How To Survive A Colonoscopy
For the last 4 years my doctor has insisted upon me getting a colonoscopy and for the last 4 years I have put it off. I guess when you turn 50 your body starts falling apart and they need to check every inch of you. Well even though it's not on my "Bucket List," I finally decided to cross this off and made an appointment today. February 4th it is.
January 11th - 20th, 2011
I think I have asked everyone I know if they have had a colonoscopy and everyone says the same thing. It's not the procedure, it's the prep. For almost everyone that has had the procedure, they all remember being somewhat awake and watching the screen. DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS? I have no desire to see the inside of me on a video monitor. The thought gives me the heebie jeebies. Of course I have that great ability of making everything worse in my head by over analyzing it, so now my waking moments are filled with nothing but the crazies. Best way to help - Stay busy!!!
Today at lunch I went to get the prep from my pharmacy. OMG - You've got to be kidding. 4 liters??? Can this be true? Just looking at the bottle is enough to intimidate. Okay you can do this..... Mind over Matter.
January 31, 2011
For some reason I just can't get this procedure out of my mind. I've spent the weekend, on and off, looking on line for more info about colonoscopy. Can you believe YouTube has many videos on it? I even found a "Colonoscopy for Dummies" book on line which I promptly downloaded. I recommend it as it's written nicely. I liked the part about letting your gas go in the recovery room - don't be shy. It says you are put under a "conscious sedation." That will never work on me. I have a high tolerance to drugs, have to have 20-30 shots of Novocaine to work, nitrous sometimes heightens my senses, so no way this can work. I have to call and protest or confirm I will be totally out - wake me up when it's over.
I found a brave sole, news anchor from channel 2 news, having his done live on T.V. Did you know that your lower intestine is 4-6 feet long and they put their little light all the way to the end of your tunnel? Holy Moly. Gotta stop looking at this stuff as I think maybe now I know too much and may be better to go in blindly? I went to bed and tossed and turned a bit and when I opened my eyes, my ceiling fan cast a shadow that looked a lot like the end of the instrument scope when they are cutting off a polyp. GEEZO can I just go to sleep?
February 1st, 2011
Even though the 1st of the month is my busiest day at work, have to put a call into my doctor to ease my mind. Great, only an answering machine. UGH. Wait a few hours and call again stating it is my second call. Waaa Laaa, got a call back in less than 10 minutes. The woman on the other end seemed to be knowledgeable and understand my concerns. She said 90%of the people will fall asleep under what is normally used but I can tell the doctors in advance about my tolerance (or lack of) to drugs and they can make sure I am out. I sure hope she is correct cause that REALLY eased my mind. She also told me if I fast properly on Thursday, I will be okay if I can get 3/4 of the bottle down. My question, was if I can't finish the liquid, do I cancel my appointment? Okay well I'm feeling better now and it's really not as bad of a problem in the back of mind.
February 2nd, 2011
Starting today I can't eat anything red or purple, no seeds, no fruits or vegetables, no beans, no popcorn. I guess it's tuna with my crust cut off bread to avoid the seeds. Oh Joy. But the good thing is, I'm not as nervous today. Yeah it's on my mind but I guess my body is now going through acceptance mode, or IT IS WHAT IT IS mode. As long as I know I will be out, the nurse on the phone promised me, well then I will survive this and be okay. I've got 10 hard butterscotch candies ready to suck on between the gulps of who knows what. Tomorrow is Pre-D-Day and I heard the worst part. Wish me luck. Stripped my body of all my jewelry, anyone who knows me knows what a chore that is alone. Hey I found a funny video about colonoscopies by Bill Connolly. Check it out.
February 3rd, 2011
It's all liquid today, chicken broth it is as I have no idea what else that can be. Oh yeah you can have clear soda. Lucky I had enough to do at work today to make the day go by fairly fast. I just want it to be this time tomorrow and I can get back along with my life. At least, I was not too nervous today, not like I've been for the last week. Oh I tried to take a photo this morning of the colonoscopy scope on my ceiling but it's too dark to come out. Thought it would add a little humor to the blog post.
Home at 5:25 and made my solution and started to drink at 5:30. Was suppose to start at 6:00 pm drinking my solution (4 liters can you imagine). Figured I could get done earlier maybe. by 6:45, let the games begin. I am on glass #6 of 8 ounces each, every 10 minutes. My stomach feels like it will explode if I drink anymore. Making all kinds of funny sounds and I feel the games might begin pretty soon. Wow right on schedule, I think the first glass I drank just came out exactly as it went in. hahaha Glad I can still laugh about this. The more I drink the worse it tastes.
6:45 Working on glass #7 but I am behind schedule now. My bottle is almost have way done some victory but it's bigger at the bottom than top. False illusion of hope. Ironically, this is the first time I am looking at the glass half empty. :-)
7:00 Starting glass #8 and my body feels sort of light headed. There's a slight ringing or tinny feeling in my ears and head. My body is probably saying, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO ME." Sucking on a butterscotch candy to get the taste out of my mouth. I wonder how they came up with this solution stuff anyway. Did someone drank it by accident?
