Ponder this:

Friday, November 5, 2010

“Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness” ~Don Williams, Jr.

Last spring my doctor told me that he had scheduled me for a particular medical screening that we, of a certain age, should have and to which we never look forward with happy anticipation.  You know the one:  It's the one where the doctor sends a television crew in the exit door and travels Where No One Has Gone Before in search of tiny mushrooms that, if found, must be removed.  It's the one where they always say, "Oh, it's nothing. The prep is far worse than the actual procedure."

In my case, others have been there before. Twice. It didn't faze me. A piece of cake. Old hat. 
Unpleasant in the preparation . . . an intense but relatively short process, all things considered, but once everything in there is all nice and clean it's . . . interesting . . . to watch the monitor to see inside of my very own Odessa Catacombs.

So I'd done the prep before; I knew what to do.  I thought.  Until I picked up the prescription from the pharmacy last Tuesday after work. Instead of a small 16-ounce bottle, like the last time I enjoyed this process, the pharmacist handed over a jug the size of my head with a couple of cups of powdery stuff in it. 
All right, I thought. I can do this. It's the same thing. Just more of it. Okay.
I toted my parcel home and opened the envelope that had arrived a week before. I had thought it was simply confirmation of my appointment.  Oh-ho no! The envelope held the instructions for my Prep, the process of which had expanded, in the three years since my last appointment of this nature, from one evening of Lovely Beverage Drink & Drain to a twenty-four hour period during which I had been supposed not to eat. Anything.  
I had eaten lunch, and upon arriving home, while I had unfolded and read the instructions, I snacked on the very tiniest piece of leftover baked sweet potato. Including the lovely crispy . . . skin.
"Oh. Well," I thought. "I know how this goes. There is no chance that anything could be left behind après le déluge."
I dissolved the powder in water. A lot of water, to fill that jug. I added the tiny packet of Delicious Lemon Flavor. And at 6pm commenced to drink, every ten minutes, eight ounces of the stuff. Le déluge followed, as expected, and I grew paler and colder as the hours passed. And cleaner!  You know the crude, rude saying, "He thinks his s__t don't stink?" Mine truly didn't.
I finished off the Gigantic Jug of Lovely Beverage, swallowed the three little tablets that would complete the process, and tottered off to bed, where I slept . . . very lightly. 

Wednesday morning, I had a cup of coffee, black, as permitted, black coffee being a "clear liquid." 
I did not bother with makeup: all the products were too heavy for me to lift to face height. My eyes looked like tiny burned holes in the puffs of eyelid: there's a lot of sodium in that Lovely Beverage. I looked a little like the undead with a head cold. But who cared, really? The object of observation would be nowhere near my face. And off we went, Husband as designated driver to get me home in a couple of hours when, presumably, I would be happily out of it to one degree or another.
I checked in at the clinic, wobbled to the elevator and to the nurses' station and limply handed over the yard of sticky labels. I exchanged my clothing for paper slippers and the easy-access cotton gown and delivered myself to the room where the fantastic voyage would take place.  The blood pressure cuff went on, the IV went in, I answered the thousand questions that must be answered. I signed the paper that said, "If I die, I won't blame you." I admitted that I had not avoided food the previous day
The nurse lowered her clipboard, looked at me, and said, "You didn't." 
I looked at her.
The doctor arrived, said, "I understand that you didn't follow the instructions exactly."
"Yes, that's right. I didn't. But I'm quite sure I'm prepared."
The doctor disagreed, and suggested postponement of the procedure. "With your history, and blah blah blah..."
I looked at her.
She looked at me kindly, but unyielding.
"Oh, poop," I said.
"Exactly," she returned.

Husband brought me home, delivered food to my gaping mouth and sent me to bed. 
I get to do the whole thing over again in January. At which time I'll open the envelope when it arrives. And follow the instructions.

Well, hell. 
It's a day off work.


morningbrayfarm said...

Oh, June, June, June. Poop! OMG, I'm so sorry that you had to go through that and get to do it again in January. Lordy! With the way you write, I felt like I was right there with you. I'm not sure how I feel about that. ;) :D

Autumn Mist said...

Hmmm, you poor thing, I was there with you, too. And now you have to go through it all again - not good.

Hilary said...

Oh yuck.. the prep really is the worst part. I feel so bad for you. How can that bit of potato possible have escaped that grand flush?

Carolynn Anctil said...

Oh, crap.

....sorry. I couldn't resist.

