19 September 2012

...and everything came out all right in the end...

Like hell it is
All right, whoever named this stuff was as full of what it’s intended to remove. It should be more aptly named GOLYKFLAMESSHOOTINGOUTYOURASTERISKREPEATEDLY.

Still…other than the fact that the volume required to consume as prep for a colonoscopy is an insane amount, it wasn’t that bad. It tasted like lemon flavored sea water, but I was able to make it a little more palatable by adding lemonade Crystal Lite to it. Not that it tasted like lemonade, but at least I could get it down with a minimum of gagging.

Clear liquids are your friend
Now, one of the things they tell you about prep day is that you can only have clear liquids. I suggest you shop accordingly. There are lots of fun clear liquids to choose from, just make sure there’s no red dye in them.

Seriously, though…I’d read in more than one place online that one way to make the prep easier was to eat lighly the couple of days before starting. Sunday and Monday the heaviest thing I ate was Frosted Flakes for dinner on Sunday, and Monday I ate toast with peanut butter for breakfast, and after that, just noodle soup.

And it worked, I think. The horrificness I expected from the prep never happened, mostly because there really wasn’t much hanging around in my gut. I stared drinking the GoLytely around 1pm and was done with it a little after 4… And TMI…by 3:30 everything was running clear, and I was done needing to drink any more of it.

But…BUTT…the worst of it really isn’t the prep drink. It’s not the feeling like you’re going to rocket off the toilet and plunge head first into the ceiling. The worst of it is what all that prep drink coming out the other end does to that tender, tender flesh.

Trust me...
Vaseline is your friend. And don’t make my mistake of waiting until you need it. Start gooping that chit on right from the start, put in on thick, and extend it farther on your nether cheeks than you think you’ll need it. Yeah, your undies are going to be less than pretty after, but at least those will wash out.

By 8pm I was down to gurgling, nothing major. I was hungry as hell, but not starving, and kept drinking my clear liquids right up until I went to bed around 11:45.

Since my biggest worry was the prep—I am a delicate flower, after all—I wasn’t worried or nervous about the actual colonoscopy. Someone seeing my bare ass? No big deal. I’m pretty sure mine is neither something special nor something unusual, so there was no squeamishness about that. Someone shoving a giant rubber hose up there? I was promised drugs, and if you give me the right drugs, you can do almost anything to me. I don’t care.

I thought I might be a little nervous during the check-in, but wasn’t. And I expected a little of it while going through my medical history with the nurse—who advised that post-procedure I fart my little heart out, because I was going to be very bloated and full of air and holding it in, not such a good idea—but it never surfaced.

Even after changing clothes, getting the IV in (two points to that nurse, who got it in one stick), all I wanted was to get started, get rolled back to the room for my drugs.

Seriously, that’s all I wanted. Drugs to knock me out. A half hour, drug-induced nap sounded just fine.

That part, I looked forward to. As I was wheeled into the too-cold procedure room (you know it’s too cold when the tech is wrapped up in a blanket she got from the blanket warmer) all I was looking for was the drugs. But before they would give them to me, the doc seemed to think it was a good idea to go over the history of why I was there—he’d actually taken the time to read the report sent by my primary doc—and he wanted to weigh in on what he expected to find (nothing, really) and what he suspected caused the colitis in July (likely infection.) And then he snapped his gloves on, and it was drug time.

Yay! Drugs!

I watched as the nurse added the Demerol and Versed to my IV and waited to drift off to LaLa land…

…and I never did. I was definitely more relaxed and a touch woozy, but I was wide awake for the whole damned thing, from the moment he shoved that giant rubber hose up my asterisk, while he wiggled it around and took biopsy samples and snipped a couple of they-don’t-look-like-anything polyps, until he unceremoniously yanked that sucker out with a too-happy, “All done!”

I’m thinking he enjoyed it a little too much.

Still, even awake—because of the Demerol, I’m sure—it wasn’t remotely awful. A little uncomfortable in spots, but not painful, and definitely nothing worth worrying about.

Honestly, the worst part of the whole thing was the flaming asterisk because I hadn’t pre-emptively used the Vaseline. In 10 years, when I need it again, I’ll remember that part.

Boys and girls, if you’re putting it off because you’re afraid of the prep, or embarrassed about the actual procedure…it honestly is not anything worth getting worked up over. Just eat light a few days beforehand, don’t eat anything the day you start the prep, make sure the GoLytely (or generic thereof) is icy cold (make it the night before a refrigerate), and goop the holy hell out of your asterisk before the intestinal onslaught begins.

It is honestly no big deal.

When they sent me home, about 30 minutes after I was done, it was with another you’ll-fart-a lot-don’t-hold-it-in warning. So I figured I’d be tooting all the way home, something for the Spouse Thingy to enjoy.

But. I was disappointed.

The massive, all-afternoon fart-fest I was promised fizzled with a couple of half hearted toots. That might be the most disappointing thing of all.


Christie Critters said...

Congratulations on getting through it. You are absolutely correct that the prep is the worst part...I couldn't drink the liquid because I kept throwing it up and had to take MANY pills instead...I found that out when they did a "preliminary" sigmoidoscopy. The first procedure involved much nervousness and no drugs and so was unpleasant, but the actual colonoscopy? No biggie - and I slept through mine, probably because I was up all night in the bathroom (sleeping bag on the floor).
I would certainly urge folks to "not delay" because it really is no big deal...certainly much less of a bigger deal than tx for colon cancer if one of those polyps turns bad.

kenju said...

I need one, and I have put it off since January. I agree with the use of Vaseline, although I tend to use Neosporin with pain killer. And BTW, you named it

Derby, Ducky said...

Glad you survived Thumper. Mum has done this, but they whack her out completely with Propofal(sp), ya know the Michael Jackson drug. 15-20 minutes later, wakey, wakey. 45 more to wait to go home after a soft drink.

Camie's Kitties said...

My nephew was about 15 or 16 when he had to have one due to a parasite obtained while on a backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts. He hated the prep, but was so fascinated by the procedure that he asked for and got pictures taken along the way.


Shaggy and Scout said...

I didn't think it was bad at all. Not as advertised. Like labor, all you hear is the horrible stuff. The GoLytely was ickky, true. I used adult wet wipes with aloe so I had no irritation. I didn't fall asleep for the procedure, some say they do, but the nurse said it would be like a margarita, and that was accurate. I had the painful cramps on the ride home that was the worst part. I had internal hemorrhoids (well, geez, as long as we're sharing & all!) so I had to go back several times to get them zapped with a lazer...easy, painless, quick. All better now, thank you.
And thanks for sharing your adventure too! Hope you remain as normal as possible!

Thumper said...

I would have liked a margarita... LOL