I Finally Did It | My Colonoscopy

The worst part is in the preparation, not the procedure.

Well, I finally did it. I fulfilled a promise to my late girlfriend, Sarah Smith, and had the dreaded colonoscopy. The diet modification for this procedure begins a week in advance and, on the day before, you are instructed to consume only liquids. This is some good advice, because that night’s prep is eventful, and not in a good way.

An Awful Elixir

Like I said, you rise the day before your colonoscopy to a diet of liquids. No biggie; a little fasting is good for everyone. For the evening preparation, you are given a very effective laxative of fruit flavored salt water with simple, easy to follow, four-step instructions that firmly say to drink it ALL, in bold letters.  But nowhere in the instructions does it mention the explosive results that are going to happen in an hour. It actually says drink before bed, as if you should drink the solution and then go to bed. DON’T DO THAT, unless you want an excuse to burn your bed afterward.

While I am choking down the solution, worrying that I may throw up before I finish it, I think, “does everyone get the same dosage? Is the 250 lb. male patient given the same laxative and dosing amount as me, a 125 lb. woman with a sensitive GI track? That doesn’t seem right. Because I am about to throw up, and lose all the drinking solution, I decide to leave the last 20% undrunk. THANK GOD I DID.

For an hour, I felt funny, lightheaded, and a little dizzy. But never were there any telltale signs – a rumbling stomach, cramps- to forewarn that something big was about to happen. So, without any warning and with results so fast that, unless you are already in the bathroom, you will have no time to get there, I stood and ran, screaming. “Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!” Thank God I was in pants, barefoot and on hardwood floors.

For the next 4 hours between laughing and crying at the absurdity of it all, I suffered what felt like Montezuma’s revenge. According to the instructions, I was to repeat the process again at 4 am. This time, I knew to sleep on the bathroom floor.

A Promise Kept

By the time my colonoscopy came around the next morning, I had lost five pounds (this is one day nobody can say I was full of sh*t), was weak as a kitten, and clean as a whistle. At pre-op, I nervously pelted the nurse with dirty jokes: “When you go home at night, do you tell your husband you work with a lot of assholes?” I think she has heard them all.

The procedure was a piece of cake, thanks to a small dose of Propofol. When I awoke an hour later, the good doctor informed me I was in good health and need not come back for five years. Whew. A promise made, a promise kept. Check.