Q. I’m 52 and in my 27th year as a T8 paraplegic. My primary care doctor referred me to see a gastroenterologist to have a colonoscopy. I’m not too worried about the test since, with my injury level, I won’t feel it. However, I am worried about dealing with “bowel cleanse” the day before. I’ve heard the laxative drink tastes really bad, and I’ve also heard it makes you poop like crazy for two to four hours. How am I supposed to manage this without having serious bowel accidents?
A. Patti, kudos to your primary care physician for referring you to a specialist for this important health screening! According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and results in approximately 40,000 deaths per year.
Dr. Jerome Stenehjem, medical director at Sharp Rehabilitation Center, explains that although a spinal cord injury doesn’t put a person at increased risk of colon can