Today, my friends, is a better day. My kitchen counters are clear. The dirty laundry is now clean. Even folded and put away! The dishwasher is empty and ready for newly dirty dishes. Assuming I can get them in there when the time comes.
I spent a day and a half in bed. Slept a lot, ate a bit, had intestinal distress, woke up this morning and felt ever so much better. I don’t know if I was ill with a virus, or if it was my anxiety, or a little of both. I am thinking I very well might have IBS. But, I need to see the doctor for diagnosis and guess what she is going to say. Yep. You got it. “Well, you are overdue for your colonoscopy, so why don’t we get that scheduled and kill two birds with one stone? So to speak.” I clench just thinking about it.
Oh the joys of being over 60. Yep, colonoscopy every 10 years (or as long as I can stretch it). I’ve had one in my life, after my 50th birthday, and it galls me that 10 years have already gone by and it’s TIME for one again. Please God, no.
Now. The test itself isn’t bad, except for lying on your side on the table exposing your bum to three or four complete strangers. Especially when your bum is as fat as mine. But, they give you some good drugs in your IV, and before you know it you wake up and it’s over! Piece of cake. You go home and sleep the rest of the day. And you don’t poop for like four days because there is absolutely nothing in there.
Why am I whining about getting the test? First of all, the cost. If it’s diagnostic, they charge you. If it’s “preventive” they don’t, unless they find something. So you go to sleep, then wake up and find out if you’re going to be paying nothing, or whether you know owe $5,300 to the surgery center. If not more. Sighs.
But. (no pun intended). The prep is just all kinds of wrong.
First, you are off red meat for a week. Secondly, you cannot have anything red — jello, drinks, nothing. Then a bland diet with virtually no fiber (or very little) and no seeds or popcorn for a couple of days before the prep. No solid foods the day before the prep. Clear liquids only.
Next you stop by the pharmacy and pick up your prep. The Walk of Shame, I call it. You sidle up to the counter and whisper, “I have a prescription to pick up.” The counter person looks at you like you’re a lunatic and says, loudy, “What’s the name?” I look around to make sure no one I know is nearby and tell him my name. “Okey dokey!” he says, cheerfully, and pulls the items out of the bin. “Oh! You’re picking up your colonoscopy prep!” he screams at the top of his lungs (or so it seems to me). The 45 people in line (okay not really) stare at me with pity. “Yes,” I whisper, wishing I could just sink into the floor. “Can you please not talk so loud?”
“Oh!” he says in a voice that is barely lower. “I didn’t know it was a secret.” I glare at this 20-something young man whose first colonoscopy is 30 years in his future. “Well, it isn’t anymore!” I snarl. He tsks at me.
“Do you know how to use it?” I expected him to hit the mike on the store’s loudspeaker any minute. I snatch the bag after paying for it. “Yesssssss.” I say, specifically sibilant on the last letter. I hold my head up high and try to walk with as much dignity out of the pharmacy.
Okay. So they can put a man on the moon and a rover on Mars but SOMEHOW they cannot find a way to make the prep for a colonoscopy taste less disgusting. The stuff tastes like camel snot. Not that I’ve ever tasted camel snot, but that is about the most disgusting thing I can think of. Worst of all, is you can’t mix it with anything other than clear liquids such as Crystal Light. But it can’t be red crystal light, so my fave flavors are out. The only thing left is lemon or lime or other equally gross (to me) flavors. But honestly, it doesn’t really help.
Some tips: Mix the prep with your crystal light the night before so it is well-chilled. Use a straw so you can try to bypass the taste buds on your tongue as much as possible. When I did it, you had to drink 8 oz. every half an hour, or something like that. Quite frankly, I’ve tried to blot that whole thing out of my mind. It’s like a gallon of this nasty stuff and once it starts working, you park yourself on the toilet and bring entertainment so you don’t think about the fact that your bowels feel like they’re being turned inside out. Bring a book, a laptop, a tablet, something to help keep yourself entertained. Que up some movies on Netflix. Your butt may get numb, and your upper thighs from sitting on the toilet so long. You will be there for HOURS. You can’t get off the toilet until everything runs clear. Oh boy!
Meanwhile keep on trying to drink that nasty crap every half an hour and you have to DRINK IT ALL. It’s like a gallon of this shit. By the end, your stomach is rebelling and threatening to throw up everything. The doctor will warn you that if you throw up, you have to cancel your appointment and reschedule. Well, there is no way I want to start this again, so you just find a way to not throw up. I personally didn’t finish the last 8 oz. I was going to puke all over the bathroom. I just threw the last few ounces out, and when the time comes and they ask if you finished all the prep, just nod your head and lie through your teeth. (Keep in mind that if you’re not “clean” enough they will send you home and you have to do it over anyway. Try to finish as much as you can and pray.)
They say to buy moisturized wipes for wiping and not TP. Frankly, I didn’t leave the toilet so I just didn’t wipe until I was sure it was over. I don’t know what these other people are doing, but there is no opportunity for multiple wipes. Just saying.
Well that went down a different road from the post I was planning! The good news is, it’s Friday and I have the next two glorious days off. And my laundry and dishes and all is DONE. I’ve hired a housecleaner to deep clean my apartment next weekend and I cannot WAIT.
I pick up my mom’s laundry every Saturday morning and return it to her on Sunday morning. It’s a very small chore that I am very happy to do for her. She will be 91 in April and I cherish every minute with her.
Have a great weekend, everyone! ❤ Cheers!