Part 2: Prep Work
Have you ever had a colonoscopy? If you have, you'll understand the pain I went through. If you haven't, let me break it down for you. On the day you schedule it, the doctor will give you a sheet of paper with a bunch of highlighted instructions on it. I lost the paper from my first procedure, but I remember it asking me to get a 10-pack of laxative tablets, three 10oz bottles of clear magnesium citrate, and maybe some clear Gatorade. There was more, I'm sure, but that's all I can recall. Anyway, the day before your procedure, you are required to deep clean your colon. That means a clear liquid diet all day. Do you know how hard it is to go without solid food for a whole day? It was agony! I barely survived off chicken broth, coffee, water, and Gatorade. If that wasn't bad enough, the magnesium citrate is nasty as F. You're not allowed to have any red or purple liquids because they can look like blood during the procedure, so lemon was the only flavor available to me. I opened the bottle and smelled it. It didn't smell terrible; like lemonade with a hint of something metallic behind it. I had never had magnesium citrate before, so I thought, "How bad could this be?" It was about halfway through my ill-conceived chugging that I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I was drinking 10 oz of pure nastiness, and it was too late to stop. It took every fiber of my being to keep from vomiting, and my stomach was in turmoil within five minutes. I remember sitting on my couch with my stomach rolling and vomit trying to crawl up my esophagus, thinking "this is it. This is how I die." Then, the real fun began. Taking five laxatives at a time is powerful on its own, but, combined with the little bottle of death, it was like someone went through my colon with a power washer. I spent an hour on the toilet as I sacrificed everything to the porcelain gods, and I barely got a five-minute break before the next bout began. There was not one bit of solid waste left in me: everything was liquefied, and it seriously felt like Niagra falls. On the bright side, I did get to watch a lot of YouTube. Once my stomach settled down and I was feeling somewhat normal again, I had to do it all over. Five more laxatives and one more bottle of devil juice down the hatch, and another few hours of sitting on the john with nothing to entertain me but my phone. Finally, the poop ran out. You know you're clean when there's nothing coming out but a clear, yellowish liquid. The next morning, I arrived for my procedure and checked in as required. They then took me to the outpatient surgery wing, where I was given a stylish paper gown and an IV bag full of saline. Cold, cold saline. The cord connecting the bag to my wrist was about a mile long, and I had to drag it with me every time I went to the bathroom. It got awkward really fast because, as you can imagine, I was heading to the toilet every twenty minutes or so to relieve myself of non-existent poop. Trying to wrangle the bag, the cord, my gown, and the toilet paper was rather interesting. After a long wait, I was finally wheeled into the procedure room and was introduced to the team who would handle the operation. They rolled me onto my left side, placed my arm over my head, and pushed my right knee up. They told me that this position would keep things open for them, but I wasn't worried about it. I practically sleep in that position anyway, so it was comfortable. The anesthesiologist injected me with the happy juice, and everything went black. The entire procedure took about thirty minutes, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. I had barely shaken off the anesthesia and smiled at my husband when my GI doctor came in. I'll never forget the look on his face when he told us the news. "We've found a mass that shouldn't be there. I don't know what it is, but I'd like to get you into surgery right away."
Part 3 coming soon!