As most of you probably already know, the day before your colonoscopy can be the worst! 

“Eating” nothing but Jello and chicken broth, and fasting for 24 hours is hard enough.  But then being forced to drink 4 liters of PEG-3350 & Electrolytes?  YUCK! 

Four liters of thick, salty, intestinal wrenching liquid.

The instructions say to mix the formula with water–in the big, white jug–at 10: am.  You are then to place in the refrigerator until 2 PM.  Why?  Because it tastes better cold.  Really?  I tried adding a bit of Truvia in each glass to help.  It didn’t.

But drinking 4 liters of anything over a two hour period is next to impossible.  But this stuff?

Anyway, the first few glasses weren’t too bad.  But then I made the mistake of looking at the jug.  The liquid level had barely budged!  S**T! 

Nearly three hours later, the salty, liquid was almost gone.  And speaking of “gone”… I had already spent nearly an hour sitting on the toilet.

I stubbornly finished all but the very last drops, which I defiantly dumped into the sink.  Then off the the bathroom again…

The good news was–after drinking that stuff–I wasn’t hungry anymore!

I went to bed late, my gut still wrenching.  But everything passing through me was clear.  Surprisingly, I was able to sleep through the night.

A few more trips to the bathroom and I was off to the Hernando Endoscopy and Surgery Center.  Pattie was driving.  My contact at HESC had been very insistent I have someone available to drive me home after the procedure.

How did we find it?  We were told it was “conveniently located across from Tire Kingdom.”  An auto tire place?  Why not?  Tires, oil changes, gastrointestinal endoscopy…

To be fair, the HESC building was quite nice–located among a number of other professional medical buildings.  I’m just not sure I would use Tire Kingdom as a landmark.  But that’s just me…

Once inside, a pleasant receptionist named Kathy checked-me in. 

I barely had time to sit down next to Pattie when I was called back into the medical area.

I told Pattie not to worry and to go ahead and run some errands.  Kathy promised to call when I was in recovery.  The entire process was only expected to take about an hour.

A very personable nurse with a warm, wonderful smile named Robin, escorted me back into the pre-op/post operative area. 

She helped get me changed and prepped and started an IV–all while talking football and what it was like moving to Florida.

I soon learned Robin was a big time Chicago Bears fan, having spent much of her life living in a rural farm town less than two hours from Chicago.

Aside from needing to stick me twice in order to get my IV started (I hate that!), Robin was wonderful–and she or another very professional nurese, Julie, didn’t leave my side until they had helped me into our car and Pattie and I were on our way.

By the time my physician, Dr. Rambabu Chalasani, greeted me as he prepared for the procedure, I was already pretty doped-up. 

I was wheeled into what they call an endoscopy suite, where the anesthesiologist, Robin and Dr. Chalasani watched as I slowly drifted off to sleep…

I do remember watching part of the procedure on a video monitor.  I later learned the anesthesiologist had used a combination of Fentanyl and Propofol (often referred to as the “Michael Jackson drug”) to sedate me.  The next thing I knew I was waking up in post op.

I want to note these pictures are from the HESC website–I wasn’t secretly taking photos with a camera hidden underneath my gown.  If I had, the pictures would have been a lot more interesting–trust me!

Tomorrow I will share my reflections about the experience and details from post op and the day after my procedure.

Until then–feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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