When you put off getting your first colonoscopy, there are reminders everywhere. Look at this charming toilet seat I discovered on a walk.
And those who’ve had a colonoscopy can be quite holier than thou:
“What, Barbara, you haven’t done one?”
“No colonoscopy? Gee, I’m on my second.”
“Really? Oh my. You need to get going. Only bad part is the prep!”
When I received a cancer diagnosis this summer, I was annoyed with myself that I hadn’t had a colonoscopy yet. It would have been a relief to know that part of me was cancer-free. So, after I recovered from the surgery, I did it!
UNC Gastroenterology says no veggies, fruit, or whole grains three days before the procedure. I sort of enjoyed the reversal on what I was supposed to be eating.
The day before the procedure, nothing but liquids and Jello. I was surprised how many times a hunger pang hit, and I thought, oh go get something to eat. Then I’d remember. The Jello helped some, as did broth and soda and apple juice, but I was sure hungry.
That morning I’d mixed up, per instructions, the prescription of Colyte. The Colyte’s in the bottom of the jug. You add a flavor packet and a lake full of water.
People compare the bowel cleanse their docs prescribe as if they’re comparing colleges or cars. The Gatorade people are especially smug, as rumor says that concoction tastes best.
At six o’clock in the evening I drank my first of sixteen glasses of Colyte. “It tastes salty, ” I said to Cliff. “Kind of like thick sea water. Not bad at all!” I held out the glass. “Want to try?”
My husband eats and drinks everything. He backed away. “No thanks.”
Standard advice is to gulp it. Not me. I’d sip mine.That’s how okay the stuff tasted.
That is, until I got to the second glass.
Below is the final glass, Glass Number 16, chugged down at five-thirty the next morning. This picture makes me gag even two weeks later.
Spending lots of time in the bathroom was annoying but not bad since there’s no physical pain involved.
And the procedure went great. I’ve gotten braver since my surgery, and when someone offers me warm blankets (before) and my beloved Coke, (after), I’m happy. My doc snipped off six polyps. I’m glad to have them gone since benign polyps can become cancerous.
So what’s the Friend for the Ride takeaway? What advice do I have?
You got to gulp the glop.
It’s the only way to do it.
And if I can do it, so can you!