When people reach 50 years of age they are encouraged to have their colon checked for cancer. This procedure is called a colonoscopy. I contacted a local clinic that specializes in these procedures and scheduled an appointment.
I received an instruction sheet that specified a number of products to be purchased at my local Walgreen’s drug store. These items are referred to as “the stuff” and consist of laxative pills and a colon cleansing mixture that is used in Gatorade, plus a lemon tasting liquid that is like a volcano in a bottle.
The day before the procedure there are certain steps that are to be done. Things like mixing the Gatorade and the cleansing mixture and placing it in the refrigerator to chill. That evening one must take the laxative pills and drink the lemon tasting liquid before going to bed.
At 0500 the morning of the procedure one begins the regiment of taking one glass every 15 minutes until the entire 64 ounces of the Gatorade mixture is consumed (approximately 2 hours). The instructions state that one must plan on staying home and near the bathroom due to the sudden, explosive emission of bodily fluids will occur (this is normal). What they don’t tell you is that the entire contents of your body will pass before you and go down the drain.
After a couple of hours there is nothing left in your stomach or your colon, and it’s time to go to the clinic. My procedure was scheduled for 1230 pm and I had to check in one hour prior to do the paperwork. There were forms in white and forms in blue, possibly other colors, but I don’t remember much except one or more of the forms indicated consent for an emergency CPR procedure if necessary. Possibly there were non-disclosure and non-liability clauses should the procedure not go according to plan.
Then a nurse took me back to the staging room where she instructed me to get buck naked and put the hospital gown on with the opening in the rear (where mine is). She was kind enough to let me keep my socks on, although I thought it was a modesty issue. She said to place my clothes in the special bag, and get on the bed and cover with the blanket. It was a warm blanket, and the socks kept my feet from getting cold.
After she returned with the IV stuff and the needle, she proceeded to question me on my prescription medication, making sure that I had stopped the proper medications prior to this procedure. Then she attempted to pressure the vein in my right hand to pop up, and used several karate chop style moves on my defenseless hand. She explained that after the procedure I would feel bloated and puffed up due to the amount of air that would be pumped into my colon to inflate it. She said I would have to pass this gas in order to relieve the pressure. She then succeeded in getting the IV stuff in the vein and told me to wait as someone would be in shortly when the doctor was ready for me. She gave me a cord with a red button to press in case I needed assistance to the bathroom, although I knew it would be fruitless to summon anyone should a reoccurrence of the explosive nature occur.
Then a nurse came in and wheeled me to the procedure room and began explaining what medications would be used, and cautioning me that I would have a temporary memory loss, leaving me with no recollection of the procedure. He would wait do the doctor could talk to me first.
The doctor was nice and began explaining to me about the procedure, how it worked and what the results would show. Afterwards, he would give me a verbal recap and let me know if any abnormality was found. The nurse had me turn over on my left side and pull my knees up to the kneeling position. As he began the medication I attempted to focus on the electrical outlet on the wall, but it was too fast for me.
I opened my eyes and my son-in-law Mike was in the recovery room waiting for me to wake up. A nurse brought me a drink of apple juice. The doctor came in and explained that everything was fine and normal for someone of my age.
I vaguely remember the ride home or getting into bed. About 3 hours later I awoke with the realization that I hadn’t eaten anything for 2 days, and was extremely hungry.
The next morning the nurse called to check on me. He asked if there was anything I wanted to pass on to the doctor, or any way they could improve the quality of service. I told him that everything was fine, but if they wanted to replace the air with laughing gas, it would allow everyone in the room to share this humorous and often embarrassing passing of the gas.
That’s about all I remember of this procedure called a colonoscopy. – I am the Real Truckmaster.