LARGO -- Dane Maxfield has the real inside story on me.
A physician, he knows me inside out. And he has gained that knowledge through regular colonoscopies and endoscopic examinations.
That all comes about because of regular monitoring I get from Randal Worth, my regular, prime doctor. Dr. Kerry Chamberlain, an oncologist, also keeps an eye on things since Dr. Dave Lowery cut the cancer out of my stomach almost three years ago.
All appears well with my upper and lower digestive tracts, but Worth had reasons to explore what he called "the unknown territory."
He was referring to the small intestine, the link between the stomach and duodenum and the large intestine, the colon.
With all the wonderful advances in medical technology and procedures, it is now routine for a qualified doctor to examine those upper and lower parts of the body.
But the small intestine?
Amazingly, that now can be eye-balled.
That is the "unknown territory" that Worth was referring to.
I checked in at Sun Coast Hospital August 2 with the always friendly and effervescent Cindy Bridges and then Carol Nelson, a nurse on the staff in the Endoscopy Department, took over. I am a familiar face to folks like Debbie, Tammy, Lorraine and Marlene in that department.
Pursuing the idea of examining my small intestine, Carol placed eight sensors on my abdomen, similar to the ones used in an electrocardiogram.
I put my shirt back on and then was fitted with a corset-like belt that held a battery and the box that records the information that will be transmitted to it from my innards. Also a lot of wiring.
That transmission was to come from a small capsule that actually was a camera with a transmitter. I swallowed that capsule along with some water very easily. The camera in the capsule takes four pictures a second, Carol said.
When the capsule camera's results are downloaded, Maxfield will have a movie of a traveling capsule. He will be able to give minute examination to any portion of the small intestine that attracts his interest.
Leading up to getting rigged by Nelson at 7 a.m., I could not eat from after 5 p.m. the previous day and could have only water on a limited basis.
Once the device was in place, Carol said I could have something to drink in two hours, at 9 a.m., and then, at 11 a.m., could have a light meal. I was to return to the hospital at 3 p.m. to have the recording box removed.
In the meantime, I went about my daily schedule on Monday. Fortunately, that took place here in peaceful Pinellas County. Had I been in New York City or Washington, D.C., I might not have gotten far with the rigging I had on me which suggested -- "Let the hostages go or I blow up the whole building."
The point of all this is how amazing, fantastic and unbelievable all this is. And how many lives it will save.
Maxfield has now seen the "unknown territory," and the results of that examination, which he will see through the magic of technology, will be shared with Worth and Chamberlain.
All to my betterment. Thanks.
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