I am 46 minutes into my colonoscopy prep and very seriously thinking about liveblogging this.
I cleaned my toilet and bathroom this morning because I knew I would be there a lot.
This post is in: John Cole Presents "This Fucking Old House"
I am 46 minutes into my colonoscopy prep and very seriously thinking about liveblogging this.
I cleaned my toilet and bathroom this morning because I knew I would be there a lot.
Comments are closed.
By all means liveblog it.
It’s not as bad as people tell you it is, but it’s not fun either.
Been nearly 5 years since my last one, I should do another soon.
Readership capture, I think it’s called?
a truly lovely experience. will you provide video?
And we were afraid you weren’t sharing with us anymore.
This site never goes down when you really need it to.
Re-do the merge quick!
It is one of those medical procdures where the actual colonoscopy is much less unpleasant than the prep.
I need to do that deed as well, I just keep putting it off. I was told by someone that the pre-scope cocktail is less severe than it used to be but still…
It’s not that big a deal. Quit whining.
And Away We Golytely
I first read this as “I knew there would be a lot.” Yes. Yes, there will.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think your first sentence is missing something?
ETA: Okay, you put “not” in.
You should have absolutely no reason to use the bathroom, other than peeing, after your colonoscopy. So maybe clean it then? Just remember, the prep is the painful part while the procedure is just a vaguely dreamlike experience. So, suck it up and don’t be a PITA.
@Baud: Wasn’t that Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
Also, too, I’m pleased to see you setting an example for other front pagers on how to attract a younger cohort to Balloon Juice.
Dorothy A. Winsor
The last time I had one, I was in the middle of a bout of colitis, so the prep was pretty much like every other da
ETA: I thought that might be TMI but then I read the post again
If you’d waited for Halloween, you could’ve gone to a costume party as a sluicegate on the Grand Coulee Dam… ;^p
But srsly, good luck with your “Up Yours” procedue. Twilight anesthesia or are they knocking your sorry arse out tots? I had the former for one of my “Up Mines” some years ago, and it was…mmm…interesting when it took the doc and his assistant shoving on my lower abdomen to work the probe around the first kink in the colon. (Would’ve been even more interesting if the damn thing had erupted through my skin like a fecal Alien…)
FTR I have the first of two cataract lens replacement surgeries scheduled for Thursday with the twilight (sans vampires, one hopes). Originally I though they said “twi-night” but they’re doing the second one two weeks later. (And then I hit the road for Yerp!)
You gonna do a sports play-by-play thing? That’s different.
I have had 5 Colonoscopies and the prep is by far the worst part of the procedure.
However, I really appreciate that the purpose of it all is to identify serious threats to my health, nay, threats to my life.
Cathie from Canada
I have had several over the last 15 years and each time the prep routine is better, shorter and less difficult. So people who haven’t had one recently may be surprised.
That said, if they offer you a mild sedative before the test, always take it!
Having had several (hadda start early, alas), I can confirm that the prep is MUCH less bad than it used to be UNLESS your provider (eg, WVUMed) insists on a strict clear-liquid diet for DAYS, in which case the silver lining is that it’s a great way to start a sensible weight-loss plan.
(And per an above comment, INSIST on proper anesthesia — not that “twilight” shit, which is the worst of both worlds — and make sure your anesthesiologist is in-network! You don’t wanna get hit with a specialist bill!
All that said … perhaps spare us the liveblog? We feel for you, really, but … 🤢
@Cathie from Canada: Really? I thought the fast and easy stuff was taken off the shelf. My last one was a few years ago, though. It was nasty.
Shitmas im July!
I combined my recent colonoscopy with a hernia operation, so they got me from both sides that day.
Right. That’s why Elon Musk invented Twitter.
Villago Delenda Est
The prep is far worse than the procedure. At least for the procedure you’re baked. I was fully conscious for mine (with the VA) and was able to joke with the doc and his nurse assistants. Asked for a copy of the video recording they made of it. They turned me down.
Mine is scheduled for this Thursday but I’m pretty sure I have Covid right now so I’ll get to deal with rescheduling. It took over 2 months to get this appointment. Dammit.
