Old Submarine Movies
Do you remember the old war movies when on the submarine the commander would call, “Up periscope?” Well, today is my day. I am having another colonoscopy and there will be an “up scope” but not a periscope and not on a submarine.
The prep is the killer. The first two colonoscopies that I had, I was required to drink a gallon of the laxative and plenty of extra fluids. The stale lemon flavor didn’t fool my palate. The last one of those I drank, I couldn’t quite finish it and nearly tossed it back up.
Yesterday was my “clear liquid day.” I wasn’t able to eat solid food, no dairy products, and nothing with red or blue food dyes in them. It has improved though. At one time the only Jell-o was lemon. Not my favorite. At one time Jell-o made a wonderful white grape. They no longer make it, but they have mango and pineapple, neither have the dyes. I bought frozen ices in mango and lemon. Sodas like 7-Up and ginger ale are allowed, as well as coffee and tea, as long as I don’t add milk.
The newest prep they make comes as a double barreled shotgun. There are two 10 ounce bottles that are to be drunk at two times, at 6 p.m. the day before and the other four hours before the test. My test is at 7:20 a.m., so I needed to wake up and drink the second at 3:30 a.m. The 10 ounce bottles need to be reconstituted with water to make 16 ounces, to be followed by two glasses more of water.
The 10 ounces of the prep tastes like concentrated cherry cough medicine. Drinking so much, so fast made me nauseated, but I got them down with a burp and a swallow. Now, comes the fun part, barely fifteen minutes after ingesting the “magic potion,” I became glued to the commode. If I managed to escape its clutches, I returned to the scene of the crime every ten to fifteen minutes to continue my bowel emptying ritual. It has gotten to the point that my bottom has to be patted dry and not wiped. They don’t make Cottonelle or any other paper soft enough.
Next comes the admission to the procedure area, the undressing, the questions, and the I.V. start. It is a blessing that the insurance companies still allow a light anesthesia. Mercifully I can’t remember the testing itself, but waking up, there is more discomfort and belly cramping. During the test, they pump the colon full of air for easier visibility. They allow me to get rid of it on my own time. I sound like a putt-putting steam engine. Even though I complain, I guess that bearing these discomforts is better than the alternative of colorectal cancer.