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Make Mine Kool-Aid August 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3After a partial hysterectomy, my doctors recommended a colonoscopy.

I agreed and did all the nasty messy prep work.


Drinking the Drano (a/k/a Colon-Aid) made me throw up.  Several times.  It got me coming . . . and going.

In the morning, they put me under.  Part way.  Despite the anesthesia, I moaned and writhed in pain.


All for naught!

They couldn’t finish because their periscope wouldn’t go past the sigmoid.

Sad-TigerWhen the anesthesia wore off, I had a headache the size of Montana. I could barely breathe.

But they weren’t done with me.

They sent me for a barium enema (which stopped up everything I had just cleaned out).


It wasn’t fun. I will NEVER do it again.

And . . . I’m not alone:

Only one in six Americans over age 50 get the American Cancer Society’s recommended screening for colon cancer: a colonoscopy every 10 years, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, or barium enema imaging every five years.

Surveys suggest that patients find the preparation – required for both colonoscopy and traditional virtual colonoscopy – to be the worst part of screening.

“A number of folks, who currently aren’t being screened because they fear the prep or aren’t willing to go through it again, may be willing to have screening if they’re told they don’t need to take laxatives and can still get a potent test,’’ said Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colon cancer for the American Cancer Society.

Good news!

There’s a new technique on the medical horizon which does not involve the dreaded laxative preparation to clear the colon:

The new technique works by using a contrast agent – a tiny amount of dye is ingested two days before the test – to highlight fecal matter in the colon, which can then be digitally erased from the scan using a software program, making it easier to see polyps.

In the study of 605 patients, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the virtual colonoscopy was able to identify more than 90 percent of suspicious polyps that were 10 millimeters or larger, compared with 95 percent identified when the same patients later had a standard colonoscopy.

To read more:  New Kind of Virtual Colonoscopy (Boston Globe)

Tigger-BouncingIf larger studies confirm the findings, the technique could serve as a first-line screening tool for colon cancer for people who avoid screening.

Like me!

And now for a laugh out loud moment . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Cologuard ~ At Home Non-Invasive Screening



1. Jill Weatherholt - August 17, 2015

I’ve been having colonoscopies for the past thirty years, Nancy. I’m all for a little advancement with the technique. I think your experience was out of the ordinary. For me, the worst part is always the preparation. The test saved my life, so I can’t knock it. Funny video! 🙂

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Yay! Colonoscopies do save lives. Glad YOU are still here.

I’m sure my experience was not the norm. But as a vegetarian, I’m at a lower risk of colon cancer . . . so I’ll take my chances until they perfect an alternative.

2. Ruth - August 17, 2015

Sounds like a good alternative.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

At least for “low risk” patients.

3. Val Boyko - August 17, 2015

Uggh – what a daunting and painful experience Nancy. Gut wrenching 😉
They brought out a “one dose and you’re done” prep a couple of years ago, but the FDA withdrew it … Its good to hear there may be an even better alternative.
However, if you have a tendency towards seafood allergies, you may also be allergic to the contrast agent – which is iodine based.
For me, I have difficult with anesthesia and aspirated during my first colonoscopy. I came around with stomach acid in my sinuses, as they had to invert me to empty the lungs. Not pleasant!
Since they didn’t find anything and I don’t have a family history, I’ll be keeping my colon to myself for a while!

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

ACK! Your experience sounds horrid, Val. I feel the same ~> they didn’t find anything and I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years . . . so I’m not planning a re-take of the test.

4. Pix Under the Oaks - August 17, 2015

That technique would work for me. I didn’t have a good experience in 2007 and am debating about doing it again in 2017. I will save you the issues I had only to say that I required surgery after the prep… 😀 Sorry you had a more than rough time, Nancy!

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

A test that is 90% accurate without all the nasty prep (and possible surgery to repair perforations) gets my vote!

How Katie Couric managed to do it on national TV is beyond me.

5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - August 17, 2015

First I’m so sorry that you had such an experience; however I can’t even begin about the video – that was pure greatness!!

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Thanks, Kate. That video is a HOOT and a HALF. Funny guys.

6. suzicate - August 17, 2015

Sorry you had such a rough time. The prep was the worst part for me even though they couldn’t sedate me due to my blood pressure being too low; but then again they used a pediatric scope on me. He told me if he didn’t do my next one to make sure I tell them to use a pediatric scope…don’t know if that’s what made the difference or not.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Maybe that was the problem with me . . . they used a super-sized sub to explore the subway, instead of a petite periscope. :mrgreen:

suzicate - August 18, 2015

This comment made me chuckle!

nrhatch - August 18, 2015

This post garnered a more light-hearted comment thread than I anticipated. :mrgreen:

7. NancyTex - August 17, 2015

I’ve been part of the colonoscopy club for 5 years. I started young because of symptoms that made my G.I. specialist concerned enough to take a look. Good thing he did, because there were several polyps present, one of which was >10 mm. After that it was yearly, and now every 5 years. The prep sucks, but if it saves lives, I’m all for it. I’m just happy that I’ve always been fully knocked out for the procedure.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Glad they caught it in time, NT.

