12 Most Horrific Hours Leading Up To My Colonoscopy

12 Most Horrific Hours Leading Up To My Colonoscopy


“Man Up!” A term we men hear often during the course of our lives. There comes a time in every man’s life when he reluctantly has to face his worst fears and phobias. Some of us do it with grace while others are dragged kicking and screaming.

Such was the case for me recently when I had to face one of my fears: the dreaded colonoscopy. There was no avoiding it. I’m only 45 but my family history required early testing. “Man Up!” I told myself.

I was convinced the procedure was going to kill me. If not the procedure itself, the embarrassment of laying on my back spread eagle while a team of 30 NASA engineers in plastic smocks and protective glasses tried to get a full sized movie camera through my rectum, up my colon and exiting God-knows where. So with this understanding, I decided to log my experiences along my journey to serve as written warning to men in the future. My last act of humanitarianism.

Below are excerpts from that log highlighting the 12 Most horrific hours leading up to my colonoscopy.

1. 5:00 PM

Been fasting for almost eight hours according to the doctor’s instructions. Delirious… I see Dead People. Phone ringing… I can swear it looks like a cheeseburger. I’m convinced the ring asked if “would you like fries with that?”

2. 6:00 PM

Excited to take the four Dulcolax laxatives prescribed by my Doctor. It’s the only food I’ve been able to ingest all day! I tried to add some Frank’s Redhot sauce to pretend I was eating chili but my wife stopped me. Damn her!

3. 7:00 PM

Mixed the first litre of Klean-Prep powder with cold water as part of the required preparation. It’s like chalky water with a hint of lemon zest. The first five sips went down ok. Gagging started with the sixth sip but overall, not as a bad as people have made this out to be. I think I’ll be fine. Man Up!

4. 8:00 PM

Mixed second litre of Klean-Prep. Even though it’s the same tub, this one feels twice as heavy as the first one. I was wrong about the chalkiness of the texture and flavor. It’s more like loosely shredded sandpaper mixed with urine. Yes, that’s closer to the actual taste. Stomach gurgling.

5. 9:00 PM

The nuclear-powered laxative unexpectedly exploded in my bowels. Knees shot. Can’t stand. Must crawl through my own feces to the bathroom. Pants and carpet will have to be burned.

6. 10:00 PM

My wife mixed the third and final litre of Klean-Prep. Not able to leave the bathroom. Fearing she might get caught in the blast radius, she resourcefully pushed the tub into the bathroom using a long stick found in the garage. Somehow this tub tastes like camel sweat and sewer water.

7. 11:00 PM

Learned that the force of pre-colonoscopy bowel movement can send a 200 lbs. man soaring 10 feet into the air. (Reminder: re-plaster hole over toilet where my head, shoulder and left foot broke through the ceiling). I think I just passed the lining of my stomach. And maybe a kidney.

8. 12:00 Midnight

My bathroom has been declared ground zero. Children crying. Animals fleeing. Hazmat team was alerted after a large mushroom cloud was spotted billowing up over my house. Second pair of socks and third pair of boxers now being burned in the yard. Decided to remain naked.

9. 2:00 AM

Use of leather belt to strap myself down to the toilet proved effective. Avoided the cleanup issues encountered last hour. Doing calculations… how does three litres of Klean-Prep turn into 10 barrels of human waste? This stuff is so efficient it digests and passes food you’ve yet to eat.

10. 4:00 AM

Crying has slowed to a sad whimper. Lost 10 lbs in the last 12 hours but starvation from the fasting no longer a concern. Death would be a welcomed relief. Rolled up in a corner trying to rock myself to sleep.

11. 7:00 AM

Arrived at the doctor’s office on two hours of sleep. Receptionist smiled pleasantly and with a large Starbucks coffee in hand asked if I’m having a good day.
….
….
Police have agreed to postpone arrest for attempted murder till after the procedure.

12. 8:00 AM

Nurse just inserted the IV that is to deliver the anesthesia. I’m to drop my pants, lie on my side with legs to my chest and count down from 100. (Reminder Note: drop comment in suggestion box: Dear Doctor, have patients lie down in the opposite direction so the last thing they see isn’t the 167,456 foot long tube you’re about to drive up their rectum) 100…99…zzzzzzzzzzzz

I woke up a few hours later in a recovery room unsure of where I was. I pulled myself together and sat up feeling a little hungry but otherwise totally normal; great in fact. I pinched myself to be sure that I was in fact alive and not “on the other side.” Yup, I was alive. I walked into the lobby to find my wife waiting with breakfast and a smile.

I didn’t die. My fear was based in ignorance. There was no embarrassment (if you don’t count the attempted murder of a nurse or having to explain to the neighbors why a hazmat team stormed the street last night). Admittedly the prep leading up to the procedure was less-than-pleasant but really no worse than the aftermath of three bowls of spicy Texas Chili Con Carne, which is something I do on purpose regularly.

When all was said and done, I was more embarrassed about my irrational fear than the procedure itself. It was a non-event. I didn’t feel a thing, don’t remember anything and walked away as if nothing at all had happened.

So men… Man Up! And get checked regularly.

Featured image courtesy of a.drian via Creative Commons.

