Thursday, December 20, 2012

WARNING! UPM Ahead, Or Up Your Bum

If you continued reading past the headline, I suppose it would be appropriate to tell you that UPM stands for the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine. UPM is illegal in most every corner of this country, so I will have to throw myself on the mercy of the court - I am not licensed to practice...anything!

That has never stopped my bride who is perpetually diagnosing ailments in herself and the rest of the family - with 99% accuracy. A doctor's office recently verified that accuracy claim. So, if UPM is good enough for the Belle of Ballast Point (BOBP), it's good enough for me.

That brings me to the point of this pseudo-dissertation.

Once I reached the age of serious maturity, older than dirt says the BOBP, she and my primary care have been badgering me to get a colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends this procedure for men once they hit the ripe old age of 49 and every ten years thereafter - unless...!

I had Googled this odious procedure and decided that drinking 64 gallons (or so it seemed) of Gatorade in preparation for the test was not for me. I managed to keep the two above mentioned medical professionals at bay for over ten years before finally succumbing to their incessant harping. Your doctor or The Google will give you the gross details on test prep, so I will spare you the description of my day on the can.

The only good thing I can say about the colonoscopy was the drugs. They give you some good sh#t! I was totally unaware of the ten feet of garden hose (more or less) being shoved up my butt. When I returned to conscientiousness or consciousness (whatever works), the doctor said all was well - he did remove a non-cancerous polyp and he advised I was now on the three year plan.

Oh joy! I was now expected to do this all over again in three years. I must have been a real prick in a former life to be punished in this horrific manner. Jesus, if that's the case, my next life is going to be a real doozy. I'll know about the next life in a few hours when the Mayan prediction comes to pass, so screw the courts on that UPM issue.

In retrospect, I wish that I had been cognizant of that end of the world prediction this last Tuesday as I prepared for my third anniversary anal invasion. Instead, I dutifully cleansed myself of every scrap of food I had ever ingested - past, present, and future. Holy crap, I was purging stuff I had never consumed! Tuesday was not a good day.

Anyway, I showed up at the hospital at the designated time to get admitted and pay my money. Say what?! Says I to the admitting lady, "I thought this was covered by my insurance?" "Nope," says she, "you are having that other kind of colonoscopy." " What other kind," I asked? I had no idea there was more than one way to cram a mile of hose up a person's butt.

Come to find out, there are two kinds and I was getting the more expensive deluxe version. Lucky me!

After I got home and sobered up from the drugs, I went to The Google again and discovered that there is a screening and a diagnostic, or deluxe, colonoscopy. Other than the financial aspect, I wasn't aware of any difference, so what is the difference between a screening colonoscopy and a diagnostic colonoscopy?

A screening, or preventive, colonoscopy is a procedure done if you do not have any symptoms; do not have a personal history of colon cancer or colon polyps; and do not have a first-degree relative with a history of colon cancer or colon polyps.

A diagnostic colonoscopy is a procedure done if you have the following symptoms: blood in stool, bleeding from rectum, iron deficiency anemia, change in bowel habits or persistent abdominal pain. If you have a personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, you will likely be scheduled for a diagnostic colonoscopy rather than a screening.

Well, that explains why I got the deluxe version, since I had a polyp the first time around. That's also why I was on the three year plan.

Here are a few more pertinent questions, and for no additional fee, the answers:

What are the costs associated with a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy?

Medicare will fully cover a screening colonoscopy – the deductible and co-insurance is waived. If you have private insurance, call your provider to determine your benefit.

Medicare will waive the deductible for a diagnostic colonoscopy. However, 20 percent co-insurance must be paid for the procedure. If you have private insurance, call your provider to determine your out-of-pocket costs.

Could I go in for a screening colonoscopy but then have to pay for a diagnostic colonoscopy?

Yes. Even if you have no symptoms, the procedure will be classified as a diagnostic colonoscopy if a polyp is found.

After the procedure, which causes a greater degree of flatulance, a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy?

It matters not. Either way you will be very entertaining in the recovery room where "blow it out your ass" takes on special meaning.

I had to classify all of that under, Stuff I Never Knew and No One Ever Bothered Mentioning. It really doesn't make much difference. They are going to stick you in the end for the deluxe anyway. Possibly I could have phrased that a little better, but what the hell.

On the UPM issue, I plead "Not Guilty". It's The Google! I got most all of this from The Google. They are the guilty ones, not me. I invoke my 5th Amendment rights. I am also back on the ten year plan since my colon was clean as a whistle this time around.

That's my story and I am sticking to it - and, may it serve you well.

Bonjour, y'all!

No comments:

Post a Comment