Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Colonoscopy and Colon Hydrotherapy for those with Autism?

I had my colonoscopy today.  All went well, and I had only minor side effects (knock on wood). I am still a bit groggy from the sedation and probably am still a little thinking-impaired....what a wonderful time to write one more post on the subject of trying to help a 50-something man through the prep and events I just underwent.

I still think it is going to be a big problem getting Bil "prepped" (i.e. "cleaned out") .  From the time I took the noontime pill then started the "vile liquid prep" (I tolerate it OK, but I've never had a problem in gulping mass quantities of liquid at one time) it was about 10 hours total, and, not to be too indelicate here, the later bit of the process is a bit....explosive. (the humor writer Dave Barry has explored this topic in a very funny way-I could never equal him and won't try to.)  I did find Pull-Ups wipes (flushable) to be a good alternative to toilet paper, for what it is worth.

By the way, my mother in law has never discussed Bil's digestion with us.  We are well aware many people with autism suffer from digestive problems.  It does seem to me that Bil seems to have a lot of stomachaches but Mil has never sat down with us - I fear this will be another "surprise" once we are responsible for taking care of his needs.  But back to the discussion at hand:

I want to make it clear here that the colonoscopy Bil's doctor has suggested is for screening purposes, not due to any medical condition.  But at the same time, a former neighbor of mine was diagnosed with colon cancer when in her mid 30's, she is in remission but let's put it this way:  if someone has to choose between colon cancer and a colonoscopy, the choice is clear.

So the thought of denying Bil this valuable screening test because we dread trying to walk him through it is pretty selfish.  Still, it doesn't seem there is any material on this subject online and I truly wish there was someone I could talk to who had been through it and had some suggestions on how to prepare Bil for it.

My mother in law hasn't mentioned the colonoscopy recently.  But Bil's next physical should be in late March and - I'm sure the doctor will mention it again.  So, there really has to be some "better way" to prep him. In thinking of stuff today (having time to think!) I remembered something I had read some months ago about Colon Hydrotherapy.  Something "jiggled" in my mind and I remembered something about this service being offered in Scranton, which is about an hour from where we live and maybe 2 hours from where Bil lives at this practice.

This isn't an enema but is a complete cleaning out of the colon using warm and cool water, lasting about 45 minutes to an hour.  Of course, I'd probably have to undergo this myself first to be able to prep him for it.

I don't know if my mother in law would even consider something like that (assuming there is something closer to her home, and I have to believe that, as close to NYC as she lives, that there is.)  I hope I can remember this if and when the subject comes up again.

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