Image credit: Gene Roddenberry, CBS, Paramount, I Can Has Cheeseburger
After turning 50 on my last birthday, my physician recommended me for a colonoscopy, which I did recently at an endoscopy center in Tempe, AZ. I wasn’t suffering from any abdominal pains, which may have been due to ulcerous or cancerous growths. In fact, I felt pretty good, so it was simply due to my age that my doctor advised me to get this procedure done. With that in mind, I scheduled my exam, at which point I received instructions via email, the most important parts of which were the day-long prep before the procedure and the emphatic demand to find someone to drive me home afterward. Fortunately, my wife was a big help to me at every stage. On the all-important day before, I was permitted my customary cup of black coffee, a bowl of Jello for breakfast, then spent the rest of the day drinking eight glasses of water, having a bowl of chicken broth for lunch, and the occasional Jello square to snack on. At noon I took four Dulcolax tablets. Because of all the liquids, namely the multiple glasses of water, I never once felt hungry, let alone starving. So far, so good. At 4pm I started my Gatorade regimen, which was parceled out in nine tiny 8 oz water bottles, complete with the prescribed mixture of Miralax. Having read several testimonials on MedicineNet, many of which recounted rather dispiriting, not to mention discouraging, episodes—including an array of negative reactions to the Gatorade solution—I naturally braced myself. At the stroke of 4 I quickly downed my first eight ounces! To my pleasant surprise, all I tasted was Gatorade. As for the effect, it took another dose before the initial effect occurred, then after about the third or fourth dose, the desired outcome of cleansing my intestine took place. Also, since I’d been on liquids all day, by the time I went through the Gatorade routine, it was pretty much Gatorade that was, you know, coming out. In any case, when I downed the ninth tiny bottle, two hours had flown by! About an hour later, I had a bowl of beef bouillon for dinner and not much else. By the time early evening rolled around, I was feeling pretty bloated from all the liquids. As a result, I didn’t feel hungry and wouldn’t feel any hunger pangs until late the next morning. In the meantime, I did have a bit more water throughout the evening, including my last glass around 11 pm before bed. Next morning, I washed my face, slaked my mouth but didn’t swallow any water, brushed my teeth, then my wife drove me to the clinic. Which finally brings us to the long-awaited procedure. In a nutshell, everything went very well and without any discomfort. All the staff had very good bedside manners. When my doctor appeared, he was friendly and provided me a concise but informative overview of the procedure, complete with contingencies should they “find anything.” However, he was very reassuring that they were likely to not find anything whatsoever, which turned out to be the case! As for what happened on the table, the nurses made sure I was not only laying properly but also comfortably. Most important, my anesthesiologist knew exactly what she was doing. Consequently, when I was told that I wouldn’t feel a thing, that’s exactly what happened. I felt the anesthesia take effect, went into a deep sleep—I even have a vague memory of dreaming—then the next thing I knew, someone was telling me “it’s time to wake up. It’s all over.” As I was getting ready to return home, one of the nurses asked if I had a ride and stipulated that I not drive for the next 24 hours. “You’re going to feel like you can drive right away, but please don’t do that!” Fine with me. My wife drove me home, where I got to enjoy a solid meal, a fresh cup of coffee, and spent the rest of the day relaxing.