October 29, 2011, 9:40 pm
Filed under: October 2011
The “Prep” is the worst part!

October 29, 2011

     As I age I have been getting to do all sorts of things that folks just don’t talk about. There is that whole prostrate check thing and most recently a colonoscopy. I understand the necessity of both tests and thankfully passed both with flying colors… I didn’t even study 😮
     I do not mean to take away from the importance of these tests. I put my colonoscopy off for a couple of years just being lazy. I then started to hear about friends and folks I know with bigger problems. Some of these guys were tough guys who were sure they were just fine. Others had economic issues and a few were just embarrassed.
     I know of a few guys who are wearing bags and a couple others who are fighting a curable cancer, because they put off the tests for too long. I recently got a dose of reality form a friend, so I scheduled my test. The whole thing is easy, painless and you sleep through the whole thing… BUT the prep work is by far the worst part.
     I will now embellish this story a bit to bring a little humor into a serious subject that is certainly no laughing matter. Please come along for the laughs, but get yourself to the doctor and get the test… no excuses especially if you are over 50.
     The receptionist said to just fill the four liter jug to the top line, dump in some “Crystal Light” lemonade mix and shake. Refrigerate the jug overnight and follow the directions on the paper she gave me.
     The paper startled me right off when it said , “On the day before your procedure, eat only a liquid diet.” This diet was all laid out and told me to have a cup of tea, six ounces of broth and four ounces of Jell-O. That was to be my breakfast and my lunch….. Are you kidding me?!
     Once I had eaten that wholesome delightful lunch, I was to take two “Ducalax” tablets at noon. I would then have a bowel movement within the next few hours, BUT if I did not, either way, I must start drinking the refrigerated liquid promptly at four o’clock pm.
     I am a very regular guy. I had my morning consitutional earlier in the day. Those tablets were the most nutrition I had eaten all day. They made no difference to me at all. Once the clock struck four o’clock, I poured my first eight ounces into a cup and drank.
     I was to drink eight ounces every ten minutes until it was gone… about three hours worth. The first swallow was not unpleasant. The drink was pretty thick, slightly salty with the sweet tang of lemonade. I drank the first cup thinking, “This isn’t so bad.”
     Dutifully I drank that thick ,sticky stuff every ten minutes for about the first hour. Then a felt a sort of low rumble. I knew what was coming, so I was not surprised just yet. Ten minutes into the second hour and Lord Almighty, that low rumble felt more like a Tsunami in my intestines.
     I will tell my dear reader, that one should head for the bathroom once you feel the rumble or you might not make it. I, being the tough guy, tested the boundaries of my sphincter muscles. I did make it, but would not try it again on a dare!
    That is how it starts and just like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going and going and going. One would think that it would be enough just keeping up with that job and all the paperwork, but no, you must continue to drink that cold, thick, lemon tasting fiber in a jar. You are only half way done drinking it by now, as you pour in one end and out the other.
     You become bloated, perhaps even just a little crampy and you still have a third of that nasty thick beverage to go. You decide at this point to never drink lemonade again and to pay more attention to which bathroom tissue is the softest. You consider sitting and drinking to avoid all the running back and forth, but decide that is way to gross, even for this job!
     Three hours or so after taking your first drink of the clean out liquid, you drink the last few swallows. Those last few are the worst. You don’t think you can do one more drop, but the receptionist’s words echo in your ears… “Do it right or we’ll make you do it again!” So with all the courage you can muster, you down the last of the concoction.
     Ahhh, you feel vindicated that you are done drinking. The only problem is, that now, all that liquid is racing through your intestines in an effort to win a race. I am not sure what race, but I ran with the best of them 😮
     I ran for five more hours. I decided to read the ingredient statement on the magic jug. There must be something left out, because I was sure that there must have been rock salt and cayenne pepper in that mix. This is the time when you start to think that the French people might have a great idea with that “bidet” thing!   …………….  Actually I was considering laying in the yard and just hosing myself off 😮
     Finally, after several hours you are done…well pretty much. DO NOT.. think at this point, that it would be OK to pass some gas … I didn’t try it and wasn’t about to,  even into day number two! 
     Those wonderful meals you had earlier in the day are long gone. You are not hungry, you are tired, sleepy and terrified to allow yourself to sleep …. Just in case! Sleep does eventually overtake you, but it is not the restful sleep that comes from a tired body and a full tummy.
     My procedure was not scheduled until late in the afternoon of the second day. That is a very long time to go without eating. I did think of people who are starving and felt a little guilty for being such a wimp.  I was, however, looking forward to a meal once we were done.
     The worst part of the procedure was the IV stick and that didn’t even hurt. The folks who did the job were polite, professional and almost fun to be around. I asked the doctor for a signed affidavit that said my head was not up there. We agreed, after all, that she would know me inside and out.
     I woke up a short time later. I felt nothing, except hungar. I was a little woozy, but felt fine. Then the recovery room nurse came by and said “They use a little air to inflate your colon so as to take pictures. You’ll need to pass some of it.”  She said it so matter of factly that I almost wanted to do it just to please her.
     Now, you spend a great deal of your adult life holding gas in so as not to offend people. I was not comfortable just letting it rip … I mean Jeeze!  About this time I realized that the ” little air” … compares to …”you might feel a little pinch.” I think they over inflated me 😮
     Luckily, I was still in and out of sleep from the anesthesia, as were the other inhabitants of the recovery room. I apparently was having no problem deflating, because I heard that nice nurse tell my wife.. and ten others walking nearby that I was passing a lot of gas …. I pretended to sleep, while the hurricane in my bowels dissipated.
     Once my stomach returned to a more normal size, I woke smiling. I asked that nice lady for something to drink and a little to eat. She brought me one of the nicest tasting muffins I have ever eaten…bran I am sure!
     The doctor talked with us, told me I had a complete clean bill of health. There were no polyps or anything to be concerned with. There is no family history, so I don’t have to repeat this for ten years… I’m hoping by then, that  my bowels with have returned to normal and I might even like the taste of lemonade.
     Okay, now that I have made you laugh at an embarrassing topic, get serious for a minute. Ask yourself if it’s time to get yourself tested. Don’t put it off for another day…make your appointment ….. and call your mother!

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