Published on: 1/27/2014

I've been putting this procedure off almost as long as it's taken me to get the pronunciation correct. There's things we look forward to as we age. This ain't one of them.

Friday, Jan. 24

Last night I enjoyed my last delicious fresh fruit for a while: a large, juicy grapefruit peeled and eaten as an orange. Right now it's zero degrees outside, and as the first day of prep for my first colonoscopy exam I will eat zero fresh fruit, zero raw vegetables and zero nuts.

My typical bag lunch for work consists of PB&Js, carrot, a banana or other fruit, yogurt and a snack. I picked up a loaf of white bread last night because for the next several days I can't have whole wheat. No PB&J today, so I'll take ham and cheese or something. No carrot or fruit either so I'll take an extra yogurt and a snack.

Haven't decided on breakfast yet, but we should have some Jimmy Dean breakfast muffins in the freezer. Normally I would enjoy a huge bowl of oatmeal to start the day. Made with milk and plenty of added raisins, oatmeal has served well in keeping me satisfied at work through the morning, especially during cold weather. Fortunately there's few restrictions on coffee drinking for this prep, so at this point I have little to worry about. More later...


I ended up with pancakes found in the fridge for breakfast yesterday, as the JD muffins were nowhere to be found. The ham and cheese on white I brought for lunch were delicious, but both yogurts contained fruit pieces and the snack contained peanut butter. Today is the last day of refined foods. Shouldn't be too difficult, but that's also what I thought yesterday.

Side note: I'm glad this appointment is when it is: first thing on a Monday. Main day of prep, Sunday, is already a day off work. I didn't know when Super Bowl Sunday was when I made this appointment, but I'm so glad it isn't this weekend!

Sunday 1:00 p.m.

Kinda got yelled at this a.m. for eating the pancakes last two days. I should've mentioned I ate the last of them, I suppose. Thought they were forgotten about. Besides, the JD muffins I was planning on eating were gone. (Turns out they were there, but taken out of the box I didn't see them.)

Coffee for breakfast today. No communion at mass today. Can't have anything solid or drink anything red. Had some Jello for lunch. Not bad. More coffee. Have to drink lots of fluids today, at least 8 oz./hr.

This test is something I've been dreading. I've heard from several who've had it and been informed what to expect. Let's put it this way, the toilet and I are going to be good friends before this is over.

No problems yet. Only been without food since 7:00 last night and won't start laxative until 5:00 this afternoon, though I take two Bisacodyl (whatever that is) in one hour.

I don't like working on an empty stomach, but I could probably do this part of the prep during the week. Depending on what the Bisacodyl makes my body do though, starting the laxative at 5:00 is after I leave work anyway. Still glad today is Sunday!

Monday 3:00 a.m.

It was zero degrees outside when I started the prep, and it's zero again as I drink the last of the laxative before the exam. The colonoscopy is six hours from now.

I'll have to say this prep has been far less difficult than I was prepared for it to be. Mixed with Gatoraide, the laxative had no unpleasant taste. I made far fewer trips to the restroom than expected after drinking the first quart. I watched the entire Grammys with nearly no interruption, and even got some sleep last night. If the remaining few hours are as bad as the last couple days, then I really had little to worry about.

Monday 7:00 p.m.

The test is over. Three polyps were found, removed and will be tested for cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer, after lung cancer.

I now have an idea why the final day a prep went so relatively smoothly for me... it didn't work the way it was supposed to! I did my best to follow directions (as outlined here) but when we arrived for the appointment at 8:15 it was determined I wasn't ready. I had drank a half gallon of laxative in the hours preceding, but apparently it didn't do the trick so I had to down another pint of solution.

There was talk of sending me home and rescheduling. After three days of prep, a day without food and a morning without coffee I definitely was not in favor of taking another day off work and another day without food for this. I don't know what the cutoff time was for doing the exam, but I was willing to do whatever it took to not have to come back. What this entailed was pacing the hallway for three hours while the laxative did it's thing. I began to feel sorry for my wife, who was waiting there with me.

The doc finally saw me around noon - nearly four hours after we arrived, and we left for home about two hours after that. I'm pretty weak by this point and arriving home I head straight for bed. Fortunately my wife made me eat something, because, head-achy and crabby, it's what I really needed more than sleep.

This procedure burned up the better part of a weekend and a day off work. Would I do it again? We'll see in three years, per Dr. Mark Dreyer's recommendation.

Thanks for everyone's patience at Moreland Endoscopy Center today, especially Denise!