As much as turning 50 brought a host of wonderful new things, there are also a few less interesting rites of passage awaiting, for example, the first colonoscopy.
For me, the procedure itself went fine, it was the liquid diet and preparation for the procedure that was a raw deal, in more ways than one, but it had its funny moments nonetheless.
So pull up a stool… here is a loose retelling of the preparation work in my colonoscopy countdown:
6:00 p.m.: Arrived home from work. Fed the cat. Took two Dulcolax, as per the instruction sheet and mixed the packet of Purg-Odan in a big glass of water. Went to Swiss Chalet for the “final supper” (before the liquid diet begins).
7:00 p.m.: With dinner over, running a few quick errands to get ready for tomorrow’s liquid diet. Stopped by the grocery store for ginger ale, apple juice, white grape juice, Gatorade and electrolyte enriched popsicles.
7:30 p.m.: Feeling a few stomach cramps… it’s not working already, is it?
7:45 p.m.: Ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in 15 years while cramps were intensifying. Starting to stand in awkward positions, “clenching” just in case.
8:00 p.m.: Got home and confirmed that the products were indeed starting to work.
8:15p.m.: Made lime Jello in anticipation of the next day’s liquid diet. Took out the frozen home-made chicken stock from the freezer to thaw.
8:30 p.m.: Further confirmation that the products were working.
8:45 p.m.: Re-read the instruction sheet and wondering if I took the Purg-Odan a day early?
9:00 p.m.: further confirmation that the products were working.
9:30 p.m.: confirmation again…
10:00 p.m.: all is calm, all is bright. Retired to the bedroom with a ginger ale and a popsicle in hand, thinking that this liquid diet thing might not be so bad after all.
7:00 a.m.: Awakened by Miss Hungry Cat
7:03 a.m.: Serving up the cat’s breakfast salivating over the aroma of her chicken and salmon stew in a rich gravy. Lucky bitch!
7:30 a.m.: Called the doctor’s office and confirmed that I did indeed misread the instructions and started the Purg-Odan step one day early. Fortunately, it did not mean I needed to start over, it just meant I’d be “empty” sooner than necessary. “What a relief” I thought as I warmed up my chicken stock for breakfast.
8:00 a.m.: diluted a Nespresso with enough water to make it a clear liquid. Coffee was not on the taboo list, but it wasn’t exactly a clear liquid either. Nonetheless, coffee was essential. I did not need to add caffeine withdrawal to my anticipated hunger pains.
9:00 a.m.: Getting hungry. Ate half of the Jello made the night before as well as two popsicles.
10:00 a.m.: Pretty hungry. Started scavenging the kitchen for anything that looks like it can be melted down into a clear liquid that would meet the criteria for the diet
10:30 a.m.: Starving. Googling “liquid diet” to see if there was anything I missed on the list that could potentially contain some protein.
10:45 a.m.: Trying to take my mind off of eating by watching TV. Every commercial involves food. Not helping.
11:00 a.m.: Watching “The Price Is Right”. “Grocery Game” is up first. Not helping. Changed the channel. Rachael Ray – cooking; Marilyn Denis– cooking; Ellen – cooking. The universe hates me today.
12:00 p.m.: Made the next serving of chicken broth, wishing that the bottom of the container would actually contain a shred of chicken.
12:03 p.m.: Had the other half of the bowl of Jello for dessert. Made more Jello.
12:09 p.m.: Had another popsicle.
12:30 p.m.: Made tea. Googled “liquid diet” again to seek another opinion and if I missed anything.
12:35 p.m.: Calculating how much water it would take to dilute protein powder to the point of becoming a clear liquid. Decided I was not that thirsty.
1:00 p.m.: Decided to take a nap to try to regain some energy and take my mind off hunger
4:00 p.m.: Woke up with a nasty headache, feeling dizzy and feeling sick to my stomach. I haven’t eaten this much sugar in one day since Halloween 1977. Craving protein… any protein. Even an overboiled flavourless chicken breast would be welcomed… anything! On the bright side, my stomach is pretty flat and I haven’t felt this light in years.
5:00 p.m.: Made another bowl of chicken stock, thanking my lucky stars this is the last liquid diet meal. Starting to plan my celebration meal. Had Jello for dessert.
6:00 p.m.: Looked at the contents of my bar, noting that there were several clear liquids there. Dropped the idea when I remembered how little protein I had in my system. This would not be a good idea, but it would help forget how hungry I am, no? Dismissed the idea.
8:00 p.m.: watching TV. Every commercial is about food. Counting the minutes until bed time. Wondering if I put a cookie in the food processor would it be fully digested by tomorrow? Dismissed the idea.
10:00 p.m.: Bed time but having a hard time falling asleep over the noise of my growling stomach.
7:00 a.m.: Awakened by Miss Hungry Cat
7:03 a.m.: Serving up the cat’s breakfast, salivating over the aroma of her cat version of Paella. Lucky bitch!
8:00 a.m.: Regretting scheduling a noon appointment
11:00 a.m.: Mom stopped by to pick me up for my appointment
12:00 p.m.: Arrived at clinic only to be told that the doctor was running an hour behind schedule. Lesson learned: book a morning appointment the next time.
1:00 p.m.: Anesthesia hit in 3 seconds. Didn’t feel a thing during the procedure.
1:45 p.m.: woke up… all done. The verdict: “Everything was great. No problems whatsoever. See you in 10 years”
The result was a great base line result to put in my medical file, and one more test I can put behind me.
I was so excited about the result I almost asked for a still photograph to use as my Christmas card. I figured I could Photo Shop in a light snowfall and some ornaments… until I realized it was the anesthetic speaking.
As much as the preparation for the colonoscopy was a pain in the butt that left me feeling completely crappy, I am glad I went through the procedure in the end!
To conclude on a serious note, for more information about colonoscopies, speak to your doctor or check out this link from the Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/tests-and-procedures/colonoscopy/?region=on
If you haven’t already, you can check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.net. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox.
Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,