How to Lose 10 lbs. in 2 Days – Have a Colonoscopy!

ColonoscopyOn September 13th of last year as I was dropping off my son at school, a friend of mine wished me a happy birthday. At midnight, I had posted a blog entitled I’m a Half Century Old Today! and she shared that she also had just passed the 50-year old mark.

“Did you schedule your colonoscopy?” she asked.

“Huh?” I obviously hadn’t learned much in the way of verbal skills in my first 50 years.

Apparently when you turn 50, it’s time to schedule your first colonoscopy, a procedure in which a fiber optic camera slides up your anus and explores your bowels for possibly cancerous polyps.

It sounds a little gross, but gross doesn’t usually bother me. After all, I have posted blogs about sewage rising up in my daughter’s shower, about how our dogs ate a box of Special K bars and sprayed a pool of diarrhea all over our bedroom rug, how I hate it when automated toilets flush and aerate my deposits all over my behind before I have a chance to stand up, and spending my morning bicep work out plunging my feces-filled toilet.

I have a 6-year old son, so every other word is “poop,” and “butt.” In fact, his teacher took me aside just this morning to tell me that Jake was demonstrating spelling words to his classmates by arranging magnetic letters, prompting the other 1st graders to sound out his word: “butt.”

There’s a good friend of mine who doesn’t read my blog, so I feel pretty safe to anonymously out him about his reaction to finding out he needed to schedule a colonoscopy. Apparently he is quite homophobic and was terrified of the thought of anyone probing his butt hole. I admit to frequently being naïve, but I have to say, this thought had never occurred to me. I wanted to tell him to man up, but perhaps I should come up with another choice of words.

So being the responsible middle aged woman that I now am, I had a gastrointestinal consultation and scheduled my first colonoscopy the week after I started hiatus from work. It took place yesterday. And yes, I was able to walk away from the procedure without looking like my butt cheeks were squeezing a quarter.

The prep began 5 days earlier when I was instructed to stop my daily low-dose aspirin which I take to prevent a heart attack. When in the world did I get so old that one health precaution cancels out another one? Soon I’ll be too senile to remember to take the aspirin, which will be a blessing since I’d rather die of a heart attack in my sleep than spend my last ten years repeatedly asking my caregiver if she gave me my baby aspirin.

Sunday was Mother’s Day and my last day in which I was allowed to eat food. You can bet I made a complete pig of myself. My Mother’s Day request was for my husband Tom to make his delicious jambalaya, so I devoured a huge bowl plus not one, but two pieces of garlic bread. For dessert I had an overflowing bowl of strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream. I was completely stuffed in the way I only feel after Thanksgiving. And like I do every Turkey Day evening, I vowed that I would never eat again.

IMG_3749 After ingesting these huge servings and guzzling about a gallon of water, I stepped on the bathroom scale and nearly fainted: 140 lbs! Other than the times I was pregnant with my children, I have never in my life weighed so much! I knew my pants were getting tighter, and this week when the mercury was record breaking, I found that I couldn’t zip up last summer’s shorts. Geez Louise! For a gal who’s just 5 foot 3 inches and seemingly fit, this was a huge eye-opener that I really need to lose a few pounds.

The next day I was put on a clear liquid diet, which was described as any liquid you could see a light bulb through: chicken broth, jello, popsicles, most juices without pulp, or nearly any liquid that wasn’t purple, blue or red. I was still full from the night before so I had a low-carb Monster drink with diet ginger ale and an orange Zip Fizz. Coffee surprisingly was on the acceptable list, but my flavored creamer wasn’t, so I avoided my standard 3-cup diet of morning java.

Then came what was potentially the hard part: the laxatives. The doctor advised me that I should not expect to work or plan to do anything because I would be frequently dashing to the toilet. IMG_3733

At 4:00 I was instructed to take 20 mg. of Dulcolax Laxative. A standard dose is 5 mg, so this is quadruple the normal amount for some poor soul who wanted to cure his constipation. Coincidentally, this was a half hour after my 12-year old daughter came home from school and begged me to go to her friend’s house to act as lifeguard so they could escape the 105 degree temperature in the family’s pool. I called the friend’s mom to let her know that this lifeguard might be taking several breaks and most likely stink up her bathroom so badly that it would probably be uninhabitable to the rest of the evening. My daughter who is consistently and devastatingly embarrassed at the mere mention of a bowel movement didn’t make a face or disparaging comment. The girls must have been desperate. I put on my swimsuit (not a pretty sight these days) and lounged by the pool, waiting for the inevitable.

Surprisingly, nothing happened.

IMG_3734At 6:00 I was directed to drink an entire 10 oz. bottle of Magnesium Citrate, a saline laxative with a standard dose of just 1 oz. I chose the lemon flavor and diluted it with Crystal Geiser, and it didn’t taste bad at all. This time I took a few trips to the toilet, but only one time was an emergency. Fortunately we have two bathrooms in our house, and several cans of room freshener.

