At 10 am last Tuesday following orders, I carried out the instructions to the letter, well as best I could, given the circumstances, that is the absence of a stomach. I started the fast!
Come 3 pm I forced myself to take the next step. I prepared and drank the dose of PicoPrep, the vilest stuff imaginable; after which I managed to squeeze in the cavity which substitutes for a stomach, about 200 ml of water and over the next 3 or 4 hours managed another litre, which I thought was pretty good. A bit over 50% of what is advised.
This stuff was supposed to start it’s work withing 2 to 3 hours, at 9 pm I was supposed to take the second dose and keep pouring water down my gullet. I have trouble drinking water at any time; It’s always been my belief that water was for making ice to go into my whiskey and to waste copious quantities in the shower of a morning. not to swallow as is!
By 8pm the first dose at not started to work, I rang the TPU and advised them of the situation and asked whether to delay the second dose until the first had done it’s duty. I was told no take the second dose at scheduled time, not to worry the first dose will start soon.
They put the moz on me, soon as I hung up it started. I’ll spare you the details, At nine I took the second dose and by this time was having difficulties at both ends. Having a lot trouble drinking fluids, I was drinking Powerade and Gatorade which was approved but I was forcing it down.
Needless to say, I had little if any sleep, or rest, during the night and needed to be up before 6 am to get ready and get to the RPA by 7. The War Office dropped me off at ten minutes to, so I was in plenty of time.
I gave my name rank and serial number was told to take a seat, I was told that I was number 2 on Dr. Sandroussi’e list and I would be dealt with at 10, 3 hours to wait and I hadn’t brought a book.
Shortly after 8, I went through the first steps in preparation, and at 9 I was taken off told to strip everything off, put on the robe, hat and ‘shoes’, one size fits all, and place all my belongings in the bag provided place them in a locker and wait.
Couple of minutes later “hop on”, a cheerful voice telling me to get up on the gurney and I was wheeled around to Theatre 6’s pre-op room where a young bloke said he was going to assist the anesthetist who’d be along shortly. He also told me that Doc S, would be running the show but one of his team would be doing the actual work. I told him it really doesn’t matter who does it as I’d hopefully be sound asleep.
At 9.15 I was ready to go; trouble was that in the theatre proper some other poor person was having a total gastrectomy, and it was taking somewhat longer, in fact much longer than normal.
It was after 11 when when God himself came into the pre-op room for a chat, I was shocked.He hadn’t shaved, naturally I told him that I’d made the effort so why hadn’t he; “I never do on operating days, I hate shaving and the patients can’t see me ” Couldn’t argue with that logic!
He then told me of a new whiskey that he’d tried. Made in Tasmania the best whiskey he’s had, He told me that he has 68, I think it is, bottles of single malt Scotch at home which he hasn’t opened as he prefers Bourbon, but now he prefers this Tassie drop! After which he toddled off, to make sure that the theatre would be in working order, for my little bit. And in I went!
I’ve no idea how long it took, not long believe, but when I came to in the recovery room, the news was not good. The PicoPrep had not done its duty and they were unable to see the inside of my pipes.
But really what did they expect? I’d told them over, and over, that I could not drink the amounts of fluids required to flush the stuff out! I’m wonderingm how many instances they’ve had of an old codger without a stomach doing for the colonoscopy? Not too many I’ll wager after what I went through.
They weren’t finished with me though, I was instructed to be back at 7.45 am tomorrow, that was Thursday , and report to the Radiology department for further tests. I was not to eat, I was to continue the fast, and have nothing to drink after 10 pm that night/. Too I was given three sachets each containing some sort of dye(iodine by the taste) I was to take 2 at 6.30 pm and the 3rd at 9pm.
Right on the dot of 7.45 am a nurse called me and asked me to go with her, she asked if I knew what I was there for, and I told her I had no idea, I was just obeying orders, she then explained what was going to happen. Had I have known, I’d have had a nice dinner, a couple of whiskeys, and gone to bed content, the night before.
She explained that as the colonoscopy was not satisfactory, what they were now going to do would, hopefully, answer the question. “And what do you plan to do” says me, as cheerfully as can be expected, after having no food for two days, and no fluids of any kind, past my lips, in many hours.
“We are going to insert a tube into your bottom (she was being delicate) through which we will pump gas, so that it fills up all your bowels and we can take pictures” “It will be a bit uncomfortable but it doesn’t take long”; which was nice to know.
Again I stripped naked and donned the appropriate garments, I was then stuck with needles whilst a young lady tried to find a vein suitable for something or other, she couldn’t find one, which didn’t surprise me so she went and got a doctor who cold and did, and I was set ready to go.
Let me assure you, this was not the most pleasant experience I have had, luckily it was over in less than half an hour. and I got dressed and ready to leave
After I had a cup of tea, it was nectar of the Gods, I thanked the staff apologized for being grumpy, walked across to the cab rank and took a taxi home, I arrived home at 9.30 exactly.
There has been one problem, I have been in quite some pain in the abdomen. since this procedure. If they were to ask me, on a scale of 1 to 10, how I’d rate it, I’d have to give them a 7.359.
If it has not improved by tomorrow (Saturday) morning I shall have to cart myself back to the RPA, to get relief. My thresh hold when it comes to pain is generally pretty high/good, but I must admit I’m feeling somewhat distressed.