2022 Grateful 35: Getting scoped

I’m a great fan of preventive medicine. It’s a bit of a two-sided coin though. I can’t help but feel a little disappointed when I’ve shelled out for some expensive treatment and they find nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all. I should, of course, be delighted, but somehow I feel like I haven’t gotten my money’s worth. It’s my inner drama queen poking her nose out.

A few months back, I happened to mention to my GP (the first one I’ve clicked with since I left the fab JR behind in Alaska; Dr H is the business!) that I’d had a colonoscopy many moons ago and that they’d taken a couple of polyps to biopsy. Apparently, if they’ve ever done this, it’s a good idea to check in with your colon at regular intervals. It was, however, an experience I wasn’t keen to repeat. Apparently, I was screaming all sorts of obscenities at the good doctor and the attending nurse, words they’d never heard before. I, of course, was oblivious. I was so out of it that I didn’t even register they were taking biopsies and when he called a couple of weeks later to tell me that they were benign, I was glad that I hadn’t known there might have been an issue.

Anyway, fast forward through a few lifetimes and I’m of an age when I’d prefer to catch whatever it is I might have before it has time to wreak havoc on my life. I know a fortune-teller told me that I’d live till I was 87 but I would like the next 30 years or so to be quality years.

Last year, Dr H recommended that I have a colonoscopy so I checked out the price and whoa! With the added 20k for a PCR and the additional charges should anything need to be biopsied, I decided to put it on the méar fada (long finger) and promptly forgot about it until I got an email from the clinic I attend saying they had a special offer going in April and would I be interested: a 10% discount and a free Covid Ag fast test.

Never one to pass up a bargain, I said yes. Of course. No problem. Happy to have my colon scoped.

But did I read the attached literature? Nah. That would be too much to expect. As a result, when I was in with Dr H a couple of days before and she mentioned having bloods taken and gave me my Picoprep and instructions on how to use it, I was shocked silly. I couldn’t eat 24 hours? Just water or black coffee (never) or clear sodas? I have the market cornered on hangry and I had plans for lunch and dinner that Friday. I was less than impressed. Of course, it was all on me. I should have read the bumf when I received confirmation of the appointment.

I cancelled everything for Friday. Went out and had an Indian curry Thursday night (a new place that’s opened in the IXth – Mr Singh – it’s worth a try). I started fasting at 8.30 pm and didn’t eat again for 36 hours. I took both doses of Picoprep and was glad that I’d read the instructions advising me to stay home. I only wish I’d read them earlier and eaten nothing but bland food all week. I have a whole new appreciation for the potency of a chicken madras.  I was not a happy camper.

I turned up for my appointment with a splitting headache, hangry, and not at all happy with life. Himself came with me to make sure I behaved.

I had a clear Covid test and went downstairs to the Endoscopy Centre to get my scope done. I was dreading it.

But they couldn’t have been nicer. I was introduced to all three people who would be working on me. They were all lovely. It was over before I knew it and I didn’t feel a thing. All good. Come back in five years and we’ll have another look, they said.

The health system in Hungary may not be all that it could be when it comes to public hospitals. I’ve heard some horror stories that don’t bear repeating. But being able to get an appointment quickly with a consultant is impressive. The same goes for MRIs and other diagnostics.

If you’re new to Budapest, or indeed anywhere within train distance of the city, I can recommend First Med’s new Endoscopy Centre and their general clinic, too. I’m grateful they had that April offer and that I took the plunge. If you’re looking for a group plan, ping me.




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