I'm really having a hard time swallowing anymore. Got to have this mind over matter thing kick in better. Guess I will watch a foreign movie to get my mind off this. Been to the potty 4 times now and it's feels like I am giving myself a radiator flush. It's not exactly what I was expecting and so far, really, other than the taste of the solution, the diarrhea is not too bad. Only half way through glass number 8 and I'm supposed to start #9 in 4 minutes. SHIT this is challenging.
7:30 Not as fun as it started out but hey I'm still here. Just feel really weak and not laughing and smiling as much as I was. My head is foggy and could not concentrate on the movie went with "Wipe Out," on T.V. My strength feels gone but I am determined to not having to go back because I didn't do a good prep. I just cheated a little and added some ginger ale to it. Just a little but the taste is so salty in my mouth right now, yuck! Ginger ale helps, I would try and stomach as much as you can before adding the Ginger Ale because it will make you drink more liquid if you add it.
Potty break number 6 has me reaching for my special diaper wipes just for this occasion. It's really not like normal diarrhea, I don't have cramping but you can shake my stomach and here all the liquid inside of it. The diarrhea comes on quick so you have to be close to restroom but it's really not bad. Just imagine liquid goes in and comes right back out. HAHA - okay I'm laughing again, that's good. I guess I'm documenting this on my blog as it helps me pass time and for me when I write what I am feeling, it makes it better for me. And I am hoping that when someone else needs one, maybe my blog can help ease their mind a bit?
My body feels completely drained I am not sure what I can compare that to as it's a feeling of it's on. I think I am suppose to be done drinking though and alas, I'm not. But I'm not giving up Damm IT! I can do this. Here goes glass #10
8:00 pm I am definitely over 3/4 finished glass # 11 which the nurse told me was good. I am now determined to finish it though as I see how clean I am getting. Potty trips are frequent but easy, painless and fast. I would say I have about 5 more glass to go to finish. So that will make it about 16 glasses. The end is in sight! Maybe I'll be too weak tomorrow to care what they do.
Just converted that 4 Litre (L) = 135.2560908 Ounce (fl oz) divided by 8 ounces every 10 min. = 16.875 glasses plus at least 2 glasses of Ginger Ale. PHEW!
9:30 pm I DID IT!!! I finished all 4 liters plus at least 16 ounces of Ginger Ale. Really feeling better now too. Not lightheaded and foggy anymore. Weeeeee so they say I have just passed the worst part. Really it's not been that bad, I've certainly done worse things to myself.
11:00 pm I think I can finally go to bed. Still can't believe I drank the whole thing but it just might let me sleep now. Thinking positive thoughts for tomorrow.
February 4th, 2011
Today's the day!!! Wow I was even able to get 5 hours of sleep last night too. Too tired to get too nervous about this morning. 6:15 we are leaving to get there by 6:45. I am so not a morning person but even awoke before my boyfriend. So we all file in and get checked in and then we all wait. I'm yawning so bad I am hoping it will knock me right out. Randy had to leave me so now sitting all alone and mentally freaking out in my head. As the nurse finally came and got me, all I could say coming out of my mouth was PLEASE MAKE SURE I am sleep. They took all my vitals and as they inserted my IV, I started to instantly get the shakes. My teeth were chattering so bad, I think it was my nerves combined with the cold in the room. I'm such a freaking chicken for this kind of stuff. Once you are naked, you really don't spend too much alone time at this point. They ask you questions about what you ate last, if you finished your prep all the way, allergies and then of course, they have you sign the papers releasing the hospital of any damages they can possibly do to you from the procedure, and since you don't have your purse with you, no glasses to read what you are signing anyway.
So I meet Dr. Teller and ask him if he knows what he is doing. I also explain to him I must be out completely. Most importantly - OUT - NOT AWAKE - OUT. Well Dr. Teller was the chief surgeon of the department until the 3 days ago when a new lady took over. But he explained he has done many many many of these and only 1 out of 5,000 have complications and 20% of people will still be awake during the anesthesia but you will be comfortable. I explained again I do not want to be the 20% and give me the max on the drugs. After that they told me they were injecting something into my IV but I was still pretty conscious, so much so I actually could see the procedure on the screen but I didn't care. I think I just awoke after they had done most of their work as I did feel them take the scope out but again, watching the screen it wasn't bad at all and I didn't care. The whole ordeal was really pretty easy and goes to show you that I imagined so much worse in my head then it really was. I was never so happy as to see my mom in the waiting room thought it was a little hard to walk - felt pretty drunk in a funny way. My dad was waiting right outside in the handicap zone and like I said I was never so glad to see my parents!!! We went straight to Denny's to eat as I was starving. So again goes to show....
I am grateful that the procedure went so smoothly and I that doctor thanked me for doing my prep properly.
I am grateful to have my parents still both with me and picking me up and taking me to eat.
I am grateful that they found nothing wrong with my colon and everything looked normal.
I am grateful I have the day off at work.
AND I am grateful to have my blog to write in to release my some of my apprehensions and tension.
I'm even sharing my most private photographs they gave me to take home.
If it is recommend to any of you that you should have a colonoscopy, do it with out hesitation. It really was no where near as bad as I had worked it up in my mind. Leave your dignity at the door and go do it!!!