The Colonoscopy



This past week I had the honor of having my first colonoscopy.  I had been putting it off for about 5 years, for many valid reasons in my mind…..”I don’t have the time…Someone will have to take off work to take me…..It will cost too much….etc….”  With my moms history of colon cancer I knew that it was the right thing to do, and with my ex-husband being recently diagnosed with rectal cancer, I realized I had run out of excuses.  So I “pulled up my skirt Nancy,” as I tell my kids, and made the appointment.  Luckily I had to wait for about 4 weeks to get an appointment, so I was able to avoid it even longer.  I decided to go to the same gastroenterologist my ex had, and arrived for my evaluation on time and with a smile on my face. He asked me multiple  (very personal) questions, of which I was fortunate to answer no…such as “any rectal bleeding, any constipation, loose stools, hemorrhoids”  It was decided that I would also have an endoscopy, since some foods seem to “stick” ….sure, why not do both ends at once and get it out of the way? Hmmmmm……..Ok, I’m game!  I was then escorted into another part of the building to talk to the scheduler, and the date was set for April 10th at 8:15 am.  I then answered about 100 more questions and then came we got down to business. She asked me if I wanted my prep in liquid form, pills, or liquid and pills.  Reasoning that there was a good possibility that I would hurl the liquid prep, I voted for the liquid and pill prep.  Thirty minutes later I was on my way home with 9 Dulcolax tablets, 2 Dulcolax suppositories (I didn’t remember suppositories being a choice), and a picture of a bottle of Magnesium Citrate, that I could pick up without a prescription in any pharmacy aisle.  After picking up my TWO bottles of lemon flavored Mag Citrate, I head home to study the papers that were given to me.

Everyone tells you that prep is the worse part of the whole adventure, and I will have to say that I totally agree.  I knew that I would not be able to stray more than 100 feet from the porcelain throne, so I settled in for the day.  At noon my instructions said to have a light lunch, which consisted of bacon and biscuits with honey, (ok, not really a light lunch, but it  was my last meal for about 24 hours.)  Then I was to take 3 tablets and drink one bottle of Mag Citrate, followed by a quart of water.  A friend suggested I chill the liquid and try to drink it fast, which I did.  It was HORRIBLE….and very salty.  I stuck a straw in the bottle, put the straw as far away from my taste buds as I could, and chugged, quickly following with a water “chaser.” After about 15 minutes I was able to get it down, and keep it down, which made me very happy.  Now I had to settle in and begin watching a movie to pass the time.  About an hour I was worried because nothing was happening….maybe it wouldn’t work and I would have to call the office for an alternative choice?  I continued drinking water…and more water…until SUPRISE!!!!!! time to scoot!  By the time I got there and began reading a magazine left in the bathroom, I realized that  it was over as fast as it came on.  Ok, this isn’t too bad, I can do this…and I again settle in to watch the movie.  Needless to say, for the next 3 hours I didn’t dally when things didn’t feel right, in fact I decided that even if the house erupted into flames, I would make a straight line for the potty.  At one point I decided that it would be easier to change into pajama bottoms, even if it was 3 in the afternoon…..the easier it was to hit the bulls-eye, the better.

(Yes, I know this joke is tasteless, but trust me, it’s a reality with this prep)

I had a few hours reprieve in which I could carry on like any other person at home on a beautiful spring day…I cleaned up the house, did some laundry and watched some more movies in my pj’s.  Suppertime comes and it was time to take 3 more tablets and “put in” one of the suppositories, and continue drinking more water (8 oz an hour).  Now, I have never had to use a suppository, and while I have inserted many of them into my patients, I found myself in a quandry….How in the world was I going to do this to myself?  It probably would have been easier had I been model thin, but no such luck (no pun intended)  So after hoisting one foot on the toilet and twisting into a pretzel, the job was done.  Back to the movie to wait…..and the wait came sooner than I expected…and so it continued all evening.  A repetition of scooting, drinking water, scooting, drinking water…until at some point my body decided it had enough fun for one day, and was done.  After a looooonnnnngggg hot bath, I tucked my battered self into bed, remembering to set the alarm for 3 a.m, when I would get up and drink the second bottle of Mag Citrate, take the remaining 3 Dulcolax tablets, and twist into a pretzel for a second time.  Now I have had many restless nights, but never in my memory have I gotten up to take medications that I knew would just produce PTSD symptoms….but I did it.  I then literally crawled back to bed, and almost immediately fell asleep.  I will admit I had horrible thoughts about not waking up in time to make it to the bathroom, but at that point I was so tired I figured I’d just burn the sheets and even the mattress if necessary.  My fears never came to fruition, because my eyes flew open from a deep sleep, and off I dashed across the hall to the bathroom, trying not to wake Maddie up with the elephant charge that I was leading. (or at least I felt like I was stomping like an elephant)  You know the quick “Charlie Chaplin” walk….you are trying to squeeze your derriere in a way that would make any arm wrestler proud.

So this is the end of part one, and this is my little part in making people aware of the importance of having a colonoscopy.  This especially goes for you out there who are over 50, or have a family history of colon cancer.  You have a wonderful chance of kicking colon cancers butt (again, no pun intended) if the cancer is caught early.  Coming up….THE PROCEDURE….yes, the adventure continues ♥


Banana Nut Bread

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup melted butter

1 & 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

3-4  very ripe bananas (depending on size)

1 tsp soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts

To eggs, add sugar and melted butter.

Mash bananas and add to the egg mixture.

Sift flour, soda and salt together and add to mixture.

Stir in nuts.

Bake in a greased 9″ by 5″ loaf pan for 50- 60 minutes at 350 degrees.