So, we all seem to have things that scare us. Some of us have a pretty good grip on it and some of us live with actual phobias.
One of my things is not letting things control me. I mean things like being tied down or held or put in small areas. I can't deal with it. This fear started particularly when I got sick with my heart condition that went undiagnosed for 20 years. My brain broke and it needed answers that seemed to be unavailable as to why I felt so terrible all the time so IT began making up answers to try to solve the problem. I am a problem solver! I need answers. From the time I was very small I would always ask "Why?" It is important to me to understand things.
So this colonoscopy thing had a lot of fearful things involved. I am not sure that even my MATCH was positive I would actually make it through this... but then, he also knows that I will not be controlled by ANYTHING. So, even the fear pushes me past the fear itself because I can't allow myself to be controlled by the fear.
Lets break this down:
I have a fear of taking pills or anything I have never taken before especially if I think it might affect my body in some way. If it might make me "feel" anything other than what I normally feel like I just can't get past it.
In order to do your colonoscopy you have to take 2 Dolcolax pills and you have to drink 2 packages of powder mixed with water. I have never taken either of these before so these were the first hurtles to get through.
I knew for 2 months that I had to prep for this procedure. I read the directions probably 20, maybe 30 times prior to my appointment. Each time I did, I read them out loud, with the words coming out of my mouth, at the end of reading the directions, "You can do this!"
The day came when I had to take the first 2 pills. Big deep breathing. BOX breathing it is called and it is a tool I use often. 4 counts in, 4 counts hold, 4 counts out, 4 counts hold. BOX BREATHING! I did that for about 5 minutes... in front of the mirror. I kept the words in my mind that this was what I needed to do so that I didn't have to do what my Mother-in-law went through. I ended with "You can do this".
It's first thing in the morning so I am at my best then. Nearer to the end of the day things get a bit weird in my brain and it is more difficult to control the fear and phobia issues. I walked over to the Dolcolax box and kept up my deep breathing. I took out the two pills and placed them on my tongue. I had my glass of water waiting for me on the table. I took both pills at once so that there was no turning back. If I could get this part done I would feel like there was no turning back because what a waste of stress if I didn't go through with it, so really, this was the hardest part. I took the water and swallowed.
Then it hits you ... the foreign object has entered your body. It usually takes at least half an hour before you know if you are going to have some sort of reaction to something. The LONGEST half hour of your life... I looked at that clock to see what time it was and calculated when I would be at the reaction time. I seem to have a reaction to almost everything I take. This is most likely because I have never had anything done and I have never really been sick so my body does not know how to deal with things. It just kind of freaks out!
I'll skip all the yucky details but I will say this... the drink was not bad at all. They have changed it to a new drink called Purg-Odan and it tastes like orange Tang. It is only 5 oz of drink and it was actually sour and kind of yummy in a way. It went down easy.
I had cramps with the pills but no cramps with the drinks. It took 1.5 hours longer than it should have for my drink to take effect which meant that there was very little sleeping for me the night prior to my procedure.
You take the 2 pills on day three of the prep and the drinks on day five (day before the procedure).
I had gained a lot of weight due to the stress of the past 6 years of my MIL's illness. I became very addicted to eating late at night and eating chocolates and sweets every single day, mostly in the late evenings. When I found out I had to only have liquids for the whole day prior to my procedure I decided that I was going to set a goal to lose 20 lbs by my procedure date. I almost made it. I lost 19 lbs by my procedure date. In doing this, I had completely changed my diet and was no longer eating at night. I have not had a piece of chocolate since the beginning of September. I am completely off of sugar. I no longer am controlled by it... an am not missing it in any way whatsoever. I can enjoy it in small amounts without having it take over my life.
By the time I had to do the prep I was off eating at night, off sugar and did not even hardly notice that I had to only have clear liquids on the day off. My MATCH decided to support me on this day and only had liquids too. He's the best guy ever! About three weeks prior to the prep date I cut out all chicken and red meat (I don't eat red meat but if you plan to prep... this is my advise for a smooth prep week). I only ate fish and veggies with fruit. I eliminated all dairy and I only had nut milks.
One week prior to the prep I ate only cooked mushy veggies and fish with white rice or potatoes but no processed carbs like breads. I did have soda crackers because my system seems to do well with those. You should not have high fiber foods so stick to WHITE not whole wheat. I also cut out all items with seeds this week even though you don't have to cut them out until day one of your prep.
Because I had done all of this elimination prior to my test prep, it went very smoothly. It was really very easy. I learned this from my MIL and my MATCH as my MIL had to do this several times and my MATCH has to do it regularly now too and he told me what to do to make it go better. I highly recommend following this plan if you are going for your testing! It will go so easy for you if you do. PLEASE GET TESTED! By the time you feel any pain or symptoms... it is usually very far along and it will be a much more difficult road! PLEASE GET TESTED! If I can do this... trust me... you've got this!
I get to the hospital and have to find my own way to the correct location because no one can come in with you. BOX BREATHING!
I had to take an elevator BOX BREATHING.
I got lost BOX BREATHING.
I had to talk to a stranger and pass odd men in dark hallways BOX BREATHING.
I made it to the right location. I got taken into a room filled with beds with people either like me; waiting to go in, or people who were still passed out or waiting to be taken back to the front door of the hospital plus a ton of nurses.
I get taken to my cubicle... #8
The sign of infinity. Good sign I thought. The never ending sign. The flow of constant life and good luck. It is the symbol of the Magician in the Tarot and he's got all he needs to get him through anything that might come about. He has all the tools and knowledge he requires. I was feeling this was a good start!
I got undressed except for my socks which was good because I had barely any sleep and am 20lbs lighter, had no food in my tummy and was feeling a bit cold. The nurse also asked if I wanted a warm blanket and I said yes to that!