The Sickness of Anticipation

This morning, I woke up knowing that today would be the first of two days of prep for my colonoscopy on Wednesday. For two days, I will be drinking. A lot. And not the kind of drinking that I want to be doing.

The only food-like substance that will pass these lips is jello. Also in my armory are chicken broth, apple and orange juices, water, coffee, tea, sugar, honey, Gatorade, and Life Savers. Not that I plan on eating the sugar. I think I’ve gotten that covered elsewhere.

I put in call to clarify today’s instructions and make sure I hadn’t screwed things up by taking Pepto last night or Vitamin E on Friday. Once I got the go ahead, I went shopping with my honey to pick up the magnesium citrate, Miralax, and Ducolax that I will need. Oh and a package of baby wipes and A&D ointment. This is gonna be some party.

We got home from shopping with the foodstuffs and colonoscopy prep materials, and I feel like I’ve been gathering the supplies together to make a home-made bomb that I will soon be strapping on for the least fun ride I could possibly hope to be on.

For lunch, I decide to have broth and try out the “island pineapple” jello. I haven’t made jello since I was a child. After I learned about vegetarianism, the thought of gelatin freaked me out. Not even Bill Cosby could tempt me to eat that stuff again. Back then, Bill was Mr. Cliff Huxtable, the father of your friend whom you could trust.

When I opened the package, the sugary pineapple smell surprised me with its intensity. In short order, I had a cup of boiling water stirred in with the gelatin after which I added a cup of cold water and stuck it in the fridge. Mmmm…. jello dinner.

At around 3:15pm, I took the magnesium citrate prep that I had chilled and poured it into a tom collins glass. Over 30 minutes, I drank the so-tart-my-eyes-are-tearing grape liquid. Artificial, overly sweet grapiness at its best. Or worst. Either way. The grape is so intense I feel like it’s left it’s DNA print on my tongue.

This I followed with 2 glasses of water, a glass of iced coffee, and 2 glasses of apple juice. Grape taste DNA refuses to be evicted. Afterwards, I feel bloated like a dead whale’s body decaying on the beach. Now, about four hours later, I am waiting for the magnesium citrate prep to take effect. I fear that I will not be going to sleep for a while once things “kick in.”

The effectiveness of the magnesium citrate prep feels like an IED that I’ve detonated, but one that is taking a really long time to go off. The bloating wears off and a rumbling works its way through my colon. I estimate that the prep has made its way into my descending colon. If I’m right, I’ll be forced to spend time in the bathroom right about when I would normally fall asleep and for at least a couple of hours.

But who knows? My body is notoriously slow at moving things through. My husband Mark and I could eat the same spicy meal, and, whereas he’s on the toilet within 4-6 hours expelling the spice, I don’t have to visit the toilet gods until the next day.

Maybe the toilet gods will take pity on me, let me get to sleep tonight, and then sleep through the night. Maybe my alarm clock will be my body propelling out of bed, mostly asleep, and into the bathroom as a rousing antidote to my phone alarm clock.

Those options both sound so exciting that I simply do not know which one I’d rather choose! (And if you don’t read that dripping heavily with sarcasm, there is no hope for you).