That really sucks. Having to drink that gawdawful stuff and spend 24 hours on the loo sounds tough enough, but to go without food! That's just cruel.

Oh well, at least its not happening over Christmas when there are so many tempting edibles around.

Charlene said...

So in addition to the cold of winter you have this to look forward to!

You sure know how to tell the story! SMILE

Barb said...

My husband is embarking on this amazing journey next week. I will be MONITORING him so that all instructions are followed. Having to go through the fast and cleanse again...not in this house! It does make a great story, though! (It's very telling that you'd prefer it to work.)

Friko said...

Oh for heaven's sake.

Will they never finish with you? Let somebody else have a go, woman, you are too greedy for medical attention.

Self, self, self, that's you.

Poor girl.

Wanda..... said...

Again in January! You know how to start the new year off right, June!

English Rider said...

Magnificent handling of a subject most of us would have a hard time describing so elegantly.
I have read those instructions and, indeed, the prep sounds worse than the exploration. They didn't sound any better when translated into French for the intended victim. He's not drinking anything that's not "Apellation Controle".

Dee Martin said...

oh my. oh my. I nearly spit coffee out on my laptop reading this. Bless your heart lolol.
What a fun read (as long as it is about someone else of course!)

June said...

My reprieve lasts, now, until the second of February; Afternoon Boss feels that January will be too busy for me to be out of work.

Anonymous said...

I must be a bit weird but I so enjoyed this post! You see, I am on the brink of an endoscopy, scan and something else so I am curious beyond belief about other peoples' nether region stories. Oh, and by the way, mine smell of roses!

Freda said...

I'm a coward and always opt for the injection that means you forget what happens at the time. Unfortunately it doesn't help you to forget the horrible preparation.

Fran Hill said...

Oh dear. Did you feel really naughty, like you'd been told off at school?

June said...

Yes, Fran.
Yes, I did.
I hardly knew where to look.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, poop, indeed! Hilarious post, June. Yes, it's the fasting that's a bitch.

My husband gets through the ordeal by judicious intake of Scotch -- a clear liquid.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh My---I haven't had one of those 'procedures' since 2004--and I was so clean that I don't have to do it again until 2014.... BUT--24 hour fasting??? GADS--that has changed... They just want to starve you to death I guess....

Sorry they wouldn't go ahead and do it.... Now you have to do it again in January... GADS!!!!!! BUT--just think of the weight you will lose!!!!! ha

Now---enjoy your weekend....

#1Nana said...

Every time I go to my doctor he says, "Now when was your last..." and I let him know that it was recent enough to not have to do it again. They are supposed to be developing a less invasive procedure. I hope it will be standard before the next time I have to go through it.

Linda Myers said...

It always seems like such a private thing. Not!

You're in good company, anyway.

Slamdunk said...

Glad you have a good sense of humor with this and I hope it all turns out ok.

Beth Camp said...

And what a lovely quote to go with your experience. I've reposted this to several friends facing the same experience. Your good humor and insights were such a treat! My husband had somewhat the same experience with that gigantic bottle that came "free" with our insurance. He could have paid extra for the more modern (and smaller) preparation kit but wanted to save $15. Never again! Best wishes for February, Valentine's Day?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Two sessions like this should make you transparent !

xxx said...

Hello this is my first visit here :)
Sorry about the potato :(

good luck with it all in the new year.

best wishes

Frank Baron said...

Poor you.

Poor, poor you.

Having survived a barium enema (barely) I have some understanding of what you went through. And will go through again. At least you have a couple months to recover before the next intestinal purge.

And by the way, you're a very good writer. :)

fiftyodd said...

Hmm. I try avoid 'tests' as it just results in doctors wanting to dish out more chronic meds. Hormone patch and Cholesterol pill are quite enough to be going on with. Certainly not going for a bone density test. I know what it's like not to sleep much. Luckily, I go to bed with my tiny radio with headphones next to me so that when I wake up I can listen to our local talk radio and all the nutcases who phone in during the night!

Tamara said...

Love this, love this!!! Have you seen this:

Dave Barry: A journey into my colon -- and yours

This article is for anyone who is over the age of 50 who has had or is contemplating a colonoscopy. It's located at: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/dave-barry/v-fullstory/story/427603.html

Joe Todd said...

There was a time I was a pharmacist. I remember handing over those big jugs thinking to myself I'll never drink one of these LOL.. You might make use of this site I just put together