Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

What’s on the menu? Colonoscopy

What does a colonoscopy have to do with food?

This is not my first colonoscopy. I had one six years ago so it wasn’t fear of the unknown but rather fear of the disgusting. The disgusting part of the colonoscopy is the preparation. Your bowel has to be squeaky clean, free of any debris, if you know what I mean.

Because I was feeling sorry for myself and also because my greyhound was sick, I thought since I’m going to clean myself out, I may as well eat foods that I normally don’t eat. So three days before I ate an entire box of prepared macaroni and cheese.  The box served three. Then I ate a pint of Tempt, coffee hempmilk frozen non-dairy treat with chocolate biscotti chunks – 4 servings at 150 calories per serving. I also ate a pear, some cherries, and melon and a generous handful of chocolate covered pretzels. I wanted tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole but forget to buy some.

My instructions were:  two days before do not to eat any fruits, vegetables, or fiber. Say what? That’s my life. I asked what I can eat and at the doctor’s office, the admin said, “ham sandwich or turkey sandwich on white bread.” White bread?

Instead of white bread, I bought challah (egg bread). I rarely buy bread and certainly not challah. In the a.m. I made challah French toast with butter. I rarely use butter. A pound can last me a year or more. For lunch, I ate a turkey sandwich on challah with spicy mustard. I ate a carton of peach yogurt as a snack. And for dinner, more challah French toast with butter and real maple syrup. Then drink 3 oz. of Milk of Magnesia at 7 p.m. It’s not an after-dinner drink. That stuff tastes like liquid chalk.

The day before the colonoscopy I was only to consume clear liquids. I opted for chicken and beef broth from the carton, clear apple juice, diet ginger ale, and of course, lots of water. I could’ve had lemon or lime jello or green Gatorade but forgot to buy and didn’t have the energy to go to the store. I suffered a recurring headache throughout the day.

At night the prep started. The prep liquid tasted like rancid 7-Up. Amazingly, it was much better than the liquid anti-freeze-like prep I had to drink six years ago. It was more condensed. Humorist Dave Barry described it as “goat spit and urinal cleanser.” Then the next day I had to do it again and the prep was over. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was probably a 6 in ease and effectiveness as opposed to my first experience of 2.3.

On C-day, I passed with flying colors or a recommendation not to return for 10 years unless there are problems. (fingers crossed: no problems).

My walking papers said: “After I obtained informed consent, the scope was passed under direct vision. Throughout the procedure, the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturations were monitored continuously. The endoscope was introduced through the anus and advanced to the cecum, identified by appendiceal orifice & iliocecal valve The colonsocpy was performed with difficulty due to significant looping. The patient tolerated the procedure well. The qualify of the bowel preparation was excellent.”  And then there were images…

This was the last part of my physical. I hate to admit that while I take good care of myself to most extents, I’m not a fan of going to the doctor and had not had a physical in over 10 years. Yeah, that’s nothing to brag about, but I feared being prescribed some meds. I hate big pharma and don’t want to feel like a science experiment. I will never ask my doctor about the purple pill which oddly enough is one of the most prescribed pills (Nexium) on the planet.

After it was all over, they get you out of bed quickly and out the door. My friend wanted to go to late lunch so we went to ZinBurger to share a burger. She wanted regular fries and I wanted sweet potato fries so each to our own. She talked me out of the root beer float so I just drank water with lemon, probably a better choice. At the next table which was practically in our lap, an older gentleman was eating a burger, fries, and a vanilla milkshake. We longingly looked in his direction. He leaned over and said, “If my wife saw what I was eating, she would kill me.”

Humor writer Dave Barry does a funny take on getting a colonoscopy…actually his experience is right on.

  1. I had to do this a couple years ago and I consider it pretty high up there on the humiliation level.

    Of course, I got tired of everything towards the end of the prep so stopped taking *any* liquids after the required elements were dealt with. Big mistake–I was so dehydrated by the time my procedure was done that I was bruising like a peach! I’d rubbed my eyes at one point, while waiting, and looked like I’d been punched for the next several days!

    I cringe when my docs start talking about it being time for another one. NO!!!

  2. This has been on my list for several years – can’t past the prep – I am sure I will hear from my sister Mary when she sees this.

  3. Sharon! You are darn right you’ll hear from me. Call and schedule an appointment today. IF you have any problems to catch, the sooner the better. Think of your new hubby Ed. Wouldn’t you give him the same advice?

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