Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Go Litely is a Gigantic Understatement

Sorry, this may be a bit on the long side. But the intestinal tract is a long organ.

I avoided it for as long as I could. When I turned 49 I had all my lady parts yanked out. Well, maybe yanked out is too violent a term for it because I am sure that Doc U didn't do any yanking. I hope. But I was asleep at the time so it really didn't matter, just so long as the Uterus of Eventual Destruction was gone. Doc U suggested that I could also have my colonoscopy before hand just to get it out of the way.

I declined. Having all the internal lady parts removed was enough for me. I decided to wait.

50 years old rolled around and I was busy. Funny how that happens.

51-54 years old passed right on by and during that time I started a small business, moved to a different part of the Frozen Northeast Ohio, went back to work for HHBL and sort of just said, "Yeah, yeah I know I have to have THAT done. I will get to it when I find a new doctor."

This year....I finally went to the doctor. Of course I picked a doctor who promptly moved to Florida after my appointment. Should I take that personally? But before she took that big wide moving van to a place that is warmer than here......

She ordered a colonoscopy for me.

Thanks Dr. B. You shouldn't have. Really. Now it couldn't be avoided.

The prep. The prep is what I feared, if that is not too strong a word for it. Doesn't everyone quake in fear at this? I have this thing, you see, about the texture of something. I am not a picky eater by any means. I am what you might call omnivorous. But there is this thing about the occasional food or drink that it isn't the taste that throws me into a tizzy. It is the texture. And there in lay the preparation problem. I feared the texture of the liquid.

I was right to have this fear.

That darn jug of prep powder with it's little flavor packet sat in the kitchen for five days before the big day. Cleveland Clinic tells me to get the stuff 5 days before and I do what they tell me. It sat there and mocked me and said nasty little comments about what it was going to do to me. GoLitely is like that, evil and nasty at heart all the while disguised as clear and innocent liquid. "I won't hurt you, I am just powder that you will dissolve in water with a lemon flavor packet added. Nothing to worry about." I could hear it's evil laughter every time I went by. And was that the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars playing faintly in the background?

But I couldn't escape the fact that I had to do this thing. Monday was "prep day," which meant that I had to be on a clear liquid diet for the full 24 hours before the actual procedure. I have had many a patient who has had to endure a Clear Liquid diet. To all of you, I apologize for doing that to you. Coffee, no problem. Lots of water, no problem either. But I had to work on Monday and so I knew I needed to have something else. Jello was on the list. Perfect, I like strawberry and raspberry Jello......only they specifically state NO red Jello.


But I managed to find a package of Orange Jello and a package of Lemon Jello, both of dubious age but still. Jello never ages.....I hoped. I made the Jello on Sunday. I took it to work on Monday. And then I remembered that we had a Organizational Lunch in the office, so I ate Jello while everyone else had.....Chipotle. Curse you gods of colonoscopy! I had to go and pick the food up, which meant walking into Chipotle and seeing all of that lovely food. And then I had to sit in the conference room with everyone eating their Burrito bowls or salad, the smells wafting in my direction. Gads!

Am I whining too much? Tough. My blog, my whine.

Finally it was home to mix the jug with 4 LITERS of water and the tiny little lemon flavor packet that smelled like that horrid bathroom deodorizer that you often encounter in store bathrooms. Such an appealing thing. Such an appealing taste. You mix this stuff up and it looks innocuous, but then you take that first sip and you realize. Sweet. Salty. Fake lemony....and just slightly viscous.

Oh Lordy, viscosity in anything that I am drinking is going to be a problem. Not enough to be slime-like in consistency, just the barest hint of unwanted thickness in the bathroom lemon water. And I have to drink an 8 ounce glass every ten minutes starting at 6 PM and ending by 9 PM. Just chug the glass down they tell you. It is the best way, they opine. They are all flaming idiots who most likely have never had to actually drink it. I know myself very well and I knew without a doubt that to chug the glass would be absolutely impossible and would result in spewage.

I was doomed.

But, I was not going to be foiled by this thing that I had to do! I had two icy cold bottles of Sprite to wash it down with. I could do this thing.

I did try to chug the first glass.....and there might have been a bit of spewage. Not going to do it that way again. I finally figured out, after several glasses of disgustinglemonliquidviscosity that if I took 5 sips of yuck and then a good swig of icy Sprite that I could make it through the glass in about 5 minutes time. I could do this thing.....barely. And 10 minutes is a REALLY SHORT TIME in between glasses of disgustinglemonliquidviscosity. I put on a movie, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and set my mind to doing this thing. The directions said that "things" would start to happen in about an hour. We would see.

Two glasses in and I wasn't feeling anything. Third glass down and no issues, no nothing, no.............


Holy cow! Where is the bathroom? I need the bathroom! NOW.

Have I ever told you about our second trip to see the in-laws in Peru? We went to a dinner-dance at Villa, the large club in Lima, where I was assured that since there were so many foreigners and ex-pats there that it would be fine to eat that fruit on the table. Boy were those grapes good.....until the next day....and the day after that. I have this feeling that there is a blog post explaining the entire episode, but I just can't find it. What I need to do is spend time cataloging all of the blog posts so that I don't have to go searching for them. Then life would be easier. But I digress. Let's just say that my evening yesterday was very reminiscent for that trip to Peru. I was amazed. And horrified. And need to buy more toilet paper. And because I am the person that I am I spent some time, while sitting on the "pot," looking up what actually goes into things like GoLitely, a contradiction in terms if I EVER heard one, that makes you go so.....litely. By the way, if you are interested, it is the Glycerin in powder that does the trick. It pulls water out of your intestine and produces that looked for "flushing" effect. It is amazing what you can learn while sitting in the bathroom with your iPad and nothing else to do.

I will save you the small details of the evening other than to say that I had to stop the movie A LOT and I managed to get all but 1/4 of the jug down my gullet before I declared SUCCESS! and called a halt to the sip, sip, sip, gag thing I had going. If you want to know what "success" looks like in the matter of colonoscopy prep....then look it up on the Internet. 

I had been assured that if I could get through the prep then the actual colonoscopy would be a breeze. I have to report that this is the case. We arrived on time, despite the Winter Weather Advisory that told us that there was snow going on. Checked in. Wait. Go back to pre-op. Wait. Prep questions and IV in. Wait. Doc comes in to get consent. Wait. HHBL comes to sit and wait with me. Wait. Finally wheeled back into "Procedure Room 1." More questions and reading of arm bands and asking of questions.

And then the drugs. Versed and Fentanyl. And WHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOSH life is very rosy and relaxed and I wasn't even aware that the procedure had started until I opened my eyes and realized that the large screen off to my left had a fabulous view of the inside of my intestinal tract. Sweet! I watched the rest of the procedure and the removal of a couple of polyps and then all was done. I do remember Dr. W complimenting me on the "pristine nature of my colonoscopy prep."

Thanks.....I think. I always try to do my best. By the way, I WAS going to show you a picture of my pristine colon. I have them. But I decided not to.

You can thank me later.

I snoozed through most of post op but perked up immediately when asked if I wanted some juice and crackers.

Doose and kwakers! Yes pweese! 

I was finally sprung from the surgicenter and the next stop was someplace where I could get eggs and bacon and COFFEE!

I don't have to do this "thing" again for three years (that whole polyp business). It may take me that long to get up the gumption to do the prep.
And by the way, it has taken me two hours to write this post because, you know, Versed and Fentanyl.


  1. I'm sorry, I laughed! I certainly hope I never have to go through this test, the prep sounds totally dreadful.

  2. Ask me in 3 years about a Gatorade alternative.... :) #wishI'dknown


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