Thursday, April 3, 2014

Colonoscopy at 30 - the Prep

I’m not going to lie – it’s been a rough couple of months. 2014 hasn’t really been my friend. I’ve dealt with some strange health issues (culminating in many blood tests, stool samples, and even a trip to the ER.) So far, the doctors aren’t sure what’s wrong with me… which brings me to tomorrow. I’m scheduled for my first (and hopefully last for a long while) colonoscopy.

EEP! When my doctor recommended I undergo a colonoscopy, I almost pooped my pants (pun intended ;) Being so young (and not expecting to have one of these procedures until I am at LEAST 50) I began to dread it immediately. I even put it off a few weeks, thinking that all my weird intestinal symptoms would get better and maybe I wouldn’t have to go through with this after all.

Well, nope. Things haven’t gotten better, so off to the Endoscopy Clinic I’m going tomorrow morning.

Of course, I’m dreading being diagnosed with the dreaded “C” word. More than being scared over the procedure, I’m terrified of waking up after it’s all done and having a despondent looking doctor downheartedly tell me I have cancer and it’s spread and I’m doomed.  So, yeah. Worst case scenario. It doesn’t help that I’ve been consulting with Dr. Google and Mr. WebMD and they both agree my outlook is pretty bad.

“STOP READING STUFF ONLINE!” – all of my friends and family. I’m trying! But I’m a naturally curious person and I hate waiting and while I know -something- is wrong with me, it’s hard to wait and find out what exactly that is.


Fast forward to today. Prep day! Everyone has been telling me that the prep is worse than the actual procedure itself.  So far, I’ve taken the 3 bisacodyl tablets with water, and I’m waiting until 8pm to drink the 4 glasses of the Bipeglyte PEG/Electrolyte solution I purchased. Four hours before my appointment at 11am tomorrow morning, I’ll have to drink 4 more glasses of the stuff.

I definitely anticipate spending most of my night in the washroom (which, has been cleaned and set-up with a good book for me to read, and my laptop with the latest Downton Abbey episodes queued and waiting.) From what I’ve read online, it won’t be a fun experience and I’ll most likely have a very sore bum by tomorrow morning.

Oh yeah, and I’m hungry (did I mention that I can’t consume anything but clear fluids/broth, Jello-O, herbal teas, and hard candies today? Cuz I can’t.) Nothing red or purple, and definitely no alcohol. And here I was, really craving a nice cold Margarita. Darn! :P

Broth, Jell-O, Clear Gatorade, Hard Candies... there are the only things I can consume the day before!

But I’ll be okay. I can do this. I’ve even looked up #colonscopy on Twitter today and found several individuals going through the exact same thing I am! How amazing are hashtags? I mean, really. Connecting intestinally-challenged people with a simple search. Amazeballs.

I’ll edit this post as my night goes on. I’m sure I’ll want some kind of distraction with all the time I’ll be spending stuck on the toilet bowl (attractive thought, I know!)

PS – The reason I’m even writing this post in the first place, is so hopefully any one going through the same thing, or who are even hesitant about getting a colonoscopy in the first place, realize that it’s a normal thing and anyone (at any age) can (and should) have it done. I’m the biggest wuss out there. I’m terrified of needles and I’ve never been put to sleep or had surgery. But I’m doing this. I’m doing this because my mom had cancer, my grandpa had cancer, and heck, maybe I have cancer. I know from experience, that it’s better to find things early than to chicken out and deal with worse consequences later. If I can do this, you can do this. Trust me.

So… here we go!

edit: 9:30pm. I drank the entire litre of the prep liquid. Four glasses, every ten minutes. I struggled with it, and honestly almost threw up twice. On the package it's labelled as, "fruit flavoured." Well, if SALT WATER is all of a sudden an exotic fruit, then yeah, totally tastes like fruit. ;) I used a straw to get it down faster (placed at back of throat, so I didn't taste it as much) and each long sip was followed with a gulp of clear lemonade vitamin water.  It was bad, but I guess it could have been worse! I'll have to repeat this procedure at 6am. Now, time to camp out in the bathroom.

edit 2: 6am. I'm up to drink more of the dreaded prep. I actually was able to get a couple hours of sleep and guess what? I had a nightmare about drinking this stuff! Groan! One glass down, three to go. The cat keeps looking at me weird - probably wondering why I'm up drinking one minute, and running to the toilet the next. :P

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