Station Life column: Getting to bottom of problem with colonoscopies

When preparing for a colonoscopy you must always know where the nearest toilet is.
Camera IconWhen preparing for a colonoscopy you must always know where the nearest toilet is. Credit: Simon Verrall/Getty Images

It’s not uncommon in our household for someone to suggest a “grease-up” or “oil change” is needed by a member of the family in relation to health issues.

In my case, it’s coming up very soon.

I put it off in December and am now wondering why the hell I did so.

By now it would all be behind me, instead of dreading it in the future.

This particular procedure is the dreaded colonoscopy which, I assume, most people are not a fan of.

If you are, I’m rather worried about you and think you need more than just a grease-up and an oil change.

Every time I get the instructions for this “fun” little procedure, I hope and pray something has changed and it’s now a much easier process, but so far, no luck.

So you head off to the chemist to get your little tablets that might as well be dynamite given the explosive effect they have on your bowels.

And you get the powder to make up the drink that, even if you pinch your nose and swallow, will still make you gag.

A patient is put under anaesthesia for a colonoscopy.
Camera IconA patient is put under anaesthesia for a colonoscopy. Credit: Robert Duncan/WA News

It’s then off to the shops to buy a supply of lemonade, certain coloured jellies, clear soup and some barley sugars to keep starvation at bay for the next 24-36 hours.

When you think about it, what a waste of money.

Eating/drinking anything while taking the medication is a bit like pouring oil into a bucket with a hole in the bottom.

A priority for me is to have some reading material to hand that I can grab as I dash to the loo and spend the next hour in there because I’m too scared to attempt to get to the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen.

It’s best not to have really slippery floors because you have to make one-minute mad dashes and do constant U-turns all the time.

When your appointment time arrives you carefully make your way to the procedure area, noting every toilet sign along the way — just in case.

Once booked in, ready and waiting, the worst is over.

Before you know it, someone is offering you a sandwich and a cup of tea/coffee, which disappears at the speed of light.

I’ve always wondered if it’s rude to ask for second helpings.

Never mind, there’s plenty of jelly in the fridge at home.

Oh joy!

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