Average Jane



Bend over and take it like a (wo)man

Think you’re too young to need a colonoscopy? Think again. I debated over whether I should I should blog about this, but the debate didn’t last long. What I went through today needs a face… but not your parents face.

Today I had a colonoscopy.

I’m 26 yeas old (as of Thursday) and today I went through something that you may not think you’ll have to deal with for a long time. Your parents may go through it, and you may think it’s not anything you have to worry about or deal with until you’re, like, old (no offense old people). But I guess I think that the stigma stops. Yeah, it sucked, but not as much as it could suck if they found something wrong. For serious.

You all have been with me through my awful illness and know more about my tummy than I’m sure you want to know. So in the interest of bringing you full circle and performing my blogging mitzvah for the year, I want to tell you about my experience and let you know it’s nothing to fear.

WARNING: This blog ain’t pretty. Mildly graphic. But not too bad.

The whole process starts two days before your procedure with the ever popular “no seeds” restriction. No seeds? Sounds easy, right? Yeah. Not so much. Before my birthday fiesta I was invited out to eat and had a darn tootin’ hard time figuring out what the hell I could have without seeds. Ruled out? Nuts, peas, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, sesame seeds, etc. Yeah, you find something that doesn’t have that in it. Ain’t easy. With that out of the way, I went onto my liquid diet.

Two days of liquids… clear liquids at that. From morning til night, and again until 4 hours before procedure, I could have the following: broth, tea, black coffee, lemon italian ice, lemon jello, soda, apple juice. Of that, my favorite was the italian ice which still tasted like NOT SOLID FOOD which by the time my procedure ended was all I wanted.

This is the part I screwed up. At 4pm I had to start my “prep” as they call it. I took the pills and was told that once I started, my best bet was to sit at home, close the facilities, and just wait…

So I did. 4:00- 4 pills. 4:15- 4 pills. 4:30- 4 pills. 4:45- 4 pills. And then I waited.

My tummy gurgled. I was totally uncomfortable. But nothing happened. So I waited. And waited. I asked around, was this normal? “Sometimes it takes a while.” So I waited. Finally, I went to sleep. No movement. Something was wrong.

I woke up this morning and still had nothing goin. I read the paperwork one last time and nearly kicked myself. I missed a fucking dose of those horse pills. I was supposed to take 5 doses and had only taken 4. I was screwed. I waited so long to get the test and then I botched it. So I called the doc, and called again. He told me to go buy a bottle of magnesium citrate. Drink that then do the last 3 doses of the osmoprep.

Holy. God. This is where it gets graphic, although to be honest, I doubt you need much description. Literally, every 5 minutes I was up and down. Draining. Everything. My God. I worked from home but told my coworker to come over for a meeting. Poor thing had a lot of waiting to do while I, um, took care of business. It’s an experience you’ll never forget, but it makes you realize what you’ve got going on in your inner bits. And how they look when forced out the hard way. Or soft way. Or liquid way as the case may be. I should tell you, it isn’t painful. It’s just kinda icky. And time consuming. Look, I told you I was going to be honest about all this. I’m not one to pull punches.

So after I cleaned myself out, it was time for the procedure. You go in, they hook you up to all your machines and have you sit bare-assed on the hospital bed. Everyone comes and talks to you. My favorite was the adorable little nurse assigned to me who explained the procedure.

“Now, the Dr. is going to need to blow some air up into you to get a better look, so afterward you’re going to have the need to pass gas. You need to do this. It is socially acceptable and desirable to do so. We’ll remind you a few times to pass that gas. It won’t smell at all because he pumps room air in. You’re going to feel like when you pass the gas you’ll have a BM, but don’t worry. Nothing will come out. Mmkay?” Mmkay. Farting encouraged. No pooping. Rockstar!

So they wheel you in, roll you on your side, start pumping the drugs, and send you off to the best 20 minutes of sleep you’ll ever get. Mmmmm drugs.

When you wake up it’s all done and you feel a little bloated. At least I did. I passed my gas like a good girl and they gave me ginger ale as a prize (or so I like to think). A little while later they sent me home by way of my coworker TZ. No driving. “It’s like we’ve given you alcohol, so no driving ’til tomorrow, mmkay?” Mmkay.

First thing I did when i got home was whip up a bowl of heart oatmeal. BAD MOVE! Not recommended. My tummy had CLEARLY not recouped enough to handle “hearty oats” and i proceeded to be very sick for about an hour. Crampy. Icky. Blah. But then my dearest darling Big Spoon came over with Chinese food and rice and soup and I ate LOTS because mama was hungry. Then, because I was stir-ass-crazy, I went to Safeway to get TZ a thank-you gift, and procure rations for the week. I also bought whip cream for dessert because I deserved it.