IMG_3735At 9:00 I was given my final medication: 1 – 238 gm. bottle of Miralax power blended into a 64 oz. bottle of Gatorade.  Each bottle holds 14 doses, so you can imagine how effective an entire bottle would be.

It was a strange sensation. Instead of a diarrhea-like substance emitting from my bowels, it was a warm neon yellow liquid. Not at all unpleasant.  No, I didn’t take a picture of the aftermath for my blog. Even I have scruples on occasion.

IMG_3740The hardest part was the next morning – the day of the actual colonoscopy. I not only wasn’t allowed my coffee with or without creamer, I wasn’t even able to drink water after 6:30 am. For a gal who drinks about 2 gallons of water each day, this was a hardship.

At 10:30, my husband drove me to the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills where I paid just $125 (thank goodness for health insurance) and slid into a hospital gown. A nurse inserted a saline IV into my arm, attached some oxygen tubes to my nostrils, added some Demerol and Versed to my IV, and in moments I was in La La Land. Apparently I was not officially unconscious, but under a rather light sedation that would give me amnesia so I wouldn’t remember the procedure.

Tamera+4Bummer. I thought I would be able to see the camera traveling up my bowels, similar to the old Monsanto Adventure Thru Inner Space ride at Disneyland where you were miniaturized and taken on a journey inside the atoms of a snowflake.

I awoke an hour later, sleepy and a little disorientated, but able to walk and talk in semi-intelligible sentences. I came home, went back to bed, and slept until 4:00.

Then I weighed myself. No food for the last 44 hours. Nothing to drink for most of the previous 16 hours. Plus 28 doses of laxatives. The result:

IMG_3748130 lbs.

10 lbs. lost in 2 days.

Today I’m back up to 132 lbs. Probably time to renew my YMCA gym membership and lose weight the right way.

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24 Comments

Filed under Humor, Surgery

24 responses to “How to Lose 10 lbs. in 2 Days – Have a Colonoscopy!

  1. Tammie Cruz

    Warm neon yellow liquid… gross!!! This blog was very descriptive, not for the prim or weak in stomach, but maybe it will encourage others to get a colonoscopy. Like the TV saying goes “It could save your life.”

  2. Michelle

    Your prep, while really funny to read, were not at all like mine! I wonder why doctors can’t get it together and figure out an easier way. Mine was one day of prep. Same outcome, pun intended. After the Dr. was finished he proclaimed me “pink and shiny!” I’ll take it once every 5 years!

  3. I have one scheduled for January 4,2014. I am so nervous.

    • ciaobella1234

      My prep was not at all like the one described. I prepped with a low fiber restrictions, then one day before the procedure, mixed and started the liquid in the evening. That was the hard part. Very little sleep! Aside from always being hungry with headaches, it was well worth getting rid of all that junk! I did not seem to lose that much weight, maybe it’s because I usually eat healthy, and drink TONS of water daily. Glad to be clear, pink and shiny, too! Wish I knew how to keep it that way.

  4. I was four yrs out from colon cancer, chemo, and all the wonderful things that go along with it. If I would have had a scope when my dr recommended it I would have been ok. Two days ago during my yearly scope a new cancer was found. Take this seriously. As for prep – there’s a new prep and I highly recommend it – Prepopik – easiest prep around. Go to their website and get a coupon.

  5. Rebecca

    I’m about to have one next week and reading this REALLY has calmed my nerves! Thank You!

  6. David H.

    This is a very entertaining and worthwhile post–except for the title. Most people do not lose that much weight, and whatever comes off is all water and will return almost immediately after a normal diet is resumed, typically within a day or two.
    That said, I’ll add my voice to that of the author and others who reassuringly tell you not to let your fears and–your homophobia?!–stand in the way of following through with this lifesaving screening test.
    I’m a “veteran” of well over a dozen colonoscopies. When I was 18 I developed a very bad case of Ulcerative Colitis (UC). I was hospitalized for 8 weeks but I was lucky. After seemingly forever the UC resolved without the need for any surgery and then I got really lucky. It’s been in 100% remission for the 33 years since that initial episode. I take meds every day, but I tolerate it well and I have no particular dietary restrictions.
    However, this history puts me at elevated risk of colon cancer, so I’ve had routine screenings just like everyone else who turns 50. Except instead of one every 10 years I have the pleasure of this procedure every two years and this started since I was 28 years old (10y post-initial diagnosis).
    Every one so far has come back trouble free (not unexpected–the risk is higher, but not high). And I have yet another one coming tomorrow morning.
    I can say that I’ve tried just about every prep there is, and to me they’re all awful. Not so awful that I can’t do it, but awful enough that every time I repeatedly wonder aloud, “can’t they come up with something better than this?”
    This time around my protocol is very similar to the one described in this posting–a new approach for me. It’s too early in the day for me to say how well it works or how well I “like” it. But I’m expecting it to be more or less as awful as the others, I will do it, I’ll ask again to no one in particular why they can’t come up with a better alternative, I’ll have the colonoscopy, and then I’ll be relieved I won’t have to do it again for another two years.
    To those who have never gone through this before, I’ll add this. It’s impossible not to be nervous the first time. No matter what anyone says, no matter how close to you they are or how trustworthy their personal account of it all can be, you won’t be reassured until you actually go through the terrifying process yourself the first time.
    And after it’s over, then and only then you’ll realize how foolish it was of you to be as worked up over it as you were. You’ll realize everyone you spoke to and everyone’s story you read were all completely correct. It’s not that big a deal and the first one is always the worst, mostly because you really don’t know quite what to expect, no matter how much you’re briefed on what to expect. So don’t fight your fear–it’s normal but remember that according to practically everyone who’s had them, it’s a bit irrational, so don’t let it stop you from getting the colonoscopy your doctor recommends and your family and loved ones deserve.
    Think of it as a roller coaster you’ve never been on and can’t see exactly where it’s going. As you board, you’re naturally frightened, maybe even terrified. But at the same time you also know that very soon, the ride will be over, and more likely than not you will emerge relieved, a little wobbly, glad that you did it, and overall no more the worse for wear.
    Good luck to all, most importantly me!
    –David H.

