I suggested a screening colonoscopy back in the fall of 2009. It’s not easy to convince folks to sign up, but Tom relented earlier this year.
Who wants a stranger shoving a tube up one’s butt? And the cost? Whoa . . . Uninsured patients don’t have an extra 2000 bucks. But the prep is the worst: a liquid diet, laxatives, enemas, and lots and lots of bowel movements that force people to spend twenty-four hours affixed to their toilet. Keep a spray bottle on hand to clean up. Figure out who will drive you home cause you’ll be groggy. Then there’s the biopsies? And worst case scenario: colon cancer.
All in all an anxiety-provoking event.
Tom facebooked me today to share his experience. The worst part wasn’t the dude with the tube, the raw behind, or the near-miss diarrhea. It wasn’t even the outrageous expense. Tom revealed: “The worst part of my procedure was in the waiting room staring at a 50-inch, flat-screen TV with CNN talking about the nuclear disaster. . . A waiting room should be a quiet place to contemplate or read. I’m sure you agree.”
Meg Marshall of Eau Claire, Wisconsin agrees. Meg’s vision is clear: “Take the televisions out of the waiting rooms. The last thing a patient needs to listen to is Fox News anchor propaganda or CNN’s breaking news of the latest tragedy. Replace them with soothing music, maybe a water fountain, and lots of real green plants.”
Health care requires caring. So why scare the shit out of people in the waiting room?