Should have waited til after…
The prep is not a real burden. Just a few instances of urgency.
My first (of three so far), I misread the instructions and fasted for 72 hours.
I was really cranky, hyped up on all the sodium (BP north of 170), and not in the mood.
The last two were just fine.
@zhena gogolia: LOL, that’s how I read it first too.
I had colon cancer 20 years ago, so in the years since then I’ve been considered at risk and had many more than the usual number colonoscopies. In fact, I’ve got one coming up in a week or so. During that time, there has been a change in the formulation of the polyethylene glycol (PEG) and electrolyte solution in general use. The old stuff, which was most commonly under the brand name Golytely, was really foul. The newer formulation, with the most common brand name Nulytely, left out the sulfur compounds and really isn’t bad at all. It’s every bit as effective. I hope they gave John the better stuff.
Tell us you’re ethnically German without telling us you’re ethnically German.
@Cameron: Called mine the Super Bowel.
The worst part is the prep, assuming you still have to drink that gallon of Colyte. The procedure itself isn’t bad at all, although the new drugs aren’t as much fun as the old days when they gave you valium first to relax and then a nice big IV of demerol. Used to kind of look forward to it.
Best thing about a colonoscopy? Following the prep nobody can accuse you of being full of shit.
At least for a day.
I def want a liveblog. I haven’t ever had a colonoscopy, because I’m not in the age cohort yet and I don’t have any known family history.
Does the prep feel like getting a colonic? I’ve often wondered why they don’t just, uhhh, do it that way. (I have never gotten a colonic.)
I had one about a year ago. I’m sure you know not to trust your farts until this is all over.
Good point. Last time seemed less awful, I hadn’t noted that change.
I actually came here to talk about the delicious meal I have in the oven, but now that seems ill-advised.
Since I have no family or personal history of cancer or polyps, Kaiser is satisfied if I do an annual stool sample test.
Obligatory – ColbertReport – Truth from the Gut (5:33).
That would be a bilious liveblog.
@Soprano2: Let me heighten the contradictions by noting it’s exactly as bad as people say.
The procedure is less awful than the prep, and a lot quicker. Hopefully you have a ride home.
You’re shitting me, right?
@Wag: Opportunity to Tweet “I just lost ## pounds!”
@Michael Cain: If you are over fifty, you might consider doing more, but Kaiser is good. Because of family history, my son had a colonoscopy at 42. He had several polyps and Kaiser put him on an every other year plan at least for now. There’s evidence that breast cancer in the family can increase the chances of colin cancer.
@cope: I have been doing them every 2 to 3 years for the past 30 and can verify that the current prep is a walk in the park compared to the olden days
@Suzanne: It’s like having diarrhea but with no stomachache. It’s not that bad.
ETA: The worst part is drinking a huge quantity of a kind of icky liquid, but I’m hearing here that that has been improved since the last time I had one. I’m glad to hear it.
I think you’re required to have a ride home after any procedure in which you’re sedated.
My last procedure Night 1 of preparation wasn’t enough. I’ll spare everyone the details of how the Nurse came to that conclusion. Had a 2nd night of preparation. So let’s keep it in our thoughts that 1 night will be sufficient for our Host with the most …
I got a colonoscopy planned for mid-August and already I’m having anxiety over how bad the prep is going to get.
My last one was a few years ago, my next one is in November. Anything New & Improved on the prep front would be most welcome; though honestly, drinking the stuff down isn’t the worst part. We all know what the worst part is, and I don’t see how they can make that “better” because cleaning out the GI tract means…cleaning out the GI tract.
Anyway, John: Best wishes, good luck, and I hope you got some of that diaper rash ointment.
My mother had recurring Colon cancer, so I got to start colonoscopies when I was 40.
Newer formulation prep solutions do seem better, but it’s possible I’ve just gotten used to the process and it really isn’t.
My favorite part is telling the GI surgeon I usually expect flowers and a nice meal for that kind of activity. Yeah, pubescent butt sex humor. My most recent I had an upper GI endoscopy as well, so the joke changed to thanking him for doing upper first.
He loves us! He really loves us!
@PaulWartenberg: Oh, don’t. It’s not that big a deal, to quote OO.
