Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Doomsday Arrives...

The caption should say: "Runner grimaces anticipating tomorrow's colonoscopy prep."


This morning Dennis pointed out this picture of me in the paper from running the Houska Houska yesterday. It shows my Feed Your Crazy shirt really well, and I do look a little crazy in the picture.

You would too if you knew what awaits you in the 24 to 48 hours after you reach the finish line.

It's Tuesday, doomsday. First thing this morning I enjoyed my last cup of coffee, yes, that alone is a crisis for tomorrow morning.

Then I ate breakfast, tried to get some protein in before I went to clear liquids. I had some egg whites and turkey, two of the foods that were okay on the list for the day before breakfast.

Then I had a work appointment this morning. When that was done, I came home and did my run, a little over 12 miles.

Now I'm drinking clear, sugar free soda and Gatorade with sugar in it for a few calories. I'm planning on eating jello, chicken broth, gatorade, and nothing red, blue or purple all night. I was thinking about other possible things that might be on a clear liquid diet. What about gels? Like banana or vanilla? They are liquid and clear and if you wash them down with plenty of water, they would count. Give you a few calories, too.

Ultrarunners are well equipped for a colonoscopy. Most of us have baby wipes, Gatorade, butt grease, gels, and toilet paper anyway.

Knowing that you can't eat is worse than not eating. Plus I was brave enough to get on the scale the other day and my weight is still at 120 pounds. The lowest I got to was 118 before Cornbelt. I really haven't gained much as a result of not running but eating tons of food for several weeks. So it's not like I need to not eat.

I want to. Eat. Everything. Because I can't.

The instructions said to take 2 Dulcolax tablets at 4 pm the day before. The laxative kind, not the stool softener kind. Then at 6 pm the fun begins, drink one and a half bottles of magnesium citrate, which I've had chilling in the fridge. I've heard it tastes better cold, we used to give it to patients on ice. Or maybe it's just easier to choke down that way.

They warn you to be close to the toilet. It must work fast.

At 4 pm I took those pills, so I was officially prepping, and waiting for results...things shouldn't start really moving until I drink the mag citrate at 6 pm.

I have the baby wipes, A & D ointment, and plenty of toilet paper waiting for me next to the toilet. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to go commando, either! Skirts are great for that. I just hope I get most of the stuff out of me by a reasonable hour so I can sleep. I do have to make sure I wake up by 8 to drink the other half of the mag citrate 4 hours before the procedure.

The reason they have you do half the prep the day before and the other half the morning of the procedure is that the GI tract starts to get icky again if you finish the prep too many hours before the procedure. Your colon secretes mucus which makes it harder for them to see polyps, especially ones which have more tendency to be cancerous.

It's in your best interest to get the best prep possible so they can see everything they are looking for. Why go through all this if you're not going to get the full benefit of the procedure?

So they clean you out the night before and then clean you out again the morning of, and it works well that way.

It's always a little scary going through these screening things because you wonder if they're going to find something. Now that I've had probably a dozen mammograms in my life, I am used to the anticipation of waiting for the results. Not fun. Especially when you've had a family history of something. I've had no symptoms or anything to be worried about, so I am just being positive and hoping that everything turns out good, and if they find anything concerning, that it all works out for the best. That is all I can do. But I'd rather know than not know. To me, putting something off and not knowing is stressful.

The procedure is at 1 pm and my responsible adult friend Morgan is picking me up, waiting, and taking me home.

22 hours to food...

I'm wondering what it will be like by Friday, trying to run. I'm hoping I'll have all that nasty propofol out of my system and I feel okay. The key will be repletion of electrolytes before then. You lose a lot of potassium from your GI tract, not to mention all the fluids I'll be consuming, that will deplete my sodium and other minerals. I'm adding salt to the chicken broth, because I only had low sodium broth.

Probably not a bad idea to eat some yogurt after the procedure to add some probiotics back to the GI tract, too. That means I'll have to do some eating on Thursday to put everything back...too bad. Absolutely breaks my heart.

This week I have about 60 miles on the agenda, and then next week it's full-on training again. I'll be ready to recover and start hammering. After food.

But Wait...It Gets Better...

I took a short nap from about 5:30 to 6. I needed to wake up because it was time to drink the Mag Citrate. I opened the first bottle and poured a little into a glass. First sip.
Good thing Dennis was ready with the camera. At 6:08 pm I took the first sip.

This is THE nastiest crap. I swear, I don't know how the label on the bottle could say "In case of overdose..." Who in the hell would ever drink this stuff intentionally? I can think of much better things to drink to kill yourself.

7:09 pm: It took me a full hour to force 15 ounces down. I drank water and chased it with Gatorade with it because the taste was so nasty. Like paint. My advice- use clothespins for your nose, you wouldn't want to be able to smell this stuff. I don't think drinking it cold matters one bit. It tastes horrible.

Even the dogs looked worried.

I just hope this stuff works, fast and furious. Right now it is sitting in my stomach and not going anywhere, and I just hope it does it's job and goes in the right direction. Drinking this is the ultimate torture. It sure took care of the urge to eat anything. Barf me out of town!
Dennis got some pictures, and videos. Since you probably wouldn't want me to share what will be happening later on, enjoy these classics (below) of me drinking the prep...and leave the rest to your imagination, or not. I'm just imagining being done. What I can't imagine at this point, is how I'm going to gag the other 15 ounces of this crap down in the morning.

8:12 pm: Excuse me...things are starting to gurgle...gotta RUN!!!
Enjoy the videos...I'm expecting an Oscar for the drama.

Colonoscopy morning notes: As I sit here waiting for my responsible adult to pick me up and take me to the Roto-Rooter place, I did survive the overnight prep, but it wasn't fun. I spent much of the time in the bathroom until about 11 pm and then I went to sleep in the extra bedroom so I wouldn't wake Dennis up with my frequent trips to the bathroom. I woke up at midnight, and again at 2:40 am, and spent some time sitting there...there is no butt grease that is sufficient for this. Baby wipes and A & D ointment are a little more soothing than toilet paper, but by this morning, the most uncomfortable place on my body is the exact same portal to where they will place that endoscope. At least I'll be out of it when they do that.

I woke up at 6:47 am and started drinking the remaining prep, chasing it with clear soda. It was disgusting. I didn't breathe, just took multiple sips and then drank the soda, so I wouldn't taste or smell the nasty stuff. And then from about 8 to 9 am I hung out in the bathroom. Once things settled down, I took a nap with Iris. She gave me this look..."I guess this means we're not going for a walk this morning..."

They know something's up with mom. I'll look forward to coming home afterwards. I want a Buffalo hugs, a shower, food, and a nap. In that order.

I'll post about it after I recover from the propofol...hope I'm not too goofy and irresponsible to write a blogpost! I probably won't remember anything!


giraffy said...

I feel kind of jerky, but this made me laugh.

Hope all goes well!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Heather. I laughed too. Just waiting for my responsible adult to pick me up and take thing I know, I'll be eating brownies and vanilla ice cream.(I hope!)

Rachel Gantenbein said...

Omg, I laughed pretty hard at this! I felt so bad for you. Believe it or not, I know exactly how you felt.mwhen I was 16, I was in the hospital with Colitis, and I had to drink that crap. Mine was "Pineapple" flavored, but tasted mores like gasoline. Lol! Hope all went well!

Rachel Gantenbein said...

P.S. That's awesome you made the paper! The muscle definition in your legs is awesome.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Rachel...all did go well, once I finished drinking the nasty stuff. You've already experienced it, but I hope by the time you're 50 they have that beer flavor perfected.