It is now the day after my colonoscopy and I am back at work. I am taking it a bit easy but mostly because it is New Years Eve and work is light, not because I couldn't work harder if I needed to.The day of the main event went like this:They
said to wear something comfortable, don't bring any valuables, but do bring someone who can wait during the procedure, receive instruction from the doctor and drive you home after the procedure. So I wore a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt. No keys, no Blackberry, no wallet and Mrs. remo was stuck with being my keeper. That turned out to be perfect.I arrived at the endoscopy center for my colonoscopy right on time. They had me sign a bunch of papers saying they could do what they had to do depending on what happens once they get started. It was a bit disconcerting to be asked if I had a "valid DNR." I was then escorted to the bathroom for my one last attempt at emptying anything that may remain. Nothing remained and nothing happened but at least psychologically it was good to have the opportunity.After donning my backless hospital "gown" and laying down on the gurney a nurse inserted an IV into the back of my right hand, connected an automatic BP cuff and heart monitor leads. Then I waited my turn to be wheeled into the "procedure room."Once my turn came and I was wheeled in, I was not sure that I was not in an over sized closet. The room was lined with shelves holding large plastic containers that were clear enough to see that they were full of any kind of instrument the Doctor might feel he needed at a moments notice. My gurney was pushed up along side a nurse at a small desk who alternately turned toward me to ask my name, birth date and what procedure I was there for and swiveling toward the desk to write things on her charts. The doctor was at another desk on the other side of the room completing paperwork from the prior procedure. He apologized for the delay, made a little chit-chat and kept on working on his paperwork.A couple more people filed into the room, Dr said he was ready, and someone turned off the lights - literally. The room lights were turned off, and the only light I could see was the light over the nurse's desk on my left, the light from a couple of video monitors and some light coming in through a doorway from an adjoining room.Dr asked me to turn onto my left side toward the nurse, and I used my right hand to grab the railing and pull myself over. Of course doing so pulled up the sheet and my gown exposing my back-side to the doctor and who ever else had joined him there. I nervously tried to cover myself and then realizing the futility of doing so said something to the effect of "I guess I shouldn't bother trying to cover myself should I?" There was some chuckling, and then I went "out."Next thing I was aware of was some serious gas pain in my abdomen, and what turned out to be Mrs. remo and a nurse kneading my stomach, bending me, straightening me, and doing it again while urging me to fart. I was in recovery. Once I was coherent enough they explained that I had an unusual number of twists and turns in my colon so the doctor had used more air pressure than normal to "get around the corners." That was the reason for the excessive gas pain and why they were working me over to relieve the pressure.The brief report from the doctor to Mrs. remo was:My
colon had an abnormal amount of twists and turns. He removed one small polyp. He took a few biopsies just to be sure, but didn't think there was anything to be concerned about. I had a "sensitive" colon (whatever that means) and I would not need another colonoscopy for 5 years. Someone would be calling to set up a return appointment for a consultation and then I'd be referred back to my GP for further treatment.In summary
These are the things I know now, that I recommend to anyone else about to participate in this event.To make prep day easier to tolerate, eat only easily digestible food the day before, and eat light. Make up a batch of Jell-O so you can nibble on that on prep day. Also have ready some Sprite and Swanson's low salt chicken broth to sip with the Halflytely. Also buy a box of pre-moistened medicated wipes and A&D or similar ointment. Magnesium Citrate does not taste bad. It is not something I would serve at a party, but I had no problem drinking it and would next time go ahead and down it all in one quick sitting rather than space it out over a 20 minute period. Drinking it cold and "poured over ice" did make it more palatable but was not absolutely necessary. My first BM was about an hour after drinking it.According to my Doctor the flavor packs that come with Halflytely are no better than drinking the stuff plain. He recommended trying it plain and if flavoring was needed to add Crystal Light. In my experience one packet of Crystal Light flavoring in the 2 liter jug of Halflytely was about as good as the stuff can get and that is how I would do it next time. Once I had done that it became tolerable. Be sure to mix it up with warm water the night before and then put in the refrigerator to chill over night. After the second glass of Halflytely my routine became one of drink a glass, go sit on the throne, go drink a glass, and repeat. After the final glass I just sat on the throne for an hour. This is when the pre-moistened medicated wipes became a cherished commodity. When things settled down a few hours after starting the Halflytely, and again when I was ready to go to bed, the ointment was a welcome relief.Apparently eating light and only easily digestible food the day before prep day relived me from the blow-outs I had experienced many years ago and had heard/read about more recently. However uncanny it was to spend the day peeing out the wrong orifice, it was indeed the sign of a well cleaned out colon.