Sam Fiorella

http://www.senseiwisdom.com/

Sam Fiorella is a globetrotting interactive marketing strategist who has earned his stripes over the past 20 years in senior management roles with corporate sales &marketing teams as well as consulting for more than 30 marketing agencies. Sam’s experience with over 1600 Interactive projects during the past 15 years spans the government, finance & insurance, manufacturing, national retail and travel/tourism sectors. Currently, Sam is the Chief Strategy Sensei at Sensei Marketing, where he is charged with strategic campaign guidance and marketing technology development that power the Sensei Customer Lifecycle Methodology. Sam is a respected blogger and popular keynote speaker on marketing, branding and social media communications having presented at more than 200 conferences in the past 2 years. Follow Sam on Twitter or Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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55 comments
JoannHarrison
JoannHarrison

I have had this procedure 3 times and have never taken the pills or been offered them by my Doc, I think you get a better result with the drink in my opinion :)

momof3and3
momof3and3

Why did you have the drink for the prep and not  the pills?

JoannHarrison
JoannHarrison

OMG you have me rolling, I'm doing my second colon check tomorrow so I'm bathroom bound all day today, thanks for making me laugh and I'm glad I did not poo myself while laughing..... I made it to the bathroom in time ( while laughing) I'm starving :(

never again
never again

I'm in the process, It's 10:30.  I don't believe that part where you say we actually get to live.

conniegal
conniegal

This has to be the funniest account of what everyone calls a "non event".  I'm getting ready for the prep on my first non event and can't wait to taste all that shredded sandpaper laced with urine! :)  Thanks for the laughs, and the honesty.

SHHHHH
SHHHHH

I have drank 9 litres of klean-prep for my constipation and it hasn't worked ....

xsecretsmilesx
xsecretsmilesx

@mjseres @12Most I am actually crying laughing at this succinct description of death by camera lol. Brilliant x

spofcher
spofcher

It's not the procedure itself that sucks, it's the process leading up to the procedure.  Yes the fluid tastes worse and worse the more you drink.  When I woke up after the probe, I felt like I had take a great nap and there was not the soreness that I expected.

And the bowels emptying is a satisfying feeling.  As Mark Twin once said, "Sex is overrated, while a good bowel movement is underrated."

BruceSallan
BruceSallan

@BeckyGaylord - thx...tweeted but didn't read it...will do later! g'nite! #blogchat

MJMudd
MJMudd

@mqtodd @12Most Dear God, someone blogged about that? A topic I may choose to keep to myself! :)

lmarchbank
lmarchbank

@jkcallas @12most I've always thought that a man's bowl movements are something that should be kept secret.A conversation with God & himself

mariepayton
mariepayton

@samfiorella That was some funny stuff - glad you survived : )

Third_EyeRetro
Third_EyeRetro

@Third_EyeRetro you have no idea how many lives you have saved by this post...congratulations anything that motivates others to get their colonoscopies is great!

MichaelLamerique
MichaelLamerique

I hope you're prepared for when you have to do this again. remember to remind your neighbors that you will be naked your socks for a couple days. And the screaming is part of the excretion therapy. 

dbvickery
dbvickery

Hys...freakin'...terical, Sam. I am glad I am so much younger than you at 44! I did have to do a similar procedure several years ago that involved the 167,456 foot long tube. Actually, I think mine must have been longer. Nothing like watching it all happen on the big screen TV, too!

 

I would be happy if all future big screen TVs just show football, basketball and tennis...know what I'm sayin'?

 

@kfvickery wants me to start making doctor appointments. I may use this post as justification to never darken the door of another doctor!

BeckyGaylord
BeckyGaylord

OK Sam, so, I read until the end of the post -- which either means that you are really funny or that I am a sucker, or both.

Let's just say that you're really lucky you're not a woman facing childbirth (or even bad menstrual cramps.) 

EricTaubert
EricTaubert

@garthobrien @12Most @samfiorella Ridiculously funny...glad I saw this.

annelizhannan
annelizhannan

Well Sam, I feel your pain. Just returned from my colonoscopy and this year I decided to forego the heavy sedation so I could get a good visual. After squirming with cramps and discomfort for what I can only imagine was similar to birthing, the doc announced she couldn't go any further. I was too murky! Yup, the horror of the past 24 hours was fruitless and I am at it again as I write.....oops, gotta run!

 

Anneliz

WineEveryday
WineEveryday

This should be required reading to all those men {{and women}} who are putting off the procedure. I had tears in my eyes from laughter by #7..

Congrat's to @Peg Fitzpatrick for the photo choice ~

reneedobbs
reneedobbs

I really did laugh out loud. Hysterical.

momof3and3
momof3and3

@JoannHarrison  I've only had it once before but had the pills and had no problems with definitive results.  On what are you basing the opinion that you get better results with the drink if you've never had them for comparison?

samfiorella
samfiorella

@conniegal The procedure is a non-event. The prep is SO an event. :( 

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @newdaynewlesson  I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Now please share the message so that more men understand that their fear is all in the head ... and not in the other end. :)

mjseres
mjseres

@xsecretsmilesx yes v good article. Night night x

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @PaulBiedermann  Buns, er, I mean Puns have been rampant with this post.  "A cautionary tale", "Pain in the A$$", "Bottoms Up", LMAO...I think that will be next post...

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @MichaelLamerique  Well 3 "For Sale" signs went up in my neighborhood the week after "the event"... so by the time I have to do this again, I'll have a new set of unsuspecting victims, er, neighbors.

EricTaubert
EricTaubert

@samfiorella Your timing was perfect...I have my own date with destiny quickly approaching...

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @samfiorella  @AmyMccTobin I try to behave occasionally. Given the fact that Pants Off Friday JUST died down, I think we should get let it be. And Sam, I am SO happy you survived.

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