Round 2 #Colonoscopy #Notfun —And How’s Your Week?

thoughts on

Warning: This post may offer a little TMI for the faint-hearted. But may be very informative for those who suffer with any type of bowel disorders and are curious to find out how other sufferers get through colonoscopies. I know I spent numerous hours googling every prep and review I could find.


It sure arrived quick enough; my second colonoscopy in three months. You can read the original post I wrote about Round 1 here. This time it was a redo because apparently the toxic potion I ingested in round one wasn’t potent enough for my bionic intestines. This time I was given, if you can believe, an even worse potion to take, complete with an assortment of laxatives to be taken pre-potion.

The delightful procedure of prepping was done yesterday (Tuesday) and it was just a part of the crappy week I’ve been having so far. (I’ll fill you in on the other crap later.)

So I tried my best to do everything I could to make this test go smoother than the last, and be better cleaned out by eating very light for a few days prior (which incidentally helps with the hunger one experiences on prep day from no food.) After taking the prescribed laxatives and experiencing nothing to write home about, I then began drinking the first of four litres of vile liquid around 2pm. In addition to the prescribed disgust, I also chugged an additional two litres of water throughout the day, hoping to push things along.

As a gal who eats holistically and doesn’t like to put additives, nitrates or fake sugars in her body, I felt as though I was ingesting poison into my empty stomach. My head was pounding and my stomach swelled to something which I imagined twenty months pregnant would look like, and felt like. Three hours went by and still no movement! Are you kidding me? I’ve read nothing but horror stories about people who stayed planted on the toilet for hours during this workout. Finally into the fourth hour I felt an urge, although not an urgent urge, it was an urge to go. Within a two hour span I went about five times. And although I didn’t feel nearly done, I was done.

I worried all night about not being ready for the scope the next morning, as I kept warm in my sweat suit, under a blanket with the air conditioning turned off in a blistering heatwave, where I left my husband stifling. That stuff goes through your veins and intestines like anti-freeze. I was panicking that once again, my scope wouldn’t be good because I couldn’t completely empty. I felt like crap all night, slept about five hours, then headed out early for the test.

I have to admit, the special clinic I go to for the procedure is pretty awesome. The nurses are fabulous, as they take your vitals, get your IV port ready for sedation, and make you comfortable in your hospital gown in your own private cubicle while resting on the gurney awaiting your turn. I was rolled into the small operating room where I got to chat with the doctor before they put me out cold, THE WAY I LIKE IT. I don’t want to see or feel anything. Dr. B. and me are almost like old chums now. Having recently been through that a few other times; while making jokes, I tried to make light of the situation.

I told her about my bathroom struggles and she couldn’t understand how that potent cocktail only sent me to the bathroom four or five times. I proceeded to tell her that because of my having Crohn’s disease, I’ve become an all or nothing girl — either I live in the bathroom, or a stick of dynamite can’t make me flinch. Again, she laughed. But on a serious note, I had to give her the bathroom report because she had to decide whether or not to scope me. I asked her nicely to please not reject me and make me go through this yet again.  FIND A WAY!!!! I asked her if she found that I wasn’t clear enough to see through, to just irrigate me, WHILE I’M OUT. Whatever it takes.

When I awoke back in my cubicle about forty-five minutes later, I really felt drugged; much more than the previous time. After a nurse unhooked my IV and assorted wires, I waited to have my chat with Dr. B. As I suspected, once again, I wasn’t  fully emptied but miraculously Dr. B. managed to make her way through for me. Okay, so yay, she didn’t find any more polyps, other than the three she removed on the previous visit. But I was sadly informed that I not only suffer from Crohn’s disease, I now also have it’s evil twin, Colitis.

I voiced my concern to Dr. B. about how hard it is on my body to go on this evil cleanse, and that I’m sort of in a Catch 22 where it’s very important I have this test, as evil as it is. It’s not easy going through prep for the average healthier person, and worse for someone like me who suffers with digestive orders. Too many people suffer from Crohn’s and Colitis in my family, and a few have already passed from colon cancer. I’m darn petrified and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So Dr. B. wants me back in September to discuss pathology results and to see what we can do about future colonoscopies, which she now wants me to have annually. I’m home now writing this with my stomach still sticking out, still under a blanket.

