally found one covered by insurance that would agree to a drug free scoping.
I met with the doctor in late May for a consult and we discussed my concerns with the medications. He listened, briefly tried to convince me the drugs aren't that bad and they don't use versed any more but fully agreed to go forward without putting me out. More as the process continues. Colonoscopy scheduled for 9AM Jun 20, 2017!