Carole (sundart) wrote,

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Carole's Colon Cha-Cha

Adventures in Colonoscopy

Herein lies the tale of my past two days, a journey into the dark realms of the colonoscopy. This is not a story for the faint of heart (or stomach). But, if you ever have to have a Fisherprice My First Colonoscopy, you might be comforted by the tale of my experience - so read on!


It all begins on a Tuesday afternoon, which I had taken off from work. When I woke up in the morning, I mixed my Colyte formula: white evil smelling powder, cherry flavoring packet, and entire gallon of water, refrigerating the resulting fluid (henceforth known as magic ass-rocket juice). I ate a breakfast of oatmeal with honey, and a lunch around noon of vanilla soy yogurt and a slice of pumpkin bread. At 3:30pm I took the small white pill my ass doctor (henceforth designated as Dr. D) prescribed as a ward against nausea.

Then, at 4pm, the fun really started. I selected my glass of choice out of the cupboard. It was intended to be a "large glass" but considering I had to down one every fifteen minutes, the one I chose was approximately 10 or 11 oz. I figured that under these conditions, 10 ounces at a time was probably about all I could manage. And so, my first taste of magic ass-rocket juice.

I'll say now, I really have tasted substances more vile. There haven't been many of them, but the time I had to drink barium before a gastric CT scan stands out particularly. (The barium shake was theoretically supposed to be strawberry flavored. It wasn't. It also had a repulsive thick chalky texture that made me gag.)

So, my magic ass-rocket juice didn't seem to be so bad at first. It was salty with electrolytes, and vaguely cherry flavored, so it tasted like unsweetened salty cherry Gatorade. Gross, but tolerable.

I started drinking my magic juice. One glass every fifteen minutes. It took a while to start working its rocketeering magic upon my digestive system, so I wandered around the house chatting with beatgoddess and adding touches to certain of my craft projects. As I poured out each glass, beatgoddess suggested I mark the side of the plastic jug with a Sharpie marker to track my progress. So I did.

Around 5:10 I was driven into the bathroom. Around 5:30, I set up camp to stay. I was in there for over an hour without a break, suffering from raucous cramps and bloated unhappiness. Also starting around 5:30, my little white pill must have worn off, because each sucessive glass of magic juice was making me feel more and more sick to my stomach. Glass number seven, at 5:45 barely stayed down. Glass number eight, at 6:10 (I had waited a little extra, hoping to settle my stomach) made me puke. Into the bathroom sink, since I didn't dare lift my ass from the toilet at this point. I was manifestly unhappy. Around 6:30 I choked down a last half glass.

So, yes, the prep the day before is one of the worst parts of having a colonoscopy. They're not kidding. After the magic ass-rocket juice was thankfully consumed in its entirety, my stomach started settling, and I was able to leave the bathroom for longer periods of time. However, unlike the instructions that come with the prescription, I was *not* happily finished emptying my colon one to two hours after I stopped drinking the juice. In point of fact, I was up and down again all night, and didn't sleep particularly well because of it.

Evening brought an immensely cheering phonecall from birkwelch and a birthday visit for kleopepper from gossamer_gull, who I saw in passing on one of my trips to the tiolet after I went to bed. I also had a little lemon Jello. :) So at least I had moral support from my dear ones, not to mention beatgoddess's exceedingly helpful contributions earlier in the evening (and the great card she left me for Wednesday morning.)


Peppergrrl and I trip-trapped merrily over to the hospital around 8:30am. The cab ride was uneventful, and the frosty sunny morning kept my spirits up. I had an entertaining chat with the receptionist, and kleo and I played a few games of hangman while we waited for me to get called in.

Then I went in, changed out of my clothes and into my exciting designer hospital clothes (the robe had a weird dice-looking pattern on it) and proceeded to wait for a very long time. I did some paperwork. And I waited. They let kleo come keep me company. And I waited. They put an IV in my arm. And I waited. And then they finally took me off to get my proceedure done around 10:30 I think.

For those of you in the audience who have never had a colonoscopy done, I don't particularly recommend it unless necessity drives you. If it does, be comforted by the twin facts of general anesthesia (a mild dose to, as Dr. D put it "take the edge off") and the fact that it doesn't really take that long.

They got all organized, measuring my heart and breathing with some electrodes, checking my blood pressure again, hooking some oxygen up my nose, and finally shooting the dugs into my IV. Man, did they ever kick in fast. One minute I'm marvelling at the burning tingle shooting through my arm, and the next I'm wondering why my eyes aren't focusing anymore. The procedure itself, then, was mostly a drug-addled haze of cramping pain. I know they gave me an extra kick of drugs at some point because I was in a lot of pain. But I also vaguely recollect watching some portion of what they were doing on a screen to my left, without my glasses on. Dim impression of pink flesh, and white light, motion and a half-understood conversation going on around me.

I struggled back to full consciousness and slowly relieved the still awful cramps with some release of gas from my colon in the recovery room. After a while, I got back into my clothes, and Andee escorted me home.

The loopy mellow happiness of the drugs has pretty much worked its way out of my system by now, and I called my folks and also gossamer_gull to let them know I got through okay.

Results to be discussed in a couple of weeks with Dr. D. Updates on my diagnosis as events warrant. Thanks for the support, y'all. :)
Tags: health

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