Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun, fun fun...

At risk of sharing too much information, I have to tell you I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. I have to have a colonoscopy, not because I'm having any problems, but they like you to have one when you turn 50. I've procrastinated for a while, but I'm finally going to behave and go in. Someone sent me this e-mail that I had to share. Hope you think it's as funny as I did!



I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis. Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!' I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies. I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.
On the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground. MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet. After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.
The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough. At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked. Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate. 'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said.
And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like. I have no idea. Really!! I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors.
I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

25 comments:

Leslie Payne said...

Oh Mari, I love this! Though I just barely turned 50, I am already quite experienced in the colonoscopy department as colon cancer runs in my family. I love my "colon doctor"! Because of him I plan to outlive my father and grandmother. Thanks for the good laugh.

ancient one said...

Hope you get a good report!!

sara said...

I was just commenting on this the other day to a friend...both of us are having colonoscopies in November..ugh

Musicaljean said...

Hilarious! That's part of a column that Dave Barry wrote a few years ago. I almost died laughing the first time I read it.

Trust me, the prep is the worst part. The procedure will be over before you even realize you had fallen asleep!

Justabeachkat said...

Cute cartoon and funny post.

The prep before is the worst part. The procedure is actually very easy and you feel great afterwards.

Hoping all goes smoothly and your results are good.

Hugs,
Kat

Karin said...

Glad you passed with flying colors!

Connie said...

This is hilarious! My last procedure make back good. Next is 5 years. WOOt WOOT! Cancer in family so need to stay on top of it. I hate the preparation but otherwise it is a piece of cake.

Ginger said...

Been there and done that. The prep is yucky, but by now you know it's doable. The weird part is that afterwards you cannot remember for a bit. Both Dave and I asked the same questions over and over. I had to be sent to the other side of the hospital for other testing and couldn't remember how I got there. I guess this is one test that is good to forget. Hope your results are all normal.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

I am rolling!!!! What a story...laughing every minute. I swear I'll never do it myself....I've heard too many horror stories about the MOVIE PREP. [kidding]

Brooke said...

if you can make it thru the cleanse you'll be fine. good luck!

Sylvia said...

Hope all goes well tomorrow. Will let you off tomorrow, because you'll be busy, but after that, more pictures pleeese! Oh that's pictures of Alaina not the procedure.....

Sharon said...

Oh how funny and now I have coffee all over the keyboard.
I sure do hope that you get good news.
Hubs had to go through it last yr.
Hugs

Saija said...

hope it's a done deed by the time you read this comment! and that you felt just as mellow as the guy in the story ...

i'm 57, and have yet to have one of those ... i won't ask my doctor either! chicken that i am!

Jenny the Pirate said...

Enjoy! I loved the anesthetic and the "afterparty" which involved me sitting around all day eating whatever I wanted, when I wasn't snug in my bed, napping! Basically my idea of heaven.

Pat said...

Been there done that! This is so funny, and basically true!
I wonder why they can't come up with an easier prep? I can never drink it all....I hear there is also a pill you can take instead. I vote for the pill.
Praying for a good report!

ChrisJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChrisJ said...

Aaaaaagh!!!! I wish I'd read this yesterday! I just made my appointment. I KNOW the procedure is a breeze (oops not the right word, I think). It's the PREP that I'm having fits about! I'm 74 and never had one, but for years had problems of the MoviPrep kind and could never go any where unless I knew there was a bathroom nearby. That all cleared up once I had my gall bladder out. But when I was pregnant I threw up all nine months both pregnancies! And they want me to drink 32 gallons - twice! I don't think so!! There had better be a pill!!!
Oh, I'm so sorry I visited you!
(( :) :{ ))

Christina said...

That was great info for me as I turn 50 in a few years. My biggest issue is I have an acid reflux problem due to my firbro. (sign of aging...multiple diseases lol) and I can't hole more than a cup of fluid at a time or I lose it if you know what I mean so I will have to discuss this with my dr. but your post was very reassuring and I saw Dr. Oz do it so I'm hoping to have the same type of experience you did. The kind I don't remember.

Beau's Mom said...

I enjoyed a colonoscopy every six months with a sadistic surgeon who didn't use ANY anesthesia. The more I screamed the longer he took.

One of the greatest things about the ileostomy I had to have was the knowledge I'd never have another colonoscopy by DOCTOR LOWEL KATZ of Louisville, Ky.

heh heh

I've waited for years to do that. *smiling*

Genie said...

I wrote you an epistle of a comment on this post and then proceeded to lost it in the blogosphere. I am so mad. I m rewriting it because I just HAVE to share my experience with you. Your narrative has me in uncontrollable laughter...only a nurse could write something like this tho' I will try my best to com out a close second being I was friends with my surgeon, his wife (his office nurse), the surgical nurse whose children I had taught in sixth grade and taken to Europe two different times, and the anesthesiologist who has been knocking me out for 30 years of misc surgeries...yep, all them were and still are dear friends. It was a true pre-op circus with all of us playing Stephanie Plum characters each time I had to have the procedure done - 4 different times. I was Grandma Mazur, Dr. Bob the surgeon was Ranger, Diane, the surgical nurse was Stephanie, and Dr. George, the anesthesiologist, was Morrelli. Oc course, my being Grandma Mazur, I would not be quiet - just kept running my mouth like Grandma would - so George socked it to me thru my vein each time and instruct me to shut my mouth and go to sleep. He also said the amount of stuff he had to give me to knock me out would have killed an elephant. Surely that was an exageration! My GP and Dr. Bob both thought I was bleeding internally because all of my blood counts being so low I looked to be near death, and I registered no ferritin. Finally, after 4 of those abominable procedures over an extended period of time...plus the ones that go down the throat instead of up the you know what... they decided I was NOT bleeding and sent me to a hematologist. She being a brilliant oncologist from India and a jewel of a physician, quickly diagnosed me with chronic acute iron deficiency anemia and gave me IV iron. That was AWFUL...was sick for three days. Then for the last 5 years I have been eating iron pills 3 times a day. My body does not take in and keep natural iron. Oh, and my dear Dr Mellidi told me I would not need anymore of those damn procedures for at least 10 years. No more drinking that gross, yucky stuff. Anyone who says the lemony taste makes it OK is just a darn liar, and each time it was worse that the time before because I knew what to expect for sure.I ended up the last time taking a sheet, pillow, and blanket and camping on the bathroom floor. That way when I started to explode I was already there! In closing let me tell you I am still laughing so uncontrollably that Buddy has left the room and gone upstairs to sleep with the cat! Happy Halloween...genie

ChrisJ said...

Thank you for your kind reassuring comments on my blog. I apologize for my excessive reaction! Sorry too that it arrived twice in your comments. Please feel free to delete one of them. I'm still seriously considering canceling my appointment. I too have fibromyalgia as Christina says above. I also have the memory of a sigmoidoscopy where I ended up in the hospital a week later for dehydration. So I had problems for a week afterwards. Surely they must have a way to judge how much of this stuff you need. One size does not fit all!

kari said...

I've heard that the prep part of it is never fun.
I'm so glad that your's is all well.
thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

Oh my word! I haven't laughed this hard in a while :) Thanks for sharing!

Anita said...

Very funny! I can so relate to those gowns making you feel even more naked than being naked. Is it all the air and wind circulating under them? Hmmm...

I had mine 3 years ago. Way to go Mari!

I hope you've encouraged others to do so. Cliche, but it could be a matter of life of death.

SharonB said...

Getting caught up on some reading...this was so funny! I was laughing until....I realized next year I turn 50!!!