Understanding My Colonoscopy From the Inside Out

Understanding My Colonoscopy From the Inside Out
Last week, I had my annual colonoscopy. With all the safety precautions in place because of COVID-19, this year’s procedure was different. First of all, my husband had to drop me off and wait in the parking lot until I was done. Usually, he gets to laugh at my antics as I come out of anesthesia. He missed my wardrobe malfunction after I put my right arm through the neck hole of my shirt instead of the sleeve. Thank goodness my post-op nurse noticed before I walked outside. Next, my gastroenterologist couldn’t discuss his findings with me in person. I didn’t have the opportunity to ask questions or get a sense of concern in his voice like I normally would. Instead, I had to rely on the message he left for my husband with details and follow-up information and compare it to his printed report. I typically skim the report before filing it away, but this time, I studied it more thoroughly. I easily understood I had inflammation, ulcers, and polyps. But I needed to do research, especially on unfamiliar terms and references, to comprehend the results better. The Boston Bowel Preparation Scale In the report, the procedure description mentioned that I scored a nine on the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (BBPS). Without a reference point, the number was meaningless. I learned that the scale assesses how well a patient has prepped for the exam. The BBPS measures each of the three sections of the colon — right, transverse, and left — on a scale of zero to three. A BBPS score of zero represents the presence of solid stool in the colon, making the intestinal lining — or mucosa — unobservable. With a score of one, the colon has some clean areas but might be stained or contain residual solids and/or opaque liquids. A two indicates the mucosa is observable
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