I like the idea of the virtual colonoscopy ~> it will save lives with less fuss and bother:

“the virtual colonoscopy was able to identify more than 90 percent of suspicious polyps that were 10 millimeters or larger, compared with 95 percent identified when the same patients later had a standard colonoscopy.”

8. Kate Crimmins - August 17, 2015

So far I’ve had 5 of them, mostly for my IBS issues but they never found anything. The first few (maybe because I was younger) were no big deal but the last one (5 years ago) was awful. For the very first one, they couldn’t get the scope through and did the barium enema too. The prep always makes me sick. For the last one the nurse got the timing screwed up and just by chance I left work early because I wasn’t feeling good. I barely made it home before the first totally uncontrollable explosion. The procedure left me sore and bloated for a week and I swear I had continuing issues for at least a year. They have never found anything and I’m not having another until they come up with something better or there is a very good reason. Your post gives me hope. That video however, gave me a good belly laugh! I’ve always wondered what makes a doctor chose that field.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Your experience sounds even worse than mine. Within a day or two, I felt myself again . . . but it was still HORRID and I’m not doing it again unless I am having problems.

The video made me laugh out loud. I’ve always wondered if doctors drew “straws” to determine their area of specialization.

“Eww . . . you got the SHORT straw. Your specialty will be proctology.”

Kate Crimmins - August 17, 2015

I bet they have the best jokes at cocktail parties!

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

I got a kick out of the Seinfeld episodes featuring the doctor with vanity plates . . . ASS MAN!

9. JOriginal Muse - August 17, 2015

Me thinks… Another classic example of generically prescribed procedures… I’ll PASS (in every sense of the word)..ha ha ;-D

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Hahaha! I am laughing my ASS off!

10. ericjbaker - August 17, 2015

The “recommended age” for this procedure is creeping up on me. Based on my track record of waiting until I am almost dead before seeking medical treatment for something, I anticipate a lot of procrastination and rationalizing in my future.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

The Ass Man Cometh! 😛

ericjbaker - August 17, 2015


ericjbaker - August 17, 2015

That’s supposed to be a scared face. C’est la vie.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Like this . . . 😯 . . .?

11. granny1947 - August 17, 2015

Wow NR…nasty time for you.
I have avoided going for one.
When everything is working I don’t mess with it.
I watched the video and then got onto Billy Connely and his prostate examination…laugh out loud stuff!

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Billy Connely could make me laugh by reading the phone book!

12. livelytwist - August 17, 2015

Lol @ working where the sun don’t shine 🙂

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

“Back to the mines!”

13. anotherday2paradise - August 17, 2015

Aaargh!! Now you have totally creeped me out, Nancy, but thanks for the warning. I’ll pass. 😯 Hilarious song. I wonder what attracts people to this profession. 😕

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

I have no idea . . .
Unless, maybe, they lost a loved one to colo-rectal cancer.

Sorry to creep you out. My next post with be all sunshine and light . . . #sunshineandlight. 😎

anotherday2paradise - August 17, 2015

Mine too. 🙂

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

I just double-checked . . . it won’t be too creepy. 🙄

14. Carol Ferenc - August 17, 2015

Your experience sounds horrid, Nancy. I had my first colonoscopy ten years ago and the prep was awful. Earlier this year had the second one and prep was MUCH easier. Sorry you had such a bad time.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

I’m glad it was easier for you 2nd time around, Carol.

Judging from the comments here, having a colonoscopy is a bit of a “crap shoot.” 😎

15. brickhousechick - August 17, 2015

Oh no! Poor you! Sorry you had to go through all that trauma for naught, that is very stinky! It’s about time they come up with a better way to check just like they need to come up with a better way to check for breast cancer that does not involve a panini press!

My father died young of colon cancer so it is actually no laughing matter for me. I have gone through this process several times now and they have removed pre-cancerous polyps. My last check-up was good so I can wait 3 years now to do the next. xo

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

Colonoscopies save lives ~> here’s to discovering a better polyp trap and “panini press.”

Glad things are looking up . . . down there.

16. Tiny - August 17, 2015

Oh no… too creepy for me. I’ll wait for the new polyp trap unless I have problems.

nrhatch - August 17, 2015

You’re in good company, Tiny. Cheers!

17. Debra - August 19, 2015

It seems like in the last few months I’ve heard of many different screenings and tests that are being piloted as less invasive, lower in risk, all translating to finding problems earlier and when they are smaller. I have yet to have a colonoscopy, although I am going to insist soon. My doctor feels that I am at such a low risk that at least up until now he discouraged it! Although I accepted his view, I was certainly surprised by it. At this point, though, I do think it’s time. I’m not looking forward to it. I am really sorry for your experience. That sounds utterly dreadful! Emphasis on “dread.”

nrhatch - August 19, 2015

I think I like your doctor ~ someone who looks at patients as individuals, not cogs in the health industry wheel.

If you get it done, hope it’s smooth sailing for ya!

18. diannegray - August 20, 2015

It’s always good news when uncomfortable procedures are brought up into the 21st century. Mine turn soon for one of these 😦

nrhatch - August 20, 2015

I’ll echo what I said to Debra, “hope it’s smooth sailing for ya!”

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