Comfortable Local Care - Brookings Health System

My name is Sara Larson, I am from Elkton, South Dakota. I live there with my husband Josh and our six children, who I home school. In my spare time I like to make cakes, birthday cakes, wedding cakes, anything like that.

Why Did You Have A Colonoscopy?

I wasn't feeling good at all. I would feel nauseous and I wasn't pregnant again. And I would eat something and immediately just get stomach pain and not feel good. There were other symptoms too, not to get too much into detail but I was bleeding some, and I saw Dr. Malmberg, and then he referred me to Dr. Johnson.

Hearing the word colonoscopy when I'm 30 years old, it was like," Oh my gosh, do I have cancer is there something really wrong with me?" And so, I was very nervous. And not knowing what to expect was just very nerve wracking with having all the kids at home. What if? Our youngest is not one yet, what would my husband do if there was something wrong with me, type thing. I saw Dr. Johnson and he calmed my nerves and was like, "You're gonna be just fine."


How Did You Prepare For The Colonoscopy?

You have to have clear liquids for a few days and white food. Toast is okay, bananas, and then chicken broth for the few days and then you get three bottles of the magnesium yummy goodness. I started at 4:00 in the afternoon, and then drink another bottle at 7:00 in the evening and another one three hours before I came to the hospital the next morning.


Were You Comfortable During The Procedure?

It was perfectly fine. I mean, they wheeled me down there, I got on the bed, they got me some nice warm blankets, which those feel so good, and I was asleep within ten seconds. So, I was so comfortable.


How Was Your Privacy Respected?

It was great, they were very accommodating. For religious reasons I wore garments and so the nurse helping me get dressed or undressed or anything like that, they were very accommodating to my privacy. So yeah, they were wonderful.


What Did You Find Out After The Procedure?

They had found one polyp and that was scary a little bit. Not knowing if it was just regular, precancerous or anything like that. But he said they didn't find any tumors or anything. That a lot of my symptoms, they thought were from having so many babies and that they were going to test it and then they're also going to test me for Crohn's disease to see if that could be my problem and that they were going to set up a follow up appointment at the clinic with him.

The polyp was precancerous, so I get to be back in five years with Dr. Johnson again to have another colonoscopy just to make sure everything is on the up and up and I don't have any more polyps show up. He said it was like winning the lottery because if I hadn't had a colonoscopy until I was fifty, he has no idea what that polyp could have turned into.


What Advice Would You Give To Someone Having Their First Colonoscopy?

I asked my husband this, and my sister, because I didn't know what to say. I was scared to do it, but it it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and my husband said, "Just do it, just get it done." My sister also said, you know after they found the precancerous polyp with me, it sometimes runs in families. And my grandpa had had precancerous polyps.

So my sister went right away to a doctor and got one, and had it done. And she said, "The not knowing, the wondering, okay my sister had this, is it going to happen to me? Was worse than the actual prep and the procedure and the okay, she's fine, she doesn't have anything wrong with her."

So yeah, just do it. Colon cancer is like the number one preventable cancer in the United States. Just from regular colonoscopies, they remove the polyps and then you're good for a long time.

And so I'm trying to get my parents to do it because they haven't and I'm trying to kick their butts, "You need to get in there."

Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

Yes absolutely, it's a very homey environment, very comforting staff. Yeah it's wonderful here.