Thursday, April 5, 2012

A New Body Adventure - Can You Say Colonoscopy?

Yes, a scheduled colonoscopy is what I've had hanging over my head for the past while. I thought the timing of a vacation just before it was perfect. I was wonderfully and happily distracted.

WARNING: Gory details ahead. Stop reading if you don't want to know about this stuff.

Just to add an additional challenge to the event, I came home from work on Tuesday to find a big yellow monster machine partially parked on our lawn and digging up the street to put in some new water pipes to the apartment building across the street. This means we're under a "Boil Water Advisory" ... probably until after the long weekend. No warning, of course. We're supposed to keep boiling water until we get a "green notice card" in our mailboxes but I'll be surprised if they deliver over the holidays and we were told it typically takes 3-4 days before water test results confirm a lifting of the advisory. Oh joy. Just what one wants to deal with when starting the prep for a colonoscopy. I boiled some big pots of water since I didn't get out to buy bottled water. Kevin brought some home from work on my prep day, which was helpful.

So yesterday was a bit nasty! I had to take 2 of those Dulcolax tablets at 8:00 a.m. and I thought to myself ... this isn't so bad. A little bit of cramping. A little bit of bathroom business. No biggie. And then at 1:00 I had to drink a whole bottle of the citro-mac ... a purgative. Is it EVER! HOLY CRAP!! After drinking that, I had to drink 3 big glasses of water. I was so bloated and crampy and ... wow ... it sure works!  There were a couple of particulary nasty hours in the afternoon after which I mercifcully slept huddled under a blanket on the couch. I thought the worst was over. I mean how much could be left to purge?  Apparently there was more.  I had to swallow another whole bottle of the Citro-mac at 7:00. It was harder to get down this time and with the instant bloating, it was also harder to get all the required water down, too.  During the process, one is instructed to stay near bathroom facilities. Oh, yeah. Even from our bed to the bathroom is too far.

I expected the hardest part of the day would be not eating ... nothing but clear fluids allowed ... and I was hungry around lunch time before I swallowed that purgative. After that food never crossed my mind. All appetite was gone until I had some toast after I woke up after my procedure today.

The other part I was unprepared for is the disappointment that there is no toilet tissue with lotion, like facial tissue. That would have been helpful. Things ended up a bit raw and a bath was required. In fact, with things going the way they did, I ended up having 3 baths within half an hour - I kept getting interrupted. And then, because my skin was raw and because of the water issue (instructions are to avoid getting the water on open wounds) I had to apply Polysporin, which provided some relief.  I did not sleep much last night, that's for sure. I was worried I wouldn't be flushed enough for my "procedure" but ultimately I was.

The colonoscopy itself was the easy part. People had warned me as much. The nurse explained everything to me very clearly, which I really appreciated. The last thing I remember was talking with Dr. H before the procedure and I don't remember anything until I woke up around 10:30 a.m., about an hour after it was over. Kevin waited for me the whole time and took me home. I don't remember talking to Dr. H before I left. I don't remember getting dressed. I don't remember leaving the hospital. I went right to sleep when I got home and my memory starts around 2:00 this afternoon. So my verdict on the colonoscopy itself is EASY. The Prep --- NASTY!

I'm learning that it will take a little while for my system to get back to normal. I'm still a little crampy and rumbly but I expect all will be good for tomorrow. Understandably, I haven't given Easter a thought. I'll think about it tomorrow.

I'm glad to have had this colonoscopy done, though, and to know that all's okay. Dr. H only saw some minor hemmerhoids and they are what have likely been causing the ocassional bleeding I've experienced since September. Nothing to worry about, he said. And, in fact, I haven't had a bleeding experience since January so maybe the problem is generally resolved.

As for our water, I'm guessing that it isn't as awful as it sounds. The work on our street was finished by this morning and our water hasn't looked "off". Still, we have to be careful until we get the notice from the city.

I must add, too, that while I was going through this nasty business I was very aware that today poor Barb was going through her 7th chemo and a friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer will have had a double mastectomy today.  Compared to that a colonoscopy is nothing. Nothing at all. I'm thinking positive and healing thoughts for them both.
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1 comment:

  1. Heather! I cannot believe that I am just NOW catching up on your blog! I too had a colonoscopy back in November - and the prep is horrendous! You poor awful as it is it makes for a laugh or two when it's over. I just remember at one point calling Chantelle and complaining that the prep hadn't really started and I was worried it wouldn't work. EXACTLY 10 minutes later I was deeply regretting my words....


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