Old Dan and Little Ann
Who gives a shit.
Upside is that you will feel light as a feather when prep is complete. And yeah, once they start fentanyl and versed you won’t know a thing.
@CaseyL: Subjectively it seems that the process is gentler compared to 20 years ago. This seems like something where a Placebo is likely though, GI says it’s better and you shift your mindset and it’s better.
It’s fine material like this that makes this almost top 10,000 blog what it is.
A few years ago…
The anesthesiologist and I are chatting about the upcoming Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. After a bit, I ask him when is the doc going to start? The anesthesiologist says, “He just finished.” I’m stunned and asked him, “What did you use on me?”
“The same stuff that killed Michael Jackson.”
The entire room snickered
My last one was 3 years ago and it was less unpleasant than the first one 10 years previously. I found the not being able to eat stuff worse than the prep – I was hungry! I was knocked out totally for this one and I distinctly remember the few seconds between the drugs going in the IV and becoming unconscious. I finally understood drug addiction, it was the most amazingly wonderful feeling.
@zhena gogolia: I mean, it sounds equivalent to period shits.
@Jager: Milk of Amnesia.
Gin & Tonic
@PaulWartenberg: I’ve had several. You shit a lot, that’s it. Not much to worry about.
@Suzanne: But you’ve been fasting, so the consistency is different.
@trollhattan: I’m with you. I’ve had five or six and the prep has been different every time, but always awful.
John doesn’t seem to be checking in to tell us about his progress.
Been there, done that. Don’t have to do it again for another 4 years. I wish it were longer.
You’re doing a good and wise thing, JC. When I was 50, my doctor said I ought to have a sigmoidoscopy, and I noped. When I was 51, she gently persuaded me, and I had one. It found cancer, which it caught (right at the end of the scope’s field) early enough that relatively minor surgery was sufficient, and I didn’t need chemo or radiation. For two years after, my hobby was having colonoscopies every four months, and this is when the prep was awful (phospho soda; just typing it makes me gag). For a while, it was every year, then three, and now it’s five, and the prep’s so much easier. Especially if you eat very little for two days before. My doctor died not many years after—of colon cancer. It’s now many years later, and I proselytize for colonoscopies.
@zhena gogolia: Good point.
I was going to do the Master Cleanse a few years ago. Mr. Suzanne talked me out of it.
🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 for you, Cole..
@Suzanne: I’ve never done one of those things, so I’m not sure how it compares.
I had (an overdue) one going on 3 years ago. I had to fast for 24 hours and do the prep. The prep was inconvenient, but it’s not like having food poisoning. You feel a need, you void, you drink some more. My biggest worry was feeling that need on the way to the hospital (I did not soil the car (yay!)).
As far as the procedure goes, I (as I believe our host does) have sleep apnea. Saying that to the docs is your ticket to total anesthesia, with an anesthesiologist in the room. So I was awake and then I was awake again and we got to look at the high light video together. I could have driven myself home I was not woozy at all.
I am firmly in the “it’s not that bad” camp, although I wouldn’t do it for recreational purposes.
I remember waking up and being interrogated by a nun in a bright blue habit (it was a Catholic hospital), who had been trained by her Order to ruthlessly scrutinize insurance documents.
A product that was egregiously misnamed.
@Villago Delenda Est: Interesting. Does that mean you had no anesthesia at all? I didn’t know they let patients go through a colonoscopy while conscious. I think I read that that kind of thing is more common in Europe. My last time, I got Propofol which wears off quickly. But you still have a narcotic in your system, so they won’t let you go home by yourself. I didn’t have any family members nearby who could drive me so I had to hire a medical cab to take me home. The clinic nurse insisted upon calling the medical taxi service to make sure they were legit. For some odd reason, she would have let me go home with a friend — even though my friends are notoriously unreliable, which is why I hired the special taxi in the first place.
For one of my colonoscopies they prescribed Miralax for the prep. It has no taste, dissolves reasonably well in Gatorade or cold water and does a great job of cleaning me out. The prep recommendation has changed for every subsequent procedure, but I stick with the Miralax and everything has “come out” ok. I hated that greasy Fleet stuff; I’m glad they don’t recommend that anymore.
