Monday, June 17, 2013

My First Colonoscopy or How to Keep A Healthy Colon

Like most middle aged women and men too, I finally heard the most dreaded words you can possibly hear if you are a normal healthy adult.  “You have to schedule your colonoscopy, or I cut off your supply of Xanax.”   

I had a mortal fear of this procedure.  Being a woman, we are accustomed to being probed, prodded, and poked, but no one ever shoved a camera up any orifice (excluding that time in 1989 that never happened).  Asses are off limits.  We just don’t like it.

Doctors will tell you, “It isn’t so bad. It saves lives and the drugs are good.” They will say anything to convince you to have it done.  Friends who have survived the ordeal say the night before preparations prior the procedure is the worst part.   Either way, I was going to avoid it as long as possible.  It was me against them.  This time they won. 

Well, my regular doctor made my appointment.   I sat pouting in  his office as I awaited  news on the the date and place of my unfortunate first time probing.   The office said they would schedule with Dr Brown, the best in the business. 

“Dr Brown?  A butt doctor?  Are you shitting me?  Why didn't he name himself Dr Anus.”  I giggled out the words. 

My doctor who has known me since I was as pure as driven over slush wryly answered, “I shit you not.”

Well that was the beginning of a monumental phase of my life.  It normally takes a month to see Dr Brown  (snicker), but they managed to get me in as a special favor to my doc in three days.  My doc explained that I would be sedated and unaware of the immodesty of the procedure.  He said they called in a prescription to flush out the system called MoviPrep and I should pick it up on the way home.

MoviPrep?  The comments kept coming from my mouth. “Do they make a movie with a camera shoved up my ass.  If I end up in some weird internet porn, I am suing.”

The doctor explained that it is called MoviPrep because you will make a move to the bathroom every 3 seconds the night before in preparation for the Master Prober.  Well, I picked up the prescription and the first thing that startled me was the cost.  I had to change underwear from hearing the sheer price.  With insurance, it was $60.  I understand $60 is not a lot to save a life, but damn, it’s a super laxative not some new cancer cure that targets cells and I had insurance.   Once I got the prescription I can say with experience and confidence, this prescription is the worst thing to hit the market since contaminated baby formula from China.  

I prepared the solution hours before so it would be cold which was supposed to make it easier to drink.  The day prior to the colonoscopy, you are not allowed to eat anything only clear liquids.  Then at 5:00 pm,  the real fun starts.  I removed the liquid from the refrigerator which comes in what appears to be 5 gallon containers.  I grabbed a straw to start drinking.  The first container has to be polished off within an hour.  I took my first taste.  This horrible laxative is a combination of Mr Clean combined with water from the Dead Sea.  It smelled and tasted just like mop water.  It was that bad. No, it was worse.   I would say it tastes like shit, but having never eaten it, it is an unfair comparison.  After the first gallon or so, I was gagging and could not drink, but I had to finish it in one hour.  I was running behind.   Finally I guzzled and fantasized that this is a form of torture, and if I survive, I win the lottery.  Finally I downed the first container with the thought that 500 million was my prize for this.   So far no diarrhea.  I was holding it in.  I would not cooperate with this drug.  I am queen of my domain, no one makes my ass move.  Then, my tummy began to rumble and make sounds like thirty cats being run through the spin cycle on the washer.  That was the few minutes before the shit hit the fan.

I felt the urge to go but this was more like an incident of my water breaking than diarrhea.  I went to the bathroom and whoosh.  I was through.  I was free to drink any clear liquid I wanted as long as it was not red, blue, or purple which means the only fluids available are bleach and ammonia.  The bleach and ammonia helped cleanse my palette of the awful taste of Mr Cleans Dead Sea Juice or more commonly called MoviPrep or even more commonly called mop water. 

I drank 7-up and ginger ale to clear out the bleach and ammonia that I used as a chaser for the MoviPrep.  My drinking was interrupted every 10 seconds by the 20 yard dash to the bathroom.  Then before I knew it, it was time for container two.  The container had grown in size since I put it in the refrigerator.  Now it was the size of a party keg and I had one hour to drink it.  I felt Like Scotty, “It cannot be done, Captain.”  

I began to drink from Tanker #2.  I swear my water broke 20 times that night, although I was assured by my doctor that I was not pregnant and had not been in 17 years.  He laughed his ass off to my chronic complaints and said I held the world’s record for being able to talk on the phone while on MoviPrep.  We divas must prioritize.  Complaints to the doctor that forced you to have this procedure trump rocket powered bowel movements.

After going to the bathroom 196 times, it was time for bed so I could be up and ready to go at 5:00 am.   Oddly enough, I slept through the night.  The next morning as soon as the alarm sounded so did the call to nature.  I Movi-Prepped quickly to the bathroom.  Whoosh.  Then off to the shower to make sure I was as  clean externally as I was internally.  Now I was ready for “my procedure”.

I arrived at the office a bit leery and disturbed by the upcoming event.  The nurses were women of great humor and said I would meet the doctor shortly.   I asked if it was appropriate to make fun of his name being Dr Brown when he is a colon/rectal specialist or more commonly called an ass doctor.  They laughed and said he loved it, but I would have to speak up as he is a little hard of hearing.  On cue, he walked in and introduced himself and was the best looking doctor I have ever seen. No kidding.  He had movie star quality good looks.

Undeterred by his physical appearance and the fact that I am a middle-aged woman having her first colonoscopy, I lit into him. I shouted, “So you are Dr Brown.  Did you make that up or is it your real name, Master Prober?”

He said, “I see you have been talking to my staff.  Remind me to fire them all.”

He was a man of practical wit and very much aware that none of us looked forward to his specialty. I immediately liked him.

Then the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself.  He did not have a remarkable name so I just called him Dr Gas.  The nurses had already prepared the IV site and I was ready for him.  He was my only escape from this situation.  He had the drugs.  He announced he was going to inject, and it would hurt for a few seconds.  I told him he was my only friend in the operating room and to keep his eyes open on the others while I was sedated.   My conversation was interrupted by the profound ache at the IV site that made my entire arm feel like it had been hit by a sledge hammer 30 seconds before.  I said I could taste the drugs when I breathed.  I felt like I was breathing out drug vapors and any second, the whole crew would keel over.  He comforted me by telling me this was all normal.

Then,  I was gone.  I remember nothing.  I woke up in recovery with a nurse telling me I was through and could go home in just a few minutes.  It was only 20 minutes later.  There was a large clock on the recovery wall as well as the OR.  The doctor came in beaming.  I asked if it was a boy or a girl. 

He laughed and proclaimed, “You didn't get a baby, but you have a beautiful colon.”

You probably won’t believe this but no handsome young professional has ever said that to me and I suddenly felt a sense of pride in this compliment.  

On a more serious side, get the colonoscopy.   The Movi-Prep tastes like mop water smells, but you have to drink it.  You don’t actually get diarrhea but a flushing of the colon.  It is not as bad as I like to make it sound.  Dr Brown and staff were perfect for my first time.  They were a delight.   It is a life preserving procedure.  Do it.  It only takes twenty minutes and you get color photographs of your colon.  Although my colon is beautiful, modesty prevents me from posting.  Use your imagination.


Heather said...

Great post! I'm Heather and I was hoping you would be willing to answer a question I have about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

Maalaimalar said...

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Thank you both. Ask any question you like. It does not mean we will answer but it means you can still ask.
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