Tag Archives: colonoscopy

The FOUE Effect

My colonoscopy last week prompts me to address a phenomenon I call “FOUE”, a common issue in modern life.

FOUE, pronounced “phooey” is an acronym for Fear of Unpleasant Experiences. Most of us suffer from this condition at one time or another, especially if an outcome is potentially scary:

  • Putting off a doctor visit or mammogram
  • Noticing our waistband is tight but not getting on the scale to see how bad it is (ignorance is temporary bliss)
  • Having a sinking feeling that our boss isn’t happy with us, but not asking directly
  • Avoiding confrontations with our nearest and dearest
  • Not opening a bill we know will be high, or a letter from the revenue service

As the sages say, knowledge is power.  If we confront the thing we’re worried about, we will at least know where things stand and be able to take action.

So, back to the colonoscopy and why people avoid them. If you’ve had one, you know it’s generally unpleasant — not the actual procedure, because you sleep through it, but the prep in which you drink gallons of liquid, take laxatives, and spend a day or two in the bathroom.  (Hint to you over-50’s: buy some diaper rash cream before your prep. You know what I’m talking about.)

Happily, there’s a newer option that makes this a little less icky.  Called HygIEacare, the process lets you avoid drinking the nasty prep liquid and instead have your insides flushed with warm water to make sure everything is nice and clean.

You sit in a sort of bathtub, with a pillow to lean back on, for about an hour, and can read and relax (more or less) while water flows into your tush and which you then expel whenever you feel the urge, as it were.  I won’t say it’s delightful, but it’s definitely an improvement. Highly recommended if it’s an option where you are, although it’s pricey ($245 in Austin) and not covered by insurance.

(Above, before the event: the water system, tub, me trying to relax)

The upshot: everything went well, which I attribute to taking a daily probiotic and eating more fiber than I had the previous time (five years ago).

Coincidentally, last Friday was also the 15th anniversary of my divorce from my first husband, a real a*hole. All in all, a shitty day … in a good way!