Well I can mark that off my list!

We all reach an a point in our life, milestones.  Some of these milestones have medical tests attached to them.  In the late fall I started having a little problem with blood when I had a bowel movement.  Odd topic I know.  But these are the things we talk about as we get older.  My primary care physician sent me to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy.  “You’ll be 50 soon and you’ll have to get one anyways.”

Well I know plenty of people 50 and over who have never had a colonoscopy.  So I could have happily waited several more months.  But you do start to worry about these things.  So off to the doctor I went.  Of course that doctor recommended a colonoscopy and an EDG (down the throat) that’s what they do.  But it made sense and I didn’t argue.

Now I won’t lie, I fretted over this for days while waiting for the insurance to approve it and getting cardiac approval.  Secretly hoping maybe they wouldn’t.  But of course with my age and my symptoms they approved it quicker than I had hoped.  So I received my instructions and my prescription for something called Moviprep.

My test was scheduled for Friday morning.  So starting Tuesday evening after about 6:00 PM I could only have clear liquids.  Apple juice, white grape juice, broth, jello, popsicles.  Nothing could be red, blue, or orange.  So that left out all the “good” jello choices. 

So basically I went from Tuesday evening until Friday afternoon with no solid food.  Now I thought this would be difficult, but it was a lot easier than I imagined.  I did get hungry, but I wasn’t starving.  Liquids can fill you, they just don’t satisfy you.  So that was really a lot easier than I imagined.

According to my instructions I took 4 laxatives Wednesday evening.  Now I was concerned about doing that and going to work the next day.  But honestly, it was no problem.  I was up at 1:30 in the morning and then back to bed with no problem through out the day.  I guess after 24 hours of nothing but liquids there isn’t a whole lot for a laxative to do.

The real test came Thursday night when I had to start the Moviprep.  There were packages to make two liters of this stuff.  I mixed one liter Thursday morning before I left for work.  The instructions and other information I read (the web) said it would be easier to drink if it was cold.  My doctor also told me I could add Crystal Lite lemonade to it to help also.  So when I came home that evening I drank the first liter with the lemonade.  You have to drink the liter within an hour.  So I poured half of it into a glass, put me a straw in it, took a drink, and thought this isn’t too bad.  But I found that the more I drank it and the faster I drank it the worse it was.  Too fast and I would gag.  I knew throwing it up wasn’t an option.  So I really had to concentrate towards the end on keeping it down.  I found that towards the end I had to stand up to drink it, sitting down and drinking it made me nauseous. 

I had to drink the second liter between 3:00 am and 4:00 am Friday morning.  I opted to leave out the lemonade and found that there really wasn’t much difference.  It already has a citrus flavor and personally I think adding the Crystal Lite only made it worse.  Not to get too graphic, but I guess being on the liquid diet for the last two days made the whole things a little easier on my system.  I had no cramping or pain while this stuff worked its way through my system.

I checked in as directed two hours before the procedure and was happy to find that they stayed pretty much on schedule.  The only complaint I have about the procedure is the IV.  I knew I was in trouble when I saw that the guy was wearing a “student” identification.  Its always been hard for them to find a vein on me to draw blood with a needle, much less put one in.  So I got poked twice, with the last one being on the inside of my forearm.  It hurt like hell and I’ll admit that I cried pretty hard and loud.

But the procedure itself was easy breezy.  The last thing I remembered was the nurse patting me on the check and telling me “We’ll see you in a little while.”  The next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery.

So my dear friends out there who have been putting off your colonoscopys, I would say, don’t hesitate.  Stop making excuses and make an appointment.  After all we all know early detection of cancer and a multitude of other things is the key to longevity and a healthy life.  It really isn’t a big deal and you can treat yourself afterwards to whatever you’ve been craving during the liquid diet.

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