Many years back, perhaps when I was religiously reading Reader’s Digest during my commuting days to college, I came across an article about colonoscopy. About how a man vividly describes the explosive bowel prep he went through before a colonoscopy that he remembered almost nothing about.
Not very sure why that article left such a lasting impression on me but it definitely came in handy when I went for an unexpected colonoscopy almost eleven months ago.
I remember feeling so bloated and nauseated the night before when I gulped down 2 liters of fortrans in 2 hours. I then had to drink another 1-2 liters the next day at the hospital. And when the doctor started the colonoscopy, I screamed in pain due to abdomen cramps. I dozed in and out of fantasy dreams before sedation wore off after the procedure.
The night before my colectomy surgery, I had to go through bowel prep again. This time, I was in the ward with my family. My tummy was so bloated from the 2 liters of fortrans that I thought I looked pregnant. I had to loosen my pants and walk around non stop to ease the discomfort.
After many months of cancer treatment (surgery and chemotherapy), I was due for colonoscopy again to check my large intestine thoroughly for the first time. I thought the nurses were fooling me when they told me to fast the morning of my scheduled colonoscopy, without the bowel prep the night before. I really wondered if I could start bowel prep the morning of my procedure.
The nurses were right of course.
I arrived at about 9am to see the gastrointestinal (GI) specialist. He assessed my condition to see if I’m fit for colonoscopy. And off he sent me to the endoscopy ward for my bowel prep and procedure.
I overheard someone saying walking will help clear bowel faster so I hit my daily steps quota before noon itself and continued walking until I was just too tired. The walking probably helped me cope with the 3 liters of water I gulped down in 2 hours.
But urgh. I think I generally take longer than an average person to clear my bowel. I was already hurting at the back when the nurse told me she’d let me pass regardless — even though she wasn’t very satisfied. 😔
You bet I would want to eat liquid food the day before my procedure next time…instead of some yummylicious chicken and naan.
I walked into the procedure room, climbed on the bed, told the doctor of course I needed anesthetic when he asked me if I wanted it, was super alert when he inserted the IV line, was aware that I was dozing off when he injected something into me and stayed awake to watch the entire procedure on the monitor with him! Omo! What happened?!
The last time when I did it, I felt the sharp pain at my tummy when he started the procedure before I dozed off within seconds. But this round, I was telling him, “Wait wait! Let me sleep first before you start!” He didn’t listen to me.
But surprisingly, no pain felt! Just slight discomfort because someone was poking my butt but otherwise, wow. I was very surprised.
I even had a conversation with him after the procedure when he told me everything was good. He didn’t find anything.
I also asked him the pressing question I had since Jan 2016: Why did you do colonoscopy on first consultation for a young girl like me? He simply answered, “you felt a lump under your abdomen.” His quick diagnosis saved my life. Thank you, Dr Wong Chee Sing from Sime Darby Medical Center Subang Jaya!
Not sure if I was tired or the anesthetic finally took effect, I fell asleep when they pushed me to the ward. No fantasy dreams this round; I was looking forward to that actually. I just felt half asleep, half listening to the chatters in the ward.
Guess what I said to the nurse when I opened my eyes after my sleep? “I’m hungry…” Hahaha! Have been starving since 9pm the night before. It was already past 5pm when I woke up.
I was dizzy though so I was asked to rest more…until the ward was closing close to 7pm and I was chased home despite my dizziness. I continued sleeping when I reached home.
Such a different colonoscopy experience this round. Next colonoscopy will probably be 6 months later, in May 2017.
Next up will be follow up consultation with my oncologist to see if everything is well and if there’s other scans that he wants me to undergo. *fingers crossed*
P/s I can’t believe Google. I found the article I read on Reader’s Digest! Read his super entertaining write-up about colonoscopy here.