11:17 PM, TUESDAY, JUNE 4 -----
I am unable to sleep because, in precisely 1 hour and 13 minutes, I am due to take my second dose of SUPREP. SUPREP, to borrow a phrase from Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry, is a nuclear laxative. This is the stuff the doctor prescribes to cleanse the bowel the day before a colonoscopy.
I took my first dose at 5:00 PM. The doctor's instructions said to prepare the SUPREP in the morning and refrigerate it because it tastes better chilled. He was wrong. There is no way this vile, nasty, disgusting stuff can taste "better" chilled, hot or any temperature in between. The best way to describe it is to think of a slightly thick, slimy, exceedingly sweet, very salty cherry Kool-Aid. With every mouthful, I groaned, gagged, cursed, shuddered and took the Lord's name in vain. Richard said he didn't remember it being that bad, but this is a guy who actually rescued a freezer-burned pot roast that was destined for the trash, cooked it on the grill --- yes, GRILL --- and pronounced it tasty.
A friend of mine, Kay, had a colonoscopy several months ago. Her doctor prescribed OTC meds for her cleanse: 4 Dulcolax tablets, a bottle of Miralax and a 64 oz. bottle of Gatorade. I'm not a fan of Gatorade, but this regimen sounds far more palatable than SUPREP. Even so, Kay swears she hasn't been able to eat or drink anything that is orange flavored since.
2:08 AM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5 -----
Memo to self: Never, ever sneeze after downing 16 oz. of SUPREP solution, followed by a 32 oz. water chaser.
P. S. Don't blow nose, either.
5:32 AM -----
After two hours of sleep, I was up at 4:40 AM to shower and dress since I have to check in at the day surgery center by 6:00. I am moving very gingerly because of the massive amount of nitroglycerin sloshing around in my innards. I dithered for a good five minutes over what pants to wear: dark blue jeans or beige capris. The jeans would better camouflage any accidents, but they were too tight for my bloated state. The capris, on the other hand, were stretchy around the waist, but would be very unforgiving if I sneezed. I finally decided on the capris, and prayed I would make it safely to the day surgery center, even though it is only five minutes away. I told Richard to please watch for potholes and no sudden stops.
5:54 AM -----
Arrived at the day surgery without any mishaps, but I was right to be worried about the drive. Richard chose a route through a residential neighborhood that, unfortunately, is pocked with speed bumps. He swears he just forgot.
After checking in, the nurse, Jodi, took us both to the pre-op area. I chose to leave my hearing aid at home, so Richard was pressed into service as my interpreter, just in case. Despite my preoccupation with the alarming rumbles in my tummy, I managed to lip-read quite well through the medical jargon. Score!
Just before wheeling me away to the OR, Jodi informed me that my urine tested negative for pregnancy. At the age of 54 (55 in August), it was good to know I was not in the family way. Sorry kids, no baby brother or sister for you.
The OR was huge! I had it in my head that the procedure would be done in a mini-suite outfitted just for that purpose, but this room could have held an entire transplant team. I was rolled over onto my left side and another nurse injected the sedative into my IV. I don't even recall feeling drowsy...
APPROXIMATELY 8:10 AM -----
...and woke up in recovery. Richard was sitting next to my bed talking with the doctor. After the doctor left, I got dressed, a little shakily, and then the nurse wheeled me to the car for the trip home. I was given a red envelope with post-op instructions that basically said to take it easy, don't drive, don't operate any heavy machinery, and don't enter into any binding contracts. The envelope also contained four pictures of my insides in all its Technicolor glory. I'm not real sure what purpose is served by giving me these pictures, because I sure as hell am not going to pass them around at the next cocktail party.
For a truly hilarious take on the colonoscopy experience, please read Dave Barry's column.
I go back in five years for another screening. Hopefully, medical science will come up with a better tasting alternative to SUPREP by then.
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