Okay, so that’s not my only shitty part of the week (pun intended). This has also come to my attention this week:


  • Remember I mentioned to you guys that I was audited back in June, and the havoc I went through getting it all sorted our for the accountant and government, which still cost me a pretty penny? Well, Monday (the day before prep day) I received another letter from the tax man. This time they want to do a three year audit on my husband! This of course entails, doing the work all over again. Once again, I’ll be digging and sorting receipts and my book publishing gets left on the back burner.
  • And if that wasn’t enough, today after coming home from my colonoscopy, I received more good news from my pals at Revenue Canada. They sent me a letter notifying me that my claims aren’t accepted and a (huge) bill will follow.

Now I don’t know about you guys, but my stress goes right to my intestines. Is it any wonder that one of the most potent laxatives known to man doesn’t have much effect on me? GO AWAY FULL MOON!

And how is your week going?

DGKaye ©2015

Aunties Love us Unconditionally – #Grief #Loss

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cherish-1016983_1280 Aunty LeeAunties can see our point of views sometimes better than our moms. They can step outside of the box and see both sides when children are in conflict with their moms. They can nurse the wounds we sometimes feel inflicted on us by our moms. They know best about their sister’s character flaws. They do not judge nor condemn.

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My Aunty Lee. A very clever woman; perhaps not with schooled education, but street-wise. She was a lover of life and her family, a woman who wore her battle scars bravely. She was the second youngest of six siblings. My aunt stood by and buried them all – all much too young to die, including herself. She also buried a husband at a young age and fended for herself and children and only a few short years ago, she buried her son who suffered terribly with Crohn’s disease, a dreaded bowel disease that four cousins, including myself inherited somewhere down the line from dysfunct genes.

I never heard her complain, nor question the griefs she had lived through. A true testament of a woman of strength. Never afraid to speak up when she found an injustice. That was my Aunty Lee. She never condemned, nor condoned me or my siblings for not talking to our mother, her sister, for she had tasted that wrath many times herself, yet never walked away.

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The last brave thing I remember her doing was only a few months ago when we were sitting shiva for my mother after she passed, an old friend of my mother’s had come to pay her respects and when she snubbed her nose at me and my sister as though we didn’t exist for no longer being in our mother’s life, my aunt spoke up. She told her that we are all in mourning together, no matter what our differences were and not to make judgments on us, for nobody else has walked in our shoes. I was touched beyond belief. The woman left.

That was the last brave thing I remembered before my aunt hadn’t been feeling well with stomach problems. She went to the doctor who had ordered up a colonoscopy. That revealed a blockage she went a few weeks later to have rectified by laproscopic surgery. Only then when they looked inside, they decided to close her up when they found a multitude of stomach tumours plus ovarian cancer. The next day they sentenced her with a few weeks to live.

I’d been to visit her several times. To look at her one wouldn’t even know she was sick. Her spirit was good, we shared true laughter – and intermittently we shared tears. “I don’t want to die” she said. In her next breaths, she proceeded to tell me her plans to finalize things and prepare for the next world as though sharing a nonchalant story.

My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015
My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015

Who does that? Who goes in for a test and a minor surgery and has the grim reaper give them a death sentence and yet carry on so stoicly in their moments of fear? My Aunty Lee does, and she did. She was brave through it all, while she kept us sane, always with a smile.

They sentenced her with three weeks to live in January, and she soldiered on until today, Thursday June 4th. The last female standing of the strong matriarchal lineage. Now the torch to keep the family binds are handed down to me, my sister and two female cousins.

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God has rested your soul Aunty Lee. You are with your son and so much family we have lost through the years. We will miss you terribly, but we know you will watch over us from above.




What I did Yesterday — Besides Having a #Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy – An ugly word, with fearful connotations.


