Do you have to drink all the prep for the poop to come out? A colonoscopy

I was scheduled for a colonoscopy at 3:45 p.m. yesterday, and had to be there for 2:15 so they could set up my I.V. drip and go over my medical information. Before I was to begin the adventure, I had to get things moving on Monday afternoon and in order to get things moving, I was prescribed two medications. The first consisted of four pills, two to be taken at the start, the next, after I had drunk about half of this vile liquid. All together, I had to drink 2000 millilitres (ml) of this vanilla flavoured laxative. You drink the first three mouthfuls and think this is fine, it’s not that bad. Boy was I wrong. By the fourth gulp, I am gagging and want to vomit. I mix half of the liquid laxative with lime flavoured Gatorade. The doctor tells you to drink loads of Gatorade or something similar because once you start pooping, your electrolytes are completely thrown off-balance and you may feel dizzy. So now I figure I’m drinking about 4000 ml because I’m mixing it like a gin and tonic but it’s not a gin and tonic. Plus, who ever drinks that much liquid in such a short period of time?

I began my drinking around 1 p.m. after a light lunch. Nothing happens during the first hour or so, then you begin to feel mild cramping, before running to the washroom and doing your business. I drink, go to the washroom, drink more, go to the washroom, well you get the drift. After a few hours of this, the running to the washroom is like a sprint, and sometimes you lose, accidents happen. I take a break, from drinking the laxative, I can’t take it anymore, I’ve drunk about 1200 ml and feel disgusting.

It’s probably around 8 o’clock at night, I’ve been drinking for hours, but it is getting harder and harder to get it down. At this point, I decide to Google “do you have to drink all the prep for the poop to come out of you for a colonoscopy” and go figure, I get reliable answers. Yes, I do have to drink all the prep because the bowel can hide poop way up top and if one piece is left in the doctor can get a false/positive reading. Damn.

Around 10 p.m. I decide to bite the bullet. I switch to orange flavoured Gatorade, I take my last 24 ounces of the crappy laxative drink, the Gatorade, and a book into the can with me because now the only stuff coming out is really yucky watery stuff. So I’m in the washroom drinking the vile mixture and reading my book. I’m drinking my laxative-Gatorade mix, plus plain Gatorade so I don’t faint and it’s now about 11 p.m. I’ve been in the washroom for too long but I’ve read a good four chapters in my book. Exhausted, I finally go to bed, thinking I’m done with this washroom business, but of course not, there are two more trips before finally I fall into bed and sleep.

In the morning, I can have some tea or black coffee, no cream or milk. I decide on cinnamon-plum tea and have two cups. That was a mistake, off to the washroom I run. Skip the drinking but now I have a food-headache, great, and my appointment for the colonoscopy isn’t until 3:45 p.m. I sleep some more, I tweet asking tweeps not to talk about food, that doesn’t work, and I complain. My husband switches between laughter and offers of support.

Finally the time has arrived, I am at the hospital, I.V. in, blood pressure taken, all is good. The nurse injects some sort of meds into me, and off to sleep I go. I don’t even remember the needle coming out of my hand because the next thing I know I am in recovery and the nurse is gently waking me. She tells me all went well, though they did remove two tiny polyps. I must have another colonoscopy in five years rather than ten. Fuck.

Note: Colonoscopy’s are necessary, particularly if you have a history in your family of polyps because they can eventually become cancerous or if you have a history of colon cancer. The prep is horrible, no question about it, but the actual colonoscopy is a piece of cake.

Note 2: The reason for my colonoscopy was because I was having quite a bit of trouble pooping, constipation being the correct word and since there is a history of polyps in the family, my doctor thought a colonoscopy was a necessary evil.

Are you ready for a colonoscopy?