  7. Sherry

    I am so glad that you wrote this.I am having my colonoscopy and endoscopy on friday.I am glad that it is not as horrible as people say it is.My prep is different from yours though.I am on a liquid diet all day thursday and then around 2:30 I start with the gatorade prep with 14 doses of miralax and 4 dulcolax.My procedure is friday at 1:30 P.M.The consultant also said that the doctor would call in something to my local pharmacy 2-3 days before my procedure.I have no idea what that could be.I will just be glad when this is all over.Hopefully everything will come out alright.No pun intended!! 🙂 Thanks

  8. Rose

    I am reading this as I am drinking my first 8oz glass of Miralax and Gatorade. I sent the rest of the family out for dinner as I am so hungry……. Not looking forward to tonight or tomorrow, but am being the responsible 50 year old 🙂

  9. Anita

    i am having my 2nd procedure in the morning but my dr doesnt use the same prep procedures. he makes us stop all solid foods 2 days before surgery with only clear liquids, including plain crackers and dry toast, with 4 dulcolax at 12 and a bottle of magnesium citrate at 4pm each of the 2 days before surgery. i have never known anyone having to use the gatorade/miralax prep. my first one around 10 yrs ago i lost 9 lbs. but this time so far my scales say i have gained 5 so idk what the difference is but i will be glad when its over.

  10. Thanks for this! I just took my first dose of Suprep and my stomach is churning. Bracing for what’s to come the next few hours LOL. I’m not nervous at all really, especially after reading your account. 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    You make me look forward to my own C tomorrow… Thanks, haha!

  12. Melissa F

    I’m 30 years old and unfortunately having to have this done. Im praying everything comes back good! I have been nervous about for a month. This made me laugh so hard about having to go through all this! I needed to read this! Thank you so much for sharing this :)!

  13. Thanks Melissa! You made my day!! I’m sure your colonoscopy will be fine. Your rite of passage is just coming a little earlier than most people.

  14. celeste

    as I read this i am at phase 3: Miralax
    portion. I am 38 and this is my 4th time. Family stomach problem is big in my history.

  15. sheryl

    I am 50 and scheduled for my first colonoscopy tomorrow morning. I began the process two days ago with a clear liquid diet. I am so dang hungry. It’s crazy, I have not eaten a corn dog in 30 years and all of a sudden, I am craving one, whaaat!!??
    Anyhow, this morning, just like every morning, I took my vitamins. No sooner did I swallow them that I realize they are the red gummies type! Thinking I just wasted all this time prepping, I panicked and started to cry (most likely from hunger). I called my doctor and the nurse assured me not to worry. This day is much longer than I expected and everything resembles food. I am very anxious and I have not even started the moviprep yet, but it makes me feel better knowing I am not alone and I get to have a corn dog tomorrow.
    Thanks 🙂

  16. kathy

    Omg…that’s hilarious. My fast begins today at 5.

  17. DRS

    Just had my first colonoscopy. My prep wasn’t the same but had the same general effect (one day of no-fiber foods, one day of clear liquid, and an evening of drinking movie prep–salty, viscous lemon-lime tasting gatorade that didn’t get cold when I put it in the fridge so was just nasty). Lost one pound. Hopefully that’s because I eat well normally, but I’m off to the gym now because the procedure didn’t do its job that way, and I don’t go back for 10 years!

  18. Anonymous

    Umm, guess what I did. I was instructed to buy 6 dulcolax and a bottle of miralax. Take 2 dulcolax two nights before then the rest the day before the procedure. I read the instructions wrong and took all 6 before going to bed! OMG! Not recommended! I probably could have had my procedure today!

  19. Amy

    I have my first colonoscopy

  20. Anonymous

    Well, I do a scope every year! I’m 41 and will do #13 tomorrow. You don’t even come close to losing 10 pounds!

  21. Suzie-Queue

    Holy shortbread – that was flipping hilarious! Thank you so much I’m having my colonoscopy Friday so hoping to lose 10 pounds too and um, I work at the Y so I have no excuses. 🙂

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