@wmd: My younger son’s doctor didn’t think it was necessary yet, even though his dad had cancer with a 50/50 chance of survival and an uncle that died. My ex’s mom and sister both had breast cancer also, which can be a marker.
I get to have my second one later this year. No issues with my first, so I didn’t need another for ten years according to the CDC, but I’ve been fighting with my doctor since year five, because he has some weird ideas. He’s sure you should get it every five, and the reason they don’t recommend that is the insurance companies don’t want to pay for it. Thanks, doc, I think I’ll go with the CDC instead of your gut feeling.
So is Sunday Evening Bowel Talk going to be a regular posting here?
The prep is way worse than the colonoscopy. The latter is kinda interesting, actually. Really there’s no need for a sedative.
I was informed by my colorectal guy that I’d have to go through another diagnostic procedure next time, diverticulosis was bad enough he did not want to risk doing invasive procedure. About time to find out what that might be. Have to go to one of his partners since he’s retired – I reckon 25 years of dealing with assholes was enough.
I had the thing afterward where they wouldn’t let me go until I could stay awake, and I kept going “I’m just gonna take a little nap.” Ms. Redshift says that went on for a while, but I don’t remember much of it.
@wmd: my doctor used to send me a nice letter about the results of my colonoscopy which always began ”thanks for your help in getting a good look at your colon”
@Redshift: It’s slow growing inside, and only becomes aggressive when the polyps escape. That’s why without polyps, they normally say ten.
@Cameron: We are just waiting for John’s update.
Hey! Cole! We want to hear how things are coming along (snork snork)!
@Redshift: Apropos of nothing, I believe Devo did a tune called “Gut Feeling,” which might be the perfect soundtrack for a colonoscopy video.
@Danielx: prep is the worst part but it’s really not that bad. Worst thing is there’s really nothing you can do to make that stuff you have to drink taste decent.
You’ll know you are prepped when the stuff coming out looks pretty much like what you just drank, only warmer.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
And someone saw you, and wrote those famous lyrics, “the girl with colitis goes by” ;)
For my second one, I had to drive myself home later, and also needed to stay sharp (-ish) for a work thing later that day. So I asked them to do it without any drugs at all. They were initially a bit reluctant (“are you *sure* you want to do this?”), but they agreed, and I was glad I did it that way. I found it to be a total non-event. Some discomfort when they were turning a corner, but roughly in the same realm as having a dental cleaning — awkward, unpleasant, but not painful.
A year or two later, I suggested to my wife that she do the same, and she came home right angry at me. Her experience was beyond uncomfortable, to painful. So, I no longer recommend it to others, but I think it’s worth people knowing that for at least some others it is totally fine, even without drugs.
@Uncle Cosmo: I found cataract surgery to be a fabulous light show. It was my favorite aunt’s favorite surgery.
@Cathie from Canada: I agree. The most recent prep — I had a colonoscopy a few months ago — was very doable. Especially compared to that golyghtly crap.
@Jager: Yep. My gas-passer called it propofol, but the same thing. You’re awake & then you’re awake.
This thread is hilarious.
I missed my last scheduled one, my new primary care doc at the VA must have my birthday circled on his calendar…
@zhena gogolia: I read it that way too!
@Redshift: no, your doctor is correct.
I’ve been through it four times. It is never going to be an experience you want to repeat.
Supposedly there are juices you can use instead of water, as I have been advised by jackals in the past.
Tornado sirens going off. Fuck!
I had no family history of colon cancer, or of any cancer really, yet was diagnosed with colon cancer at 47. I blame environmental factors ( I grew up in an agricultural area where DDT and other chemicals were used a lot) but my doctors didn’t seem interested in pursuing that. I am alive now, in my 70’s because I got that colonoscopy. Don’t put it off.
Said every crackhead ever.
There’s a reason why they have a strict protocol about this.
Had my first one a yr. & a half ago. Don’t even remember the prep, other than I bought a jar of bouillon cubes for broth & only used one.
Get the propofol/fentanyl. I went out, woke up, felt just fine & was rarin’ to go, ‘though the nurse wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to pass out before I got in the taxi.
