Wednesday, July 8, 2009

brutally honest

Just to forewarn you, I missed Not Me! Monday this week, but you are about to receive something perhaps even more brutally honest.

Ladies and gentleman, (maybe there's a gentleman out there somewhere?) my name is LB and I have ulcerative colitis. It's kind of like the stepsister of Crohn's Disease, but the less ugly one. Not as bad, but still not desirable. I've had it for eight years, and unfortunately that means eight colonoscopies. You'd think I'd have it down by now. But getting things down: that's the problem.

You see, before these tests can take place, you have to drink this stuff. And my first time, I had an awful experience. To dilute the mixture and the awful, salty-periodic-table taste, we added Mountain Dew. I tried everything to get it all down -- think the amount of a milk jug -- but I would end up throwing it up because of the taste.

Ever since then, it's been a huge mental hurdle for me. Just thinking about the horrid taste and volume of the solution makes me psych myself up, and that makes it taste even worse. I know it's 99% mental because now even the thought of Mountain Dew, Propel, and other drinks I've mixed with it makes my stomach churn.

Well, obviously I survived. And I'm a little ashamed it took me six hours to down the drink when I could have been finished in about two. There's just something about my personality. I don't want to admit I'm a dramatic, but I suppose it's the same reason why in college, I spent many an hour blog-ranting that I was awake writing research papers at o'dark-thirty in the morning, or why it takes me an hour to finally lace up my gym shoes.

In the amount of time I spend analyzing/complaining about it, I could have accomplished it twice. This is something I'd like to change about myself!

The day of the test was a lot of, dare I say, fun. I went in and got to see my old friends at the doctor's office -- which coincidentally, happens to be my dad's office (he's a stomach doctor, too!) -- and the next thing I know, I'm on my couch at home, hyped up on Demerol and Valium, have just slept for about five hours, and get to stay home from work. I have no idea what has transpired between now and then, but there was Sonic waiting for me in the fridge, including my traditional post-procedure OreoBlast. (I'd let JT know the specifics beforehand. I'm old hand at this by now -- I know I don't remember anything that day.) And he'd turned on The Food Network for when I woke up. What a thoughtful husband!

My great friend Darla came to see me, too. She is such an awesome friend and I am super excited about seeing Harry Potter with her in LESS THAN A WEEK!

So the moral of the story is: colonoscopies aren't that bad. Just plug your nose, spray some Clorosceptic in your mouth, flavor it with Gatorade powder, and chug it down. Get some reading material and stay close to the potty that night, and then count on sleeping long increments and not having any short term memory the next day.

And never take going to the bathroom for granted, because some people don't have that luxury. It's always best to be safe than sorry, but unless you have tummy problems, a history of tummy illness in your family, or your doctor says so, then you shouldn't need to worry about this fun little test until you're about 50 (I think).


  1. Ornery has had three of these to date. His father had colon cancer, so they consider him "at risk" although his lifestyle, his temperament and his health are as far removed from those of his dad that I think there is really no comparison!

    I am sorry for you, though. He has an equally difficult time preparing for the "procedure" and I am not nearly as compassionate as your husband. :) Guess I should work on that, huh?

  2. Hi! Our kid situation is the same, we just took a stray college kid on vacation with us! XOXOXO - Robyn


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