Colonoscopy ABQ style

While visiting a doctor for other concerns, he recommended a  routine Colonoscopy, just to be sure that the lower end (exhaust system) of the body was functioning with no pending issues. He said it was about time, seeing as I had never had the ‘joyous?’ procedure ever done.

The US mail brought the instructions and descriptive comments from the hospital, in a plain white envelope so as not to raise suspicions :>)

The main ingredient is the ‘PEG-3350’ powder in a 4 liter jug, ordered from my pharmacy. After tasting this ‘plain’, I would have most assuredly preferred the Pineapple flavored. PEG-3350 is primarily Polyethylene Glycol, which btw sounds suspiciously like another deadly chemical counterpart… anti-freeze… plus the poly. Glycols are somewhat noted for interesting applications. This one is definitely on the list. Other ingredients are electrolytes to aid in it’s transfer of intestinal flushing, like the old adage…. “Goes through you, like a dose of Salts”.  a ‘Slippery eel on a mission’.

For the five days prior to the ‘main event’, blood thinners must be stopped in case of polyp removal, causing excess bleeding within the colon.  Alka Seltzer, Pepto Bismol, Iron supplements are also ‘Do Not’s. Three days prior, no nuts, seeds or corn. No Alcohol. The day before, No Solid Foods! Only CLEAR Liquids.

Coffee is not that Clear, it browns and stains the colon. Bullions and ‘Stocks’, those having mini particulates, are not as Clear as you would believe. Beef bullion ‘Stock’ seemed clear when poured from the carton. Chicken Stock was Not clear. Mixed with coffee, it created a brown foam that obscured the doctor’s view of parts of the colon. I would definitely not drink coffee or chicken stock if facing another lower intestinal inspection.

The night before, they advise not to take Diabetes meds, other than prescribed Metformin:
5 pm take 4 stool softeners. On advice of wife who had gone through this previously, I had taken a few in morning as well, just to be sure.

Mix the ‘chemistry’ with water, shake and refrigerate before starting the intense consumption, it makes it more tolerable while chilled.
At 6 pm began the ‘chugging’ of chemistry. Yuk… I REALLY wished that I had asked for Pineapple.

Wife told of the busy times required to drink the first two, then additional two liters. Every ten minutes, 8 ounces must be consumed. Seems easy enough, but drinking eight ounces every ten minutes gets a bit annoying. I would very, very strongly advise the ‘Pineapple’ flavored PEG-3350 (was not offered at my pharmacy). The plain flavored is like drinking oil soaped water…. lots of it. Of course if you do drink it with Pineapple flavoring, it may take you a long time, to again like Pineapple.

After the initial two liters (small cars only hold 2 liters…. of oil) have been downed, it is not long, less than an hour before the first of many runs to the toilet is demanded, don’t delay. Have soft toilet tissue on hand, you will prefer the soft… and lots of it. Eventually the trips to the toilet will subside and you will feel tired enough to sleep. Up until 4 hours before the lower GI ‘event’ you may intake only Clear liquids.

Normal symptoms include Diarrhea and lots of it from the PEG-3350, plan your day.  As if this note wasn’t needed. Bloating and abdominal discomfort is expected. If nauseated while drinking the 4 liters of ‘chemistry’, slow down on the intake, but finish the routine.

About the time you are sleeping soundly, it is time to awaken and take the rest of the chemicals. The following two liters began at midnight in my case, and continued for over an hour. Of course the following hours were spent running from the computer to the toilet. Finally about 3:30 AM, I was confident enough to go to bed. NEVER Trust a feeling of passing a gas, it isn’t only Gas. Normal symptoms include Diarrhea and lots of it from the PEG-3350, plan your day.  As if this note wasn’t needed.

Not for long in bed. About 4 AM I had to go to the toilet. Sleeping until 6 AM, I awoke to use the toilet and shower in preparation for the trip to the Lower GI facility in downton ABQ. Reading glasses and hearing aids are allowed. Take no jewelry or watches, or anything of value. Have a designated driver preplanned.

On arrival, we had the use of a parking pass to prevent the car being towed from the small lot near the facility. Entering, we took a number from the ticket dispenser. Eventually our number was called and we approached the check in desk for ID purposes. After getting a bar coded wrist band to keep me identified and separated from the brain transplants and other services, we waited until called into another office. At that time, I was further processed, deeply into the system and led into the preparation ward. I then bid my designated driver wife farewell, for my next couple of hours under the care and at the mercy of total strangers.

The restroom called once more, then I returned to my curtained gurney ward enclosure, where I undressed, placing my attire into a plastic bag and putting on the frontal gown famous for its’ rear access. An array of wonderfully concerned attendees took care of my every need, including a red haired nurse that noted my restless chilled feet (they let me keep my clean wool socks on).

Almost akin to a Pharoah being prepared for embalming. Karin, Jill, MaryAnn, Gabrielle and Natashya performed all required intravenous connections and monitoring. After a brief nap, I was wheeled into the  control room of many instruments and monitors. Attendees present, to record the joyous event.

Meeting the excellent Doctor, He quickly began the probing of my interior, my lower digestive system, the colon that has the task of removing the water from intestinal excretions…
…..while I watched…. on the large monitor.!!
Now that was special, being able to watch, as your own lower intestine, your colon is probed, plucked of polyps, and vacuumed. All while under air pressure to keep your ‘Halls of Montezuma’ inflated. ‘Montezuma’s Revenge’ predictably follows drinking water in Mexico btw. Bearable periodic discomfort is to be expected. This invaded and inflated colon will react later by ‘exhaling’, long, loud and frequently, as you are preparing to leave the facility. It is so common an event, that the nurses ignore the loudly passing gas and keep interviewing you, as you are getting ready, waiting for pick-up.

After a successful interior ‘investigation’ under fully lighted “Cave of the Winds’ or ‘Carlsbad Cavern’ (no flying Bats) conditions, the camera instrument, deep sea exploration device was withdrawn. I was pronounced fit for active duty, wheeled back to my ward enclosure and dressed myself, happly meeting my designated wife for transfer to home.

The good Dr presented me with my own 8 1/2 x 11 lower intestinal colon ‘glamor shots’ (possibly to appear later on this blog:>)… or Not, while he mentioned a return in 3 years, to investigate for any other problems. Polyps are common in industrialized countries, the aged and a high fat, red meat, low fiber diets, with cigarette smoking. All of which are most notably involved.

A stop at  Arby’s and sharing a light meal, further enhanced the day. Of course I used their restroom in emergency mode while there.
Back at home, a long nap was in order… after another restroom visit.

Enjoy your devoted members of the professional health care trade, while living in the United States of America, One Nation Under God.


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