So How Did It Go?

Since I blogged on the colonoscopy run-up, I supposed I am obligated to close the loop.  As Dave Barry warns, the prep is the bad part.  A day of eating lime jello combined with five or six hours of massive diarrhea.  Uncomfortable, mildly embarrassing, but quite manageable. The good part is that you know it is coming, you can prepare for it, and you know it is going to be over by the end of the day.

The procedure was a breeze.  The drugs are like a time machine.  One minute you are laying down, with the IV inserted and the next minute you are teleported 45 minutes into the future and in recovery with the whole thing done, feeling mellow.  No pain, before or afterwards.

Only two after-effects.  One, they apparently inflate your colon with air, like a bicycle tire tube, so they can see better.  Once I woke up, I passed gas in epic style, reminiscent of Peter Griffin in a Family Guy episode.  Second, I was freaking ravenous, since I hadn't eaten anything solid for 36 hours and anything at all for 12 hours.  That was solved by picking up the largest steak I could find at Whole Foods on the way home.

All is well medically, by the way.


  1. Mark2:

    I had a coworker go through this procedure a few years back and his bowls popped from the pressure of the inflation, he ended up on disability for 3 months from peritonitis, and when he came back, had to wear unusual clothing to take care of matters which came as they pleased - so to speak.

    Turns out his family has a history of diverticulitis of which he had the early stages and the disease which causes weakened pouches in the bowls.

    Needless to say, he doesn't recommend the procedure.

  2. Noumenon:

    You weren't awake for it, but I've had my stomach inflated with air and it's really weird how you can balloon up without being able to feel anything. You've got no sensors for that kind of thing because it doesn't normally happen.

  3. George:

    Ah, the Barry colonscopy story! Truly classic, and also true-to-life. But the IV to la-la land was not always prescribed, at least not in my old New York hospital. There I was always fully conscious and alert, and able to watch the TV screen. What fun, looking up your own rear end. Nowadays, where I live in Florida, you get the knock-out drops.
    And at the good New Yorkhospital (there were two in my town) they included a nice lunch after to help you recover.
    But I am so old I remember this exam before the invention of fiber optic colonoscopes. Talk about an intrusive procedure.

  4. Don:

    I should have shared this one earlier. It would have prepared you for that last part.

  5. Dan:

    I had the procedure done a couple years ago. It's certainly not the worst procedure to be subjected to...
    and I KNOW....been in healthcare for 35 years.
    For me the aftermath is a bit fuzzy but I apparently had a good time. I woke up in the recovery area to
    see the lovely missus sitting close by. Since I am an amorous drunk the Versed they usually use (Versed is not a pain med or's a drug that specifically blocks the chemical formation of memories so even if the procedure hurt like hell you don't remember it so "hey, it was great") acted in
    much the same way. I kept reaching through the rails trying to grope her and making suggestive remarks. Needless to say she was quite embarrassed...and since she's been in healthcare for 35 years
    also that was quite an accomplishement.
    After coming a bit further out of the fog I was allowed to get entirely new adventure
    compared to normal. When we left it was but a short drive to the Harbor Freight tool store in town and
    I said "lets run in and pick up a few things", which we did. I really only have vague memories of the
    epic journey through the store but the missus tells me that I was pushing the shopping cart.....and not
    too proficiently at that and kept running in to things. I also had this apparently overwhelming need to every 30 seconds or so I'd pause, lift a leg and rip one off. Again....she was mortified.
    I believe when my next colonoscopy is due I'm going to have to find a different place to go to as
    I don't think I'm allowed back to the where I had gone. They tell me I recieved 4 times the normal
    dose of Versed and double the dose of Fentanyl and still mangaged to grab the tit on one of the nurses. Me.....I plead not guilty by reason of chemical insanity....:)
    And to this day my wife will not accompany me back to the Harbor Freight store...

  6. JW:

    Thanks for this write-up Warren. I'm due for mine this year as well and have been dreading it, mostly for the not eating part. Well, and the indignity of the procedure. I'm going to enjoy the massive fart as much as humanly possible.

  7. Me, Not You:

    After I had mine a few years ago, I went to Waffle House. I ate my breakfast AND put away most of my wife meal. I WAS HONGRY!

  8. jhertzli:

    I'm starting to get a bit suspicious of amnesia drugs. What are they trying to hide?

  9. FormerCreative:

    As far as my wife is concerned, she went to sleep at the clinic, and woke up eating a Sausage McMuffin at McDonalds. Oddly enough, she ordered and paid for that sandwich herself!

  10. DHL:

    Wait until you get the bill. Then the joys of procedure-based medicine (at least for the physicians) will be more evident.