Friday, October 2, 2015

A fresh start.

Years ago a friend of mine had a child that was having trouble with bowel movements.  I remember distinctly her stating that he was on some meds to clean him out so he could have "a fresh start".  So when I scheduled my "YOUR OVER 50" colonoscopy I figured, at least I'll have a fresh start.

A fresh start indeed.

I didn't keep it a secret.  I posted all kinds of things on Facebook about my "night of a 1000 waterfalls", which is a term.  Google it.  I know I don't have too many boundaries but when I started talking to people I realized that there are those who are putting it off.  Then there are those that give some great advice such as, add lemonade Crystal Light into your bottle of mag citrate and put over crushed ice.  Num NUMMY!!

So lets be honest and clear about this.  It's not something that I would choose to do for shits (hehe) and giggles.  But I believe completely in cancer screening.  I check my moles, my breasts and now my colon.  Cancer is a big fat bitch.  Most of the time it kills people slowly and viciously.  I don't fear cancer but if I can kick it in the nads early then I will.  

My colon cleaning arsenal.  
Yes, I have folding chairs for my dining. I call it the simplistic look. ;)

The instructions alone are intimidating.  They give you a list of mediation that you can get over the counter and tell you all the wonderful things you have to do for the next 3 days.  It's starts off with stopping your blood thinning medicine and each days adds another tidbit.  Stop eating nuts, wheat, beans, seeds, etc.  Then at 2 days before they want you to go on a clear liquid diet.  TWO DAYS?  Luckily I didn't look at my instructions until after lunch on Tuesday.  OOPS.  I started clears at approximately 2pm.   Of course I panicked.  

Because I'm starving and I need a lot of food!  
HINT:  Lots of the jello was a no go.  You can't have any red dye.  I thought orange would be safe but I was wrong.  Grape too.   Oh the misery!!

Then I spent all Tuesday night looking up things about bowel prep.  I found things like this:

Seriously?  Am I going to be stuck sitting on the toilet all night?  My legs will fall asleep and I'll get a DVT.  

Lots of advice on creams and potions to put on your bung holeo.  What? Is my poop going to turn to acid?  I haven't ate spicy food for awhile. 

Another thing listed on the prep instructions is to consider adult diapers.  
No.  Just no.

Absolute truth is I've taken care of enough patients that have had accidents to know that if you take enough miralax and fall asleep your poop will do everything in it's power to find freedom. 

I put an old thick blanket on my bed with a towel on top.  I also wore a night pad.  This is TMI, huh?  Needless to say my feared humiliation did not come to pass.  

I didn't have to spend a ton of time on the toilet.  Things moved like water out of a faucet.  I was hungry and it was inconvenient but it was not horrible.  Everyone reacts differently so maybe I'm just lucky.  

I used PooPourri's "Call of the Wild".  It worked magically.  Smelled like a wild ruby grapefruit!

 BTW.  There is a website called "the great bowel movement".  It's more to help with those that have Crohnes and Colitis but dang, what a cool name.  

Many bloggers have summed up the experience a lot better then I could and I couldn't find my favorite but this gal summed it up with my kind of humor!

My hints are pretty simple and some are advice I'm passing from my friends to friends.  

1.  I did not leave the house.  Once the Mag Citrate was in I hunkered down with an iPad full of books and stupid games that help me zone out.  I also Facebooked.  A lot.  

2.  Crushed ice makes everything better.  But drink with purpose because you don't want the ice to melt and then you just have more to drink.

3.  Buy some cool yellow and green jello.  Jello becomes the most delicious thing EVER!  I rotated it with broth (salty) and then juice and a root beer.  Look at the ingredients of what you buy.  NO red dye.  

4.  My toilet paper is pretty soft.  Do more blotting then wiping.  Have toilet wipes handy for splash and extra cleaning.  A little vaseline during the epic downpour helps too.  I did't get sore at all.  

5.  Add Crystal Light lemonade to the mag citrate.  It's not too bad over crushed ice.  

6.  Get a straw.  Drink with purpose!!

7.  Wear a maxi pad. If your a guy then wear one.  Why not?  Just to cover the little leakage.

Thats all I got on the prep.  I set my alarm and finished my Miralax at 430 in the morning.  By the time I left for the procedure at 8 I was feeling pretty confident.  
I wore comfy sweats and flip flops.  They put me totally naked in a gown and I got the cool yellow socks with grippers on both sides!  

The nurse put in an IV and holy crap lady, I didn't even feel it!  Best nurse ever. I was given fluid and rolled into the "room".  They put me on monitors.  My doctor looked me straight in the eyes and updated me to the whole plan.  At least I think he was looking at my eyes, I didn't have my glasses on.  We laughed because we have friends in common and then I told him if he perforates my bowel then pass all other hospitals and take me to the U so I can get my surgeon friends on board.  If I have to be flown then don't call AirCare...I'd rather walk.  He thought I was weird but I'm a flight nurse and we feel pretty strongly about stuff that will probably never happen to us.  After that he gave me a bezoar to hold.  (That part may not be true, or is it?)  The propofol was magic and I remember saying something about diving and then I was awake and it was done.  

Thank goodness they didn't find anything weird!  Whew!

It was over like that!  I did have a polyp that he removed.  I was up and out the door within about 30 minutes from waking up.  Felt great!

I spent the day with this look on my face.  Although I hate to brag but they didn't stink.  They were musical though....a downright symphony. 

So please my peeps.  If your over 50 then take the plunge. If you need me to talk you through it I will.  Find a reputable doc with a good history and go for it. I can't lie when I was a little weirded out on the way there.  I don't think my butt hole has ever had a date...exclusively.  

I'd like to dedicate this post to my life long friends, Jill and Ken.  They gave me advice and support along the way and they are funny as hell.  Thank you!

Blog on.............

PS.  I'm still running.  I also just spent two and half weeks in Indonesia and Malaysia.  I have full updates coming up about that vacation.  It was fantastic!!

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