Doc told me there was a small polyp they snipped, on the ‘phone call a couple days later he told me it wasn’t even a polyp, just a fold in the colon.
Good luck on yours!
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Martin Short, Steve Martin and Tom Hanks say they get together and make a party out of their colonoscopy prep and then procedure.
You should invite a bunch of friends over and do the same.
My funniest “wake up afterward” story, from about 10 years ago: I woke up feeling like I’d had the best nap ever, just a fabulous minute or so of euphoria before I remembered where I was.
Friends had come to take me home. The facility where I had the procedure was quite literally up the block and around the corner from my townhouse complex. I felt fine: I felt coherent, lucid, and alert. So I told my friends I felt fine, and there was really no need to put me in a car for a half-block trip.
“Silly, silly,” I said, as I walked out of the clinic and up the street in the wrong direction.
My friends gently herded me back to the car.
@Danielx: I’ve had maybe thirty. Fist was when I was 34, they found a malignant polyp, so I was on the three month plan, then six months, then a year and finally went to the three to five year plan. (I’m 67). Never minded the procedure, never liked the prep.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Jager: Yep. I had the same experience with dental surgery. Makes you realize that’s what it would really be like to have a defective short-term memory, that you would just be seamlessly jumping from one moment to another hours or days later with absolutely no sense of time passing.
In fact somewhere I read that a lot of modern anesthesia is about suppressing short term memory.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Tom Hanks, Martin Short, and Steve Martin don’t live in 1 1/2 bath houses.
It ain’t nuttin.
Gin & Tonic
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: That’s what versed does.
@Spanky: Yes, but it isn’t always necessary. I’ve had oral surgery w/o being knocked out & they were always nervous that I was planning to take the bus home.
If I were about to pass out or felt odd in any way, I certainly would’ve been willing to wait.
Last year when my PCP was setting up my colonoscopy, I was also waiting to hear from the orthopedist about my knee. So I got a call early on a Sunday morning thinking it was about the knee, and was very confused for a moment that the gastroenterology department was calling.
I am coming very late to the threads today. Was looking for something diverting.
Not quite what I was looking for.
Good luck with the procedure.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
If you’re all doing the prep at the same time make sure there are enough water closets.
It’s been an hour and a half since Cole posted. I guess he thought better of the live posting idea.
After my last visit with my PCP, he informed me the CDC lowered the recommended age for colonoscopies to 45.
I don’t have to wait two more years until I turn 50.
I’m putting it off.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: short term memory loss is worse than that. It’s whrn your wife brings your two small children to your hospital bed after a TBI, you sit and talk to them, then she takes them out to the hallway and comes back sit with you alone for a minute. When she come back in alone you ask her “when are you going to bring the children to visit me?”
@Villago Delenda Est: My first colonoscopy I asked if they found any polyps would they put them in a jar with formaldehyde for me? They wouldn’t.
I imagine that after about 2 months of that job they’ve heard every joke.
I was an hour into my prep when the hospital called to tell me my covid test was positive (no symptoms). It took 2 months to get back in. They gave me free prep meds, since I threw my first batch down the toilet.
I had colon cancer at 49 and my first wife died of it, as did an aunt and a first cousin. My daughter’s doctors started screening her at 35, which seemed appropriate. One rule of thumb I’ve heard is to start screening at ten years younger than the age at which any first degree relative was diagnosed.
@Rocks: So very true!!
SO disappointed – that would have become a BJ legend.
@Gin & Tonic: Versed is a benzodiazapine – closer to Rohypnol than valium in the strength of its effect. Rohypnol of course being the trade name for what most people call “roofies”.
I always request “Comfortably Numb.”
@Ohio Mom: I’d expect reporting on color, consistency, texture and volume. And smell. Pet reactions.
He’s really missing an opportunity here.
I have a family history of colon cancer so have been having colonoscopies every five years for 20 years now. The prep varies depending on the provider. Some prescribe the Ducolax method and others don’t. With both some PEG is involved but whether you do Ducolax or not makes a difference in how much of the PEG you have to drink. There is really no way around PEG since you must consume something that causes massive quantities of water to enter the colon to dilute the contents. I always choose sedation since the gas they pump in is painful for me, but YMMV.
