Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Good for Ten Years? (A Clean "Colonosco-me" Tale)

Today was the day I was dreading for quite a few years... ever since I learned it was the next "routine" exam to add to my list: a colonoscopy.

When I was first advised during my routine exam this year that I need to schedule one, I made light of it. I have a cruise coming up, and since I was told one could lose about five pounds with this procedure, I scheduled it three before my ship set sail. Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do get into a swimming suit, right? 

All jokes aside, I was extremely apprehensive and nervous to say least and my husband tried to comfort me by saying, "Don't worry, the prep is the worse part, and then you are good for ten years."

He was right.  The prep was truly a nightmare. For starters, seven days out, I had to stop taking fish oil pills and my beloved Aleve which I personally pop like candy for my herniated discs. But, of course they said Tylenol was an acceptable substitute.

WELL, HELLO! If Tylenol worked to reduce the swelling causing the pinched nerve, I would have been popping it all along, instead.

Next, five days out, I had to give up seeds, anything with red and purple dyes, and popcorn. Unfortunately for me that was as bad as the Aleve. I am one of those quasi health fanatics with just enough bad habits to prevent me from being a hippie. For starters, I eat chia seeds every morning in my yogurt. (It keeps me, well, I guess I can go there - regular). I put flax seeds in my smoothies. And, I eat sunflower seeds and other nuts on my salads. Not to mention, in light of my newly self diagnosed fructose malabsorption, the majority of the only fruits that I can eat safely is berries: raspberries, strawberries, and kiwi. All filled with seeds. (On a side note, I am allowed kumquat and jackfruit; however, I have no clue what they are.)

Next went my homemade juice complete with bright orange carrots for my middle age failing eye-sight and deep purple-red beets to clean my liver from the evening bad habits.

Lastly, there was the popcorn ban. Popcorn is my main chip replacement salt-satisfier for my Weight Watcher regiment. How was I supposed to watch a movie without popcorn! I went to my cupboard, and all I could find were my hemp seed tortilla chips. No seeds allowed so no snacks for me. It was the hardest hour and half in my life especially with my selfish son snacking away on his hot buttery popcorn, smelling up the place. It was a cruel and unusual punishment.

Finally, the "day before" arrived. The liquid only day. Clear liquids such as chicken broth, Jell-O, and clear sodas were on the menu, but I am not a soda drinker and was fearful of the salt content of the broths. So I was a water drinking fool.

It started out pretty good. The Jell-O was so tasty, I made another batch for the afternoon. I initially thought I would just lay still all day to conserve energy, but reality set in, and I ran my normal mile and half, took my hubbie to work and my son to day camp, I shopped for groceries, and went to the cleaners. I also did some gardening and washed a load of laundry. Needless to say I was exhausted and ravenous by 2:00 and wanted to throw the bowl of Jell-O out the window, but it was time to pick-up my husband to take him in for his procedure, (a different one.) By the time we got home that evening, a headache was setting in, I was sleepy and... Oh Joy! I still had the worse part to initiate: the "Moviprep" drink.

The box was big and looming. I had to mix a giant pitcher of stuff that they strongly suggested I add Crystal lite to just to get down. Next, I had to drink 8 ounces every 15 minute for an hour followed by 16 ounces of water which left me felling like a water ballon, all bloated and full of liquid. And to make matters worse, I had to repeat it four hours later. Each time I drank it I sat still, near the restroom that was stocked with extra soft Charmin, ready to make a mad dash. But for some reason, I was left somewhat surprised at the lack of, well, urgency. I guess I really won't mind having to do it again in ten years; it was not as bad as my husband said. Men can be such babies sometimes.

The next morning I was very tired and the headache was still there, but it was almost over. Unfortunatelty for me all the morning slots were filled, so I had to starve myelf (including no water) until noon. But at least I would be done with it for ten years, so I was glad to get it over with.

"Mrs. Smith!"

This is it I thought. I almost couldn't wait to see my new flat belly. Bring it on!

They took my vitals, inserted an IV, and five minutes later, so it seemed, my husband was standing by my side and they were waking me up. I had no memory of the procedure. Though the prep days were a nuisance... okay, more than a nuisance, the procedure itself was not that bad at all. I would not be so nervous in ten years, I thought.

While waiting for the doctor, I dressed.The world began to spin as I bent to tie my shoe, but James caught me and steadied me so I could finish. That's when the doctor came in with my results.

"Everything looked good," (if such statement makes sense under the circunstances) "up to a certain point."

That is when she dropped the bomb on me, "The "MoviPrep" did not completely work.

"Huh! What does this mean?" I already knew before she answered.

"The results are considered inconclusive. You'll have to do it again. Call the the receptionist to set a date as soon as possible. Next time we'll have to give you the larger kit. It's double the size. Don't worry this happens sometimes."

And just like that, all non-chalantly, she turned and left the little curtained cubicle, leaving my husband and me dumbfounded and in disbelief. It was inconceivable. First of all, I only lost one pound, and secondly, I have to go through that horrific prep again in a couple of months. So much for once every ten years!