Here is the link to my most recent Colonoscopy. After five years, it's a bit disconcerting that no one has figured out an improved method to flush out the system. Or at least make the 'cocktail' a bit more tasty.
UPDATE: I was overwhelmed with the number of e-mails I received about this post, so I'm reposting it. To those of you who told me you were going to make your appointments, I hope you've kept your promise. Also, be sure to check additional photos at the end of this post.
The word COLONOSCOPY has nothing to do with this punctuation mark :
to reprint or reproduce something as in to copy it.
It does have to do with the two letters located between colon and copy: OS
Those 2 letters stand for Oh Shit ! Now you know that I usually don’t use words like $hit on my blog, but when writing about a colonoscopy, there’s just no euphemism to soften it up. Pun intended. You’ll understand that pun should you choose to keep reading. Oh, you got it already?
Now that my age has scurried close to sixty, it was suggested that a colonoscopy should be placed on my list of things to do, preferably at the top.
Part I: Discussion about Prep Day
It was quite a coincidence that colonoscopy was the topic of conversation among several of my 'elderly' friends a few days before my procedure was scheduled. (Believe me, it was not I who introduced this topic during lunch.) All of whom have had the pleasure of having a 20 foot hose complete with a camera and recording device inserted up their behind. The visualization I have of this is the plumbing that runs from our hot water tank to our upstairs bathroom. There is no doubt the plumber played a joke on us and ran the pipe around the neighborhood before connecting it to the shower.
There were many reasons for my anxiety, the first of which had to do with the fact that the doctor holding that 20 foot hose with the camera and recording device would be an acquaintance of mine. I asked the scheduling nurse if this procedure could be done anonymously. She assured me that the doctor would not be “incognito.” I told her it wasn't the doctor I was talking about.
Back to the conversation, there seemed to be a consensus among my elderly friends: “It’s not the procedure itself that is disconcerting, it is the day before, commonly known as PREP DAY, that will remain forever etched into your brain."
**Enter the word MoviPrep**
No, that doesn't say MOVIEPREP, as my lysdexic brain processed it when reading my prescription. I was thinking that my doctor-aquaintance was being so kind in prescribing something in conjunction with watching a movie. NOT ! Oh, it would be just fine to watch a movie on Prep Day...as long as the movie was showing in your bathroom.
This came from one MoviPrep site:
FDA approved in August 2006, MoviPrep® (PEG 3350, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid for oral solution), provides the efficacy of a 4 liter polyethylene glycol (PEG) lavage in a tolerable lower volume. MoviPrep is the only PEG lavage with ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate to increase stool volume and enhance taste.
MoviPrep is indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults 18 years of age or older. MoviPrep offers a tolerable dosing regimen that does not require the use of bisacodyl tablets, thereby avoiding bisacodyl-associated abdominal cramping in patients.
After my very informative lunch, I hit the cornpooter to research all I could about MoviPrep from others who had enjoyed this delectable drink. There was a plethora of information out there, but these were the items that caught my attention:
1) buy diaper rash ointment and apply between evacuations
EVACUATIONS? Isn’t there a less noxious word to use?
2) eat light or even have a liquid diet the day before ‘Prep Day’
Would this be considered Prep Prep Day?
3) don’t be afraid to contact your doc or nurse if you start to vomit
Vomit ? Hearing that word just makes me gag. Kind of like reading the word YAWN, will make you YAWN. Think about it…YAWN.
(You yawned, didn't you?)
4) Mix it with ginger ale or other clear liquid.
Aren’t tonic water and vodka clear?
5) Do NOT mix MoviPrep with anything BUT water. That will only make it taste worse.
Come on people, make up your mind. Can I or can I not mix it with vodka?
6) If you plan to mix MoviPrep with anything but water, ask your doc first.
Oh, you expect me to ask my acquaintance-doc if I can make my MoviPrep a cocktail? I’ll just stick with water, thank you very much.
7) Drink water between “shots”
Are you kidding me? You suggest that I drink MORE liquid.
8) Drink it cold.
As in “chill it?” Saying “chilled MoviPrep” sounds more exotic.
9) Drink it through a straw.
That way I won’t muss up my lipstick, right?
10) Expect stomach cramps and gas.
Oh, AnodeMan is going to be thrilled to know I'll have MORE gas.
People, I am here to tell you, the taste of MoviPrep is indescribable. About the closest description is that it tastes like a briney mixture of sugar water and buzzard breath, with just a touch of locker room. A molded salt lick drenched in maple syrup that has already been licked by a cow would taste better.
And let's talk about quantity. When I was in the classroom, the metric system was not something I enjoyed teaching. Mainly, because I didn't understand it. I can't remember how many liters of MoviPrep there were to consume, but I think it was equivalent to about 50 gallons.
On previous posts, I have used terms like: projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. Today, projectile, explosive diarrhea would not even come close to describing this experience. On one site, someone wrote, "You may experience watery diarrhea." Watery diarrhea? Isn't that redundant? It's more like watery water. With the emphasis on water. I'm not too familiar with the acronym PSI, other than it stands for pounds per square inch, but I do believe it fits in well with the text here.
If by some miracle, you find a reason to laugh on Prep Day, don't. And, sneezing and coughing are out of the question. I tried to find something positive about this experience thinking that I would shed a couple of extra pounds that seemed to be jiggling around my mid-section. That didn't happen because after starving myself on Prep Prep Day AND Prep Day, I almost ate the door off the refrigerator after the procedure.
(No, there is not a Cliff Notes version to this post.)
Part II: The Procedure
AnodeMan drove me here and from this point on, everything seems a bblluurr.
Who invented this garment? No matter if they tell you that it opens in the back or opens in the front, this piece of fabric just seems to open all over.
Figure out that maneuver. I know I'm under there. I see my fingers.
My socks seem to clash with my haute couture gown that is gaping in the back. I know it's gaping, I feel a draft.
The question was, "Has any other patient ever brought a camera to his/her colonOScopy?"
The looks on their faces answers that question.
Whatever she injected into my "vein that rolls," hasn't prevented me from continuing to talk in my sleep during my deliruim or use hand gestures.
At this point, I am a happy camper. Vaguely, I remember the room beginning to move. Or was it the bed that was moving? Everything seemed green including the large monitor. I remember someone telling me to roll. . .
My next recollection was being handed a package of those peanut butter-crackers and inhaling all six of them at once. I remember nothing about the procedure or ever seeing my doctor-acquaintance.
Here I am asking the nurse if I can take home with me whatever she put in that IV.
She said, "No."
PART III: Diagnosis
It was a relief to know there were no polyps, but I did have H-Pylori. This was treated with two very strong anti-biotics, and to date, the symptoms have not recurred. (The side effect of taking those two very powerful drugs is another story for another day.)
PART IV: Epilogue (If you're still reading, I'm amazed.)
Having a colonOScopy can save your life. Even though I have shared a detailed account of Prep Day, it really isn't that bad. Certainly, nothing compared to letting a growth go unnoticed that could be cancerous and having to deal with that nightmare. So, if you are at an age where it is suggested you have a colonOScopy, or if you are having gastrointestinal problems, and you've not had one, run, don't walk to your phone and make an appointment.
Oh, and remember those six peanut butter crackers I mentioned earlier, evidently I ate the wrapper, too.
And speaking of eating wrappers, my friend PamelaJamela's doctor found this during her colonOScopy:
Need a closer look at what's there?
Way to go Pamela. You're supposed to peel those stickers off the fruit before you eat them.
Matt, this post is for you. I hope it's adds a bit of levity to your day.