While most people may think the most important date in February is Valentines Day (February 14th), February is actually Bowel Awareness Month and I have a wonderful story to relate to you about a fantastic screening programme that is here in Australia – that saves lives. I had a patient the other day who reluctantly undertook his free bowel screening test which is available to everyone over the age of 50. I say reluctantly because being a male he couldn’t see the need (he did say to me the classic male thinking about health issues: “If it ain’t broke why fix it?”) but some clever nagging from his wife saw him submit it and sure enough it came back positive for blood. A colonoscopy was ordered and early stage bowel cancer was discovered. Because it was detected so early, the operation was not as extensive as it may have ended up being, had the test not been done and rather, frank blood in the toilet was the first sign.
Now that’s a good news story!
If you want to know more about bowel issues here is the link to the Bowel Cancer website to check out all the info on the screening test. Don’t be dismissive of the screening test when it arrives in the mail- it’s free and as my story demonstrates- it detects cancer and it saves lives.
Over the years I have counselled many family and friends about bowel issues – sometimes when they haven’t even asked a question. So it’s no wonder then for Xmas 2016 I received a book called “What’s Your Poo Telling You” ( I wrote a blog about that Bad Santa gift giving which was so much fun). For Xmas 2017 I received two desk calendars of the same name (What’s Your Poo Telling You) – who knew it was so great having a desk calendar to tell you what the date is? (Now all my charts have the correct date – not the one that’s sort of in the region). So obviously, my legacy to the world will be my comfort in chatting about all things bowels!
You know what? I’m very happy and comfortable with that legacy. Because bowels when they are acting up can cause all sorts of grief. And I am very happy to be the one who has an interest in what is wrong with your bowels. Constipation, IBS, loose stools giving urgency, gas control loss, faecal incontinence, obstructed defaecation, rectal prolapse, rectocoele, pain from fissures and haemorrhoids – all of these issues and many more can make women, men and children miserable and uncomfortable, sick and anxious, obsessed and worried. And many times the solutions are not complicated. Physios whose special interest is pelvic health can assess and treat these problems and in quite a quick turnaround, you are feeling more comfortable, are less anxious and more confident to get out of the house and face the world.
We are not going to make you feel uncomfortable; we will ask more detailed questions and want to know more rather than less; and we will not try to change the subject or brush over your bowel issues. Pelvic health physios love bowels because it is so damn rewarding when patients return to their next appointment and they are so happy with how things are travelling.
Got a bowel issue? Come and have a chat- you won’t be disappointed.
Sue Croft Physiotherapy, 7/47 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill. Ph 07 38489601/ 0407659357.