Turning 50? Joining the “You need a colonoscopy club?”
When you hit 50, you may be asked to join the “You Need a Colonoscopy’ club. It happens.
Everybody talks about the horrific “Prep” and nobody talks about the appropriate attire for this Big Event. Here is everything you need to know.
The All You Can Eat Buffet
Fact: The day before the Big Event all you can ‘eat’ – is clear liquids.
Hot mugs of Swanson’s chicken broth with a squirt of fresh lemon juice is considered a great meal; several servings of Jell-O can be considered mini-meals (no red cherry flavor.) Pure ice Popsicles are a great little snack- (do not buy fruit filled popsicles.)
Drink: Lots of tea, lots of 7Up, ginger ale, and Gatorade. Hydrate yourself before, during and after the event. Have another cup of tea…a tall warm glass of 7Up. Perhaps another scoop of yummy lemon Jell-O.
After the 12 hours of “Prep” – Top Three Tips:
HOT TIP: Every colonoscopy Prep should include the following: scented candles in your bathroom, butterscotch flavored lifesavers, and three comedies from the library, Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime – to keep you mildly entertained and totally distracted.
These three items are your “spoonful of sugar” to make the episode go away.
(All three secrets also help make the so-called “yummy new flavor” of the Prep drink drug disappear)
- Suck on a few Lifesavers – the flavor of your choice – to cleanse your palate…a few times. The primal urge to fill your mouth with taste bud deadening ice cubes is also very effective.
- Candles add ambiance and a much needed fragrance enhancements…for those multiple ensuing trips to the loo. Enough said.
- Lighthearted comedies help pass the time and keep you distracted. (Do not even think about renting Melancholia, Memento, or Holy Motors.)
And, no, trying to read a book or even a runaway bestseller is not a good idea on the eve of your Big Event. Trust me, for once the likes of Bill Murray, Adam Sandler, or Will Ferrell trump those glib essays by Goethe, Sartre and Camus.
Upon Arrival at Colonoscopy Central
(Hot Tip: Be smart. Do not wear a watch, earrings, necklaces or extra rings. The nurse will ask you to ID all the extraneous jewelry you not supposed to wear. Remember you will be asked to disrobe and put the infamous gown on – open in the back.)
Check into the front desk: bring your ID and your insurance card and reading glasses, if necessary.
Have the angel who drove you (to and from) hold your purse, wallet, back pack…(really – all of which will not need- leave them at home)
- You will then be asked to complete about eight forms.
- Remember: you haven’t eaten over 30 hours you may be a little lightheaded, weak, and flimsy.
- Complete the forms, retrieve your two ID cards (be sure to supply the phone number of your driver.)
- Shortly thereafter, Nurse #1 will escort you to your room with drapes-as-walls. She will ask you your date of birth, full name, and to recite the name of the Dr. and the name of your upcoming procedure.
Since you’re smart, you are wearing shoes that slip off (clogs, mules, loafers) and socks.
Wear pants (sweats, yoga pants elastic band-anything) that slip off along with your sweater (good tip: wear a T-shirt, girls: skip the bra)
You will allowed to wear the T-shirt and socks. All else is stored in a tiny locker (less is more.)
Do not wear tie up shoes, you’ll see why later.
Slip into the tiny bed. Nurse will take your blood pressure. Attach an ET oxygen finger-“clip and insert hydration IV.
The “Knock, knock – you’re out!” sedative is later.
Nurse #2 will enter next and ask you your name, date of birth, name of procedure, and the doctor’s name. Generally, they advise you, “The doctor will be in shortly.”
If you are smart and lucky – you are a patient of Dr. Jane Melnick – hands down: the smartest, most cordial, kind Dr. you have ever met. She will arrive, meet you and assuage many fears. Now is the time to ask her any questions. The good Dr. will speak you again post-event. (Note: You may be very groggy- ask all questions now.)
Thereafter, you’ll be wheeled into “the procedure room.” You might be nervously chatty or just looking at all those computers. Whew. You know you have a blood pressure cuff on, an ET oxygen clip, and then, voila: oxygen! And then the magic sedation …going, going, gone and you’re under.
You will wake up back in your “room” and asked which juice you’d prefer: cranberry or apple… The doctor will come in and report findings.
Thereafter, you’ll get dressed and be so happy to pull on underwear, some variation of pull-on pants, your top, slip your feet into shoes – no fuss, no muss, no zippers no buttons. Important: you may be a little foggy brained – you may be a little flimsy, whimsy, high.
At the appropriate time, a nurse will walk you out to your “driver” and you will have reports, papers and copies of documents in your hand.
You probably won’t know that these things are in your hand-never mind. (No purse, backpack, to worry about – your driver has it)
Note: You are high. Not Golden Gate Park 1977 high – but, you are high. The sedation stays in your system for a bit of time. Hours. Tread lightly.
Remember: The day before all you could “eat” was – was a menu of clear liquids.
When you get home – you may be ravenous or sleepy or both.
Be sure to drink a lot of water (48 oz.) during the day post event.
Some of us slither right into bed and sleep it off.
Others return home famished. It’s a good thing to approach food in a slow methodical way: avoid spicy and hot…Think: rice, oatmeal, yogurt, sorbet, things that are cool and calm to your tummy – a good way to start your entry back into the world of food.
- There’s a good chance you won’t want to look at any form of Jell-O for another five years.
- Take the day off – follow all the directions from the Doctors office. Rest.
- Expect a follow up phone call to check on you…days later. The office will mail you a “bill of health.”
Never ever bore anyone with the details regarding ‘the Prep.’
(That’s like talking about your divorce – and no one wants to hear that story, either.) Promote watching comedies, lifesavers and scented candles – plus comfy pull on clothes and slip on shoes. Everyone should know what to wear to a colonoscopy.