OK. So I put it off for a few more years than I should have. It’s done now. A five or six foot tube was put deep into my colon with a doctor looking in the other end to admire the beauty of my digestive track.
How you decide this as your specialty in medical school is beyond me. Being a podiatrist was too gross?
I did a few Internet searches to find what was going to happen. Much of the information was polite, proper and not from the patient’s perspective.
Here’s the worst part of having a colonoscopy.
After making the long put off appointment, the doctor’s office called and asked questions about my health history, what medicines I was on and if I was allergic to anything. The answers were no to everything. They’re always amazed I don’t take any prescription drugs. Their response is always, “No really. What are you taking?” I’m guessing lots of people are spending their kid’s inheritance on little pills, just like big pharma plans it.
They gave me a choice on how I could clean myself out. The first was drinking a gallon or two of stuff. The second option was downing two six-ounce bottles of the concentrated colon blow. The second option was more expensive, but I figured easier. I went with the two “sixers.” I was then sent an email detailing how to prepare and “cleanse” myself.
On the Thursday before the ceremonial tapping of the virgin rectum the doctor’s office called again asking the same screening questions. I guess they didn’t believe I wasn’t stoned on Ritalin.
TWO DAYS BEFORE
Here’s when you start drinking a lot of liquids. You need to drink 32 ounces of water during the day. Gatorade or its low calorie version G2 can be substituted. You also can’t eat corn, nuts, fresh fruit or raw veggies. And NO BEER. NO WINE. NO ALCOHOL. This procedure is starting to become inhumane.
You can’t eat after bedtime. The last thing I ate was around 7:30pm.
ONE DAY BEFORE
You can’t eat anything. I had to drink at least 32-ounces of clear liquids before it was time to administer that first “sixer.” I went for the Gatorade/G2 again.
By the way, stay near a bathroom all day. With all the liquids you’re drinking, you’re going to pee a lot. This is not a time to get stuck in traffic.
Focusing on the clock all day, time seemed to be moving faster and faster toward the prescribed time of 6pm. It was time to begin the “cleanse.”
I poured the first six-ounce bottle of that hyper powered laxative into the provided cup and filled the rest of the cup with water. I’ll be straight right now. This stuff tastes awful. And what makes it worse is they try to cover up the taste with some sickening cherry flavoring. It’s like trying to cover up the smell of a loose dog turd with a “country fields” scented air freshener. You’ll want to try and drink it fast to cover the taste. It took me a few gulps. Horrible.
You chase this swill with two 16-ounce glasses of plain water. You have to drink this within an hour of taking the medicine. You’ll want to get rid of that taste in your mouth, so chug that water.
What does the swill taste like? Imagine a galvanized steel bar, some rusty iron and some lead all mixed with the mercury taken from a thermometer. Even cutting it with water it has a weird consistency. Nasty.
Now you sit and wait. You won’t have to wait long. And out it comes. And then it comes out again and again. A little chunky at first and then just liquid. You’ll need to go four or five times. By 8:30pm it was over. Just two and a half hours of staying close to the bathroom. There wasn’t any cramping.
Off to bed I went.
At 5:30am it was time to take the second bottle. This bottle is worse. It’s the same stuff. Maybe it’s because you already know what it tastes like and that’s why it’s tougher to swallow. I’m not going to lie. Getting this down was rough. This was chased with two more 16-ounce glasses of water within the hour. This treatment runs through you a lot faster. By 8am, I was cleaned out like a newborn babe.
I showered and heading to the hospital. As I was checked in, they made sure I had someone to drive me home. Then I had to sign about five documents releasing the hospital from anything nefarious that may happen. Usual stuff. Into the back I went.
Lilly, who was kind of cute for an older lady met me and told me to take off all my clothes except my socks. I dressed in one of those sexy hospital smocks that expose your ass. She then asked me the same screening questions for a third time. While this was going on another nurse came in to put the IV in my arm. She asked me what arm I preferred. I said, “My left.” She responded, “We’re going to put it in this arm.” Why did you ask? She started the IV drip to make me tired in my right arm.
Lily then asked me a few more questions and again made sure someone was there to drive me home. She also told me to go home and sleep, no work and not to sign anything legal the rest of the day. That’s when she told me I’d have to sign one more document in the operating room? What? I’m already wired up and drugged!
Roxy (yes “Roxy”) then came to wheel me into the operating room. The doctor came in and told me what he was going to do. I signed that other form. I have no idea what it said. I’m just hoping I didn’t sign the title to my car over to them. That’s when Roxy told me she gave me two more drugs, one a narcotic and the other to put me out. I asked when it was going to take effect. She said about two minutes. You’ll notice the room getting foggy and starting to spin and then….
And then I woke up. My wife was there. She tells me the doctor came over to tell me what he found. I don’t remember that part. Hell. I couldn’t tell you what he looked like. I remember drinking some Coke Zero. And home I went to sleep for about 4 hours. A few polyps were removed.
THE WORST PART
Drinking that liquid to clean you out. It really is worse going in than coming out the other end.
It’s not the most fun thing you’ll ever do. It’s not the worst either. And it sure beats colon cancer.