Monday, August 7, 2017

Spelunking in my Colon

I have a feeling that this post will be  TMI for a Monday of a brand new week, but I've got a feeling now that you've read that, you'll find yourself inexplicably curious and compelled to continue reading on for all the glorious and gory details.

There is one majorly awful day that occurs in my life, and in the lives of those of us who are over 50 or so, about every five years.  That is the Prep Day.

They say the Prep Day is worse than the actual procedure itself.  I cannot say that baring my backside for all the world to see is anywhere on my Bucket List either, so I'm not sure which is worse.  Neither part of the event is fun in my book, and I've often wondered what could possibly motivate a doc to choose this line of work -labor that requires spelunking into colons, one after another, every single day of the week.

Oh I've read that the hazards of colon caving are many, and perhaps that is part of its allure.  It takes a distinct set of skills including the negotiation of pitches, squeezes, and unexpected water hazards.

Some consider colon spelunking to be an extreme sport, although those words, "extreme sport" often bring to mind a negative impression of athletes who have no sense of concern for safety.  That is not typically the case in this scenario.

Others categorize the sport as a form of adventure tourism.  One can not argue that there are certainly a multitude of nooks and crevices to explore and new things to discover around every corner.

For a few spelunkers, this genre of caving even transcends the title of being a sport.  These folks take it to the next level as they pursue mapping, photography, and the management and conservation of cave resources.

However one looks at it, it means that today green and orange jello is one of the major food groups represented on my meal plates.  No, it's actually the only food group for the day.

Gator Aid has been stocked for the ingestion of the "cleanser,"  and rolls and rolls of toilet paper have been readied to accommodate the dreaded poop fest.

Now, I'd like to share some of my memories from previous excursions into my colon, in case any of my readers may happen to have the same event scheduled somewhere soon on your calendar.
Beware, reality ahead.  Read at your own risk:

1.  If you have taken your 2 laxative pills and swallowed your first dose of Miralax and Gatorade and you feel fine, do NOT leave the house on any quick errands.  Instead, do a few laps around the house.  Actually, within one foot of the toilet.

2.  Trust those ridiculous noises coming from your gut.  Unsnap your pants and get in position.  Now.

3.  From this point on, and for the next 12+ hours, do not trust a burp, hiccup, cough, sneeze, or giggle.  Every fart is a traitor.

4.  If your prep starts late in the day, do not plan on sleeping much.  Better to stay parked on the throne.  Otherwise, you will surely be changing the sheets or leaving an unpleasant trail from your bed to the toilet.  Even professional cheek clenchers cannot win this battle.

5.  While spending hours on your Throne of Cleanse, use your phone or laptop and Google how to turn your farts into a melody.  You'll be glad you have learned this skill when you are in the recovery room after the procedure and the nurse requires you to let out your air.  Might as well make an impression on the other patients and be able to exit the facility as a legend.

6.  If you have scheduled your procedure at a facility more than 5 minutes from your home, it's too late.  You were an idiot.  Pack an extra set of britches.  You'll be needing them.

7.  Prepare to be unnerved by the copious amount of farting all around you in the recovery room.  This is one place where it is socially acceptable to do so, and trust me, some do so with gusto.  I felt like repeatedly exclaiming "Ole!" after my last time in response to the guy on the other side of the curtain.  I had the sense he was a professional airbag in his pre-colonoscopy life.

8.  Expect to feel like a 3-year-old.  Come on, admit it, farting is always funny.

9.  One good thing is that the anesthesia gives you a mini vacation away.  Think of a sunny, relaxing beach and next thing you know you're on your way.

10. A final blessing is that if someone accuses you of being full of crap, you can honestly tell them you are not.

Let the adventure begin!


  1. A wonderfully accurate, funny description. So thankful I've reached the age where routine colonoscopies are a thing of the past

  2. The worst part will be when they tell you there was nothing wrong, but they had to make sure. . . .

  3. Mine is still one year away and I dread it! lol Although, the lady who cuts my hair said a positive side effect is that you lose five pounds!