My husband had a routine screening colonoscopy in 2015 which found only diverticular inflammation, which is not considered precancerous. “Come back in 10 years” they told him. Four years later he was diagnosed with an aggressive colorectal cancer and he died two years later. It’s not always perfect. He had no family history. Watch for symptoms.
@Eyeroller: I’m so sorry.
i just had to change a diaper filled with blueberry poo. I think it took 12 baby wipes. Oi.
@Suzanne: Processing blueberries through one of those mini-humans seems ill-advised.
maaaan i just had one at the tail end of just a fucking odyssey. been having GI issues for months, since feb. gotta recommendation from a friend for a dr, dude was literally down the block from me. it was GINORMOUS clusterfuck. COMPLETELY unprofessional behavior. after not eating for two days, shitting for a night and a day and just being set off by a giant asshole who was getting ready to peer into my asshole. i narrowly avoided breaking the dr’s fingers and grinding the small bones in his hands to dust for being a complete fucking douchebag and bounced.
some dr’s just don’t fucking listen AT ALL. like, they’re not CAPABLE of it. they think EVERYONE is fucking stupid. but yeah, sunk cost is a POWERFUL drug.
anyway. didn’t hurt the man, didn’t burn down his practice got another rec, got another dr, had the thing last week. no answers leaped out, waiting on detailed results.
no fun AT ALL in that adventure.
Colon, colon, colon/keep that versed rollin’…… That’s it. I’ve had all the sphincter chatter I need, thanks.
@Eyeroller: Katie Couric did an amazing job informing people about colon cancer, and your telling your personal story helps also.
Cathie from Canada
@zhena gogolia: My first one, years ago, was a two-day liquids only fast plus several foul-tasting molasses drinks. My last one 2 years ago, was just a one-day liquids only fast plus glug-a-gallon-of-mildly-flavoured stuff.
Though I must admit I am not exactly clear on the details anymore because, like moving, and having a baby, the colonoscopy is something I forget as soon as its over.
Yeah…after my last colonscopy I asked the anesthetist what he used and he said propofol, and I said, ah, Michael Jackson’s favorite- he wasn’t really amused…
You have to check out “Ode to the Colorectal Surgeon.”
Had a friend that died from it before she was 30 years old. No family history, no prior problems.
@Suzanne: Some of us feel strongly about the difference between periods and colons.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Modern anaesthesia is a combo of things, one to suppress memory, one to keep you from moving (a paralytic), another to suppress pain. How much of each is needed depends on the procedure you are undergoing. When I had my knees replaced it was a spinal anaesthetic but with some of the others to make sure I wasn’t awake to see the gore involved or to remember it, plus long lasting pain control that wore off many hours after the spinal, but that was placed directly in my legs.
We’ve come a very long way from ether!
@wmd: Versed is also extremely short duration. I watched some patients getting cortisone injections in their spines under a fluoroscope, they’d be completely out for like a minute, then right back.
I got to see a true legal addict too, screaming in pain constantly and when the doc put his forceps on the spot he wanted to inject at as identified by the fluoroscope, she screamed. He calmly said “that wasn’t a needle”. Then she lied to the nurse and said she’s been told she was getting two Vicodin after the procedure instead of just one as prescribed. The radiology tech who worked with that doctor took me aside and apologised for the behaviour of the patient, telling me she was a “complete junkie looking for every milligram she can get”. upper middle class white lady with a huge but legal addiction.
I’ve had to cleanse my innards 3 times in the last 6 yrs for procedures coming from that direction – out. The colonoscopy was fine and the prep was no big deal because the starter fluid had changed from battery acid to something a bit less obnoxious. The first two were biopsies, they were, how to put this, about the worst thing I’ve had a doctor do, although I have had shoulder surgery and the recovery PT was rather unpleasant. The truck that hit me (I was not in a vehicle) and damaged the shoulder didn’t hurt near as much.
Blake Himsl Hunter
I had mine a little more than a month ago. It was pretty amazing.
@PaulB: You’re a glutton for punishment.