Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bottoms Up: A Colonoscopy Primer

Now that I am no longer 39 years young, I've had to start doing all sorts of grown-up things. My most recent grown-up activity? A colonoscopy.

I've been getting the girls checked with yearly mammograms for a while now, so I'm no stranger to uncomfortable medical exams. I really wasn't too concerned about this new exploration of the southern hemisphere, either. Until I made the mistake of telling a few people about it.

“Is this your first?” They asked. Yup.

“There's nothing to be worried about.” Nope. Didn't think there... wait, what? Worried? Was I supposed to be worried? I WASN'T worried until you told me NOT to worry. What exactly should I NOT be worried about?

So here I am, less than 24 hours away from C-Scope, and the only thing I'm worried about is lasting another 17 hours without solid foods.

I got through the morning alright without eating. Like most mornings I had coffee, followed by coffee, with a coffee chaser. But after I'd been awake for an hour I started to get a little hungry.

I indulged in a glass of water. Followed by a bottle of Gatorade. Followed by a glass of water.

Mmmm-mmm. Nothin' hits the spot quite like clear liquids. Nothin' like a hamburger, that is.

Do something to keep your mind off eating. Ha! That sounds like something someone who has been eating would say!

There's nothing better for mindless distraction than a little Facebook drama, so I logged on and tuned out. Do you have any idea how many people post pictures of food on Facebook? A lot.

Around 2 pm I decided I'd have a little clear chicken broth to take the edge off. Yep. That really hit the spot. But I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something missing. Something like a cracker. Or a box of crackers. Or maybe a hamburger.

Next up on the list of approved (non) foods? jello.

How long has it been since I made jello? Plain jello. Jello without mandarin oranges, Cool Whip or vodka? Apparently a long time, and apparently my jello making skills require frequent practice. Still, I enjoyed my partially set jello curds. I would have eaten the unmixed jello powder at this point.

Mmmm-mmm. Plain jello. You know what would go good with plain jello? A little whipped cream. Or maybe a hamburger.

By mid-afternoon I was certain I had made a terrible mistake. I wanted to call the doctor's office and reschedule. Or just cancel. Just canceling would be fine. I don't really need to know what's going on in my insides, do I? I wondered how many people fail their pre-colonoscopy eating restrictions.

No solid foods? No solid foods? Are we really sure that crackers are solid foods? What about bananas? What about hamburgers? Really?

I wanted to quit. But I'm no quitter. Besides, it was time for phase two: the evacuation notice.

I mixed up the first dose of purgative and took a big swig.

I lost my appetite.

Remember back when you had your first warm, skunky beer? Remember how you squinched your eyes closed, wrinkled up your nose, stuck out your tongue and shook your head (as if that could dislodge the taste)?

Yeah. No. This was worse. Much worse.

The good news? Psych! There is no good news. Still 30 of 32 ounces left to drink. For the first batch.

“Follow with 16 oz of clear liquids of your choice.” Does beer count as a clear liquid? Does white wine? How about vodka? Cause I'm gonna need at least 16 oz of Chardonnay to prepare me for that second liter of purgative.

Instead I followed up with Sprite. In hind site this was not the best option, as it left me feeling bloated, made my tummy gurgle and I belched up purgative-flavored Sprite bubbles.

Just one cracker. That's all I want. Just one Cheeto. Just one hamburger.

I was going to make soup for the rest of the family for dinner. Then I decided it would be in everybody's best interest if they went out to eat. Somewhere far, far away.

But they didn't.

My son microwaved a pizza. It smelled really good.
My daughter burned microwave popcorn. It smelled really good
My husband munched on potato chips. It sounded really good.
The cat crunched his kibble. It sounded really good.

I had a lemon drop. Woo hoo.

I know there are people who fast for religious or political or health reasons. I know there are people who go to bed hungry every night, not by choice but by necessity.

At some other time, when I'm feeling more introspective and philosophical and less hungry, cranky and nauseous I will ponder the deeper lessons I could be learning. And I'll make a donation to the food pantry.

But right now I have another liter of purgative to drink.

I'll let you know how it all comes out.

No. No I won't.

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