Monday, February 27, 2012

Creating space within

I went to yoga last night, both to take my mind off of things such as colonoscopies and to get me out of the house during dinner (mmm...dinner).  As the class meditated, the instructor gave a little lecture on the space within our bodies.  Our bodies consist mostly of space, and it is important to nurture our internal spaces because that is where our pure potential lies.

If only she knew just how much space was being created in my body last night!

Whenever I ask seasoned people about the colonoscopy prep, they are quick to suggest tasty liquids or to reassure me that the procedure is no big deal.  However, they use hyperbole such as, "Get ready to be in the bathroom all night!" to explain what happens in between.  Naturally, the part that takes place in the bathroom is precisely what I am most concerned about.  Will drinking all of that liquid be uncomfortable?  Can I still read books to my kids, or will my Miralax-induced urges beckon me?  Will I literally be sitting on the toilet for hours?  Will I be able to sleep?

And so I have decided to make a Colonoscopy Prep Log (log!  ha!) to record the events, in case any of you are curious like me.  I'll try to keep this scientific and not gross.  All procedures are as prescribed by my as-yet-unmet gastroenterologist unless otherwise noted:
My assorted beverages and laxatives, posed with the colonoscopy brochure.

Eleanor investigated my pomegranate-ginger ale-laxative concoction, served up in a Capital brewery glass for moral support.
  • 6:50  Took 2 stool softeners, 2 hours later than prescribed (hoped this wouldn't come back to bite me in the a$$) (ha!)
  • 7:03  One hour later than prescribed (due to yoga).  Drank 2 capfuls of laxative (Miralax) mixed into ~8 ounces of pomegranate juice plus ~2 ounces of ginger ale.  Embarrassed to admit that it was delicious.  Felt optimistic for the next few hours.  Girls were very interested in what I was doing.
  • 7:18  Drank the same concoction.  Discovered that it's easier to drink when it sits at room temperature (i.e. mix the next drink immediately after the previous drink, allowing it to sit on the counter during the interim).  Still optimistic.  Hungry enough that it seemed that 64 ounces would be no problem.  
  • 7:43  Drank the same concoction.  Still optimistic.  A little burpy, presumably from the soda.  Started to feel a little full.  Pomegranate juice all gone, and tried to ignore the delicious pizza leftovers when opening the fridge to retrieve the next beverage.    
  • 8:05  Drank 2 capfuls of laxative mixed into 8 ounces of apple juice plus 2 ounces of ginger ale.  Not as tasty as the pomegranate concoction, but still on the good side of tolerable.  Laxative intake 66% completed.  
  • 8:23  Drank the same concoction.  Started to feel quite chilly.  Folded laundry to warm up.  Still a little burpy.
  • 8:48  Drank the final juice/laxative concoction.  Body felt very, very cold.  Moved to the microfiber chair, with quilt and laptop warming my lap.  Thought about how easy it was to complete the beverage portion of the evening.  
  • 9:24  Felt slightly nauseous.  Drank 2 cups of vegetable bouillon for a late "dinner" in an effort to settle the stomach.  Wished for a bowl of oatmeal.  
  • 9:51  Bloated.  Sleepy.  Anxious to get this party started.
  • 10:02  The party finally started.  
    • In the bathroom at approximately 15-minute intervals for approximately 2 minutes at a time. 
    • Persistent tummy rumbles a-la Harry in Dumb and Dumber. 
    • Constant low-grade nausea, probably due to the hunger.
    • Still cold
    • 11:00 pm  Supposed to take two more stool softeners, but elected to skip it.  Nothing needs softening.  [Started to understand why my stepmom shrugged at some of the instructions:  how your own body responds to the treatment becomes clear (literally) as you work through the process.]
    • 12:00 Lamented the wasted pomegranate juice.  At least it was on sale.
    • Busy until my body allowed me to sleep at 1:00 am.  Hard to fall asleep out of fear of passing gas, which can no longer be trusted.  
  • 6:50 am  Kiddos woke me up.  No longer bloated.  Still rumbly.
  • 7:30 am  Drank 1/2 of a bottle of magnesium citrate (laxative #2, super gross).  Supposed to drink the whole thing at 5:30 am, but seriously, no more gut contents to shed.  [Plus, there is a little disclaimer on the instructions that if you have kidney disease, do not drink this stuff.  However, they offer no alternative procedure for the folks with kidney disease.  What gives?  Can this truly be required for someone who hasn't eaten in 24 hours, particularly knowing that there's a subpopulation with kidney disease who can skip it?]  
  • 8:15 am  Drove kiddos to preschool.    
Rest of my morning:  Shower.  Knit through the tummy rumbles, nausea, and hunger.  Drink juice.  Think about attempting some science.  Walk to the clinic at noon.

My assessment of the prep is that it's annoying, but that's all.  The most annoying part is being in mental conflict with my bodily urges, primarily "Please please please, can't I eat just ONE cracker?"  But I'm on the home stretch.  Hopefully this truly is the worst of it, as people have counselled.


  1. Ugh! You are such a trooper! I hope you're treating yourself to something super filling and delicious after this is all over!


    1. I've been thinking about what I want my first meal to be, but I think I'll have to take it easy with yogurt and toast at first. My stomach feels testy (not that I blame it).

  2. What was the post-procedure meal?

    1. Vegetable soup, mac and cheese, and pizza at 4:00. Then take out from A-Dong for supper. Food never tasted so good.

  3. Good news!!! There was nothing to biopsy! My colon is perfect!!!!

    I'll write a post tonight. I was just too exhaused to do it last night. Thank you for your patience!

  4. Oh good! I was just going to ask about the colon! I'm so glad it's remained ... clean. ;)

    xo Beck

  5. Your colon is perfect!? Figures - of all people, YOU would have a perfect colon.

    JK, H-bomb. So happy to hear you have a clean colon. Also, this post cracked me up. I'm still laughing. Space has never been created within, with more aplomb. Kudos to you, and happy leap day.