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I have an UPDATE OF THIS ARTICLE with an slightly improved procedure.
[Update May 22, 2012 on "Colyte-free Colonoscopy"]
Tomorrow morning is the day of the dreaded colonoscopy, and so today is the day of the even more dreaded flushing out procedure based on drinking foul tasting purgative. Once before, some ten years ago this happened, without pain or other particularly unpleasant incident, but all the same this is now and now is always different and now it might hurt.
I am writing this blog as it happens, so to speak, partly because all of the other posts I’ve seen seem to be after the fact, and they all admit that they don’t remember the event very well. I don’t remember much about my last procedure except for the nasty drinks the day before to flush out of the guts from one end to the other. Everyone seems to remember that as being the worst part of the colonoscopy procedure. Right at the moment I have drunk about half of the gallon of Colyte in one cup increments. It’s not really awful, but it is coupled with the experience of not eating any solid food. The only thing I have had today has been green Lime Jello (not too bad) and apple cider (quite tasty) and Colyte (rather salty and slightly unpleasant).
The first cup of Colyte wasn’t too bad, but looking at the size of the bottle, and thinking that all of that had to be drunk was intimidating. So, being an inveterate dabbler and experimenter and toyer with my food, I have been trying various ways of making the drinking of Colyte into a pleasant experience. So far, here is the routine of my ongoing experimental experience midway through.
1. Have a cup of some acceptable beverage poured and at the ready.
2. Pour out in a second cup the appropriate quantity of Colyte.
3. Take a couple deep breaths, and drink all of the Colyte straight down without breathing, and without breathing drink more of the spicy beverage. Take a quick breath and drink a little more.
When I do this just right I can’t taste or even smell the Colyte at all and it isn’t even slightly unpleasant. As I write this is seems that to take a few sips of beverage right before the Colyte might work even better. I will try that right now. …
I brewed up 12 ounces of Trader Joe’s – orange spice Rooibos herbal tea. While that was cooling down I poured seven ounces of Colyte into a separate cup. Then I took a couple of sips of tea and quickly took two deep breaths, exhaled, and drank all of the Colyte straight down, and without breathing drank a couple more of sips of tea and inhaled a couple of sniffs while my nose was still in the tea cup. This whole thing took sixteen seconds, and if I had been in a pleasant conversation at my local coffee shop it would have been a totally unmemorable experience. The spicy tea was good on both ends and the Colyte in the middle was simply neutral.
The after effects of drinking Colyte should be mentioned because they are explosive and quite entertaining. Before drinking this stuff you should make sure you have an immediate access to a toilet. The onset can be sudden, and very demanding of immediate attention. Don’t even consider going out into a public place for a couple of hours or you may be providing disgusting entertainment to some folks you don’t even know.
Based on those former experiences, here is a slightly improvedΒ procedure.
1. Have a cup of some medically acceptable colorless beverage poured and at the ready. Chose something that you already like and which has a strong favor and nose (a strong smell) like a cinnamon spiced tea. But, not too hot. [Update - Febuary 3, 2014 - You might develop a dislike for a beverage you drink, mentally associated too strongly with the Colyte, so choose a beverage you rarely drink like an unusual spiced tea.]
2. Pour out, in a second cup, the appropriate quantity of your medicine, mine was Colyte. Generally they suggest cooling it to 43 degrees to kill the taste, but that was too cold for me maybe more like room temperature 68 degrees would be better – to avoid the milkshake-drunk-too-fast cold-headache.
3. Take a couple of deep breaths, exhale. Drink a swallow of your spiced beverage and sniff it. Take a couple quick breaths, and then drink all of the Colyte straight down without breathing, and still without breathing drink a little more of your chosen beverage. Take another quick sniff and drink a yet little more. And, if you still have some breath, daub off any of the foul smelling liquid that might still be clinging to your lips with a napkin. If well coordinated this all takes about sixteen seconds. …
Tomorrow, I get up early and go in for my colonoscopy.
[Update December 3, 2013 Drinking or eating things and then having a bad experience sometimes gets associated in ones subconscious mind. Who knows why? I don't. But, to prevent your favorite drink getting into an unpleasant Pavlovian stimulus response trap, it is probably better to drink something that you don't drink very often. I don't drink a carbonated cola more than once a year, and if I got some weird wretches while drinking the purging drugs followed by a cola it wouldn't affect my life. This might be a way to avoid the gagging that some people report associated with drinking the purging fluids.]