I feel way better now, about 6 hours post procedure. I really wrote this blog post not to freak anyone out or gross anyone out but to let people know that if you gotta get it done, get it done. Turns out I’m ok. Nothing abnormal at all structurally. I might just be in a bad cycle of digestion right now. Or something. Rx? Well, nothing less than what a 75 year old woman could ask for: Milk of Magnesia, Miralax, fiber.

The point is, I needed to know. And now I do.

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Comments

  1. * Beach Bum says:

    A friend of mine (who just turned 31), has colonoscopies quite frequently — she was having problems with her stomach for a long time, until a few years ago they found out it was Chrons Disease. She loooves going into the graphic details…

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Laundro says:

    I do colon cleanses from time to time and swear by them. It’s so amazing the volume of “stuff” up there lining your intestines.

    I know it’s kind of sick, but I am kind of looking forward to getting one.

    How much of it were you “out” – I hadn’t realized they did that. So there was no pain?

    PS. YAY POOP POST! AVERAGE JANE RULES!!!!!!

    I forgot about your affinity for poop. As far as the procedure goes… You are 100% out. They give you the “take the edge off” stuff and then you wake up all refreshed (and crampy and gassy). I’m actually still crampy this morning, but not in pain. The only thing that hurts is the day of wiping your bum bum. A website recommended baby wipes so you don’t get “raw”. I bought them but didn’t use because, well, I thought I was too cool for school. I’d recommend it, though.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  3. * bill the traveling salesman says:

    Thanks for posting this! My prep is today, and procedure tomorrow. While I’m not looking forward to it, and I don’t expect to get any bad news, your post made it easier.

    I’m still trying to decide if there is any way there can be a YouTube of this ‘experience’ the way there was of my “keeping Bill in stitches” skin cancer episode, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny_hOyOTDKE

    I was warned that it’s going to hurt when I experience it, but that the drugs, wondrous drugs, remove the memory of the pain, but the video camera would remind me later.

    I think it’s possible to have a bit of fun with this serious checkup, making faces, squinting my eyes, lifting eyebrows, saying things like “usually, it takes dinner and a movie before I let a woman do that”… but I am just not sure.

    Any suggestions? What would look good in the video?

    You are going to do great. It’s so easy. And you are knocked the F out. No smiley faces to make unless you are one of those “has sunshine coming out of his ass” kinda people. They did give me pictures of my anus and distal rectum, as well as terminal ileum. Said it was to prove they’ve been there. Swear. I’ll be autographing copies. I hope yours goes well. No news is the best news possible.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  4. * bill the traveling salesman says:

    Oh, this was about you.. not me.. and I forgot to say “glad that nothing bad was discovered and that you’re not seriously ill with something down there” in a way that sounds encouraging but not flirty. Not that I wouldn’t flirt, just not now. I mean, not in the post about the colonoscopy. That is in poor taste.

    Did they suggest those ‘liveactive’ or ‘cultured’ yogurt things to eat? You know, to replenish the good bacteria that got washed out?

    Many thanks for ‘concern’. Pfft. 🙂 No, really. Thanks for your thoughts. I did try Activia and had to results. My nutritionist suggested a more potent form. We shall see.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  5. * Robin says:

    Well, certainly glad all is well! I was told that my brother should have one done when he hit age 40, and me more like 45 or 50 (yikes, I just turned 46 this month, yeah sorry to inform you I’m old lol, comparatively). Our father had colon cancer, the same time my high school boyfriend’s mother had colon cancer. She was scared, didn’t get it looked at until too late. She ended up dying from it. My father? He did fine. And, the no seeds thing, I htink it’s so there aren’t seeds and nuts all in the grooves on the colon. My dad was loopy as all heck, too, ha, even telling me he felt good enough to drive. Uh-huh, nope. Anyway, good reminder. Not that I want to do this, but, I would like it to have been done! 🙂

    So, you had a PSA in your posts.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  6. * Arjewtino says:

    Wait, you were unconscious through the actual procedure? If so, I won’t be dreading my inevitable one someday.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  7. * Corey says:

    Loved your post…made me giggle. I am 24 and just had my first *C* a few months ago. Def was not as bad as I had anticipated! Go see a naturopath. I just did and she had me start doing a couple of things that have me feeling better already.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  8. * bill the traveling salesman says:

    Jane, you … inspired me. And, being the attention wh0re I am, I made a video of the lead up to it and the afterwards stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcCt-LeFBZw not that I’m pimping out my YouTube or anything. The doc said “You’re perfectly normal. Well, let me rephrase that. You’re perfectly normal for an A$$.” or something like that. Good think I had the camera. Them drugz is good. I remember almost nothing.

    Nothing gross about it, just making faces. And no, the nurse did not write her phone number on the tape on my wrist. Or did she? Happy Thanksgiving.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  9. * justyouraverageguy says:

    I love a lady who can talk about her poop so eloquently.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago


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