Yesterday I went for my overdue colonoscopy appointment. When I say overdue, I mean that it’s been three and a half years since my last one, and consequently, that was my first one.


After having my first one and enduring the awful, but not most awful of all the preps, I was lectured then by the gastroenterologist because I didn’t take the prep she instructed me to take, and my colon wasn’t 100% clear. Although, she had told me it was clear enough to see, and that I was fine. I was elated to hear the good news. But she also informed me that because I have Crohn’s disease, I should be having an annual colonoscopy.


I pleaded my case to her that my Crohn’s is holistically under control, I eat a healthy diet, and being that I had a clean bill of health from her, could she please let me do it every three years. Thankfully I won my plea, and she conceded.

So last fall, I was to have my three-year scope, but life was happening for me in full force, one crisis led to another, and the winter had passed in 2015. My doctor’s referral for this scope was to end by May, so I booked the appointment, and yesterday was the day.

Now, let me preface this by saying, the procedure itself is really no big deal, honestly! I mean, I go to this lovely digestive clinic where everyone is treated so well by lovely nurses, they put you in what looks like a small hospital ward, each with his own private curtain and gurney, and eventually you are wheeled into the small operating room, asked to verify some questions we previously filled out on the forms, and wham, we’re put under with anaesthetic. Just the way I like it!


But heaven help us all, that preparation the day before to cleanse the colon is the most vile, disgusting, nauseating, ass-burning day to endure. (I probably could have used more adjectives here!)

Getting back to the prep, after my first colonoscopy, I was reprimanded for taking something other than what was prescribed. The doctor didn’t feel that the prep I used (Citromag), was effective enough to empty the colon. I had researched something easier than what she had prescribed to ingest. All the preps are disgusting enough as is, and I am the sort of person who gags from a teaspoon of cough medicine. I also have a very slow digestive transit time, thus I get full very quickly, food and liquids hang around my upper stomach much longer than the average person’s.


The difference between taking Citromag and the many other formulas, is that you only have to drink two – 300 ml. bottles of gross stuff, chased down intermittently with 64 ounces of water throughout the day. This is a cakewalk compared to drinking 4 LITRES of other gross stuff mixed in with the water!


Now I cannot even conceive the thought of drinking 16 GLASSES of  liquid in a few hours span, even if it were my favourite drink, let alone with the vile taste and consistency. So, once again, I drank the Citromag and gagged from the briney/sugary mixture of fake lemonade, but held it down.


It took almost 5 HOURS until anything started to happen, other than the huge hard feeling and distention of my stomach, and nausea. Even after the rumbling urges came, they weren’t of much substance other than many Niagara Falls- like liquid showers. I was bloated, tired, starving — I was sure this prep was not going to be effective. I wasn’t wrong!



After I had the procedure done, and the doctor called me in for consult, I was informed that I wasn’t properly cleaned out, and I had to admit my crime of not taking her prescribed method of choice. The doctor then added that from the parts she could see through, she had found, removed, and sent for biopsy, two polyps. Just as I was processing the fears that came attached to this news, she then added that I was to come back in 2 MONTHS to do it all over again to be sure there was nothing else she missed. I immediately froze in fear. I knew my charade of switching preps was no longer effective for my lazy colon, and I didn’t have three years to put it on the back burner.


I began to panic with worry about my biopsy results, and what on earth was I going to have to drink, worse than what I had already ingested.


I returned home around noon and made myself a piece of toast and an egg. Surprisingly, after 36 hours without food and starving, I no longer felt hungry. My husband went back to work and I got on the computer to catch up with emails and intentions of doing revisions on my next book. But the looming fear within me about having another colonoscopy wouldn’t allow me to concentrate on anything other than searching for a potion that I could possibly tolerate for ROUND 2.

I checked my emails then went directly to Google. I typed in numerous search words with the names of each prep available here in Canada and the U.S. And then I went on forums to read about other people’s experiences with different potions, and read about their stories and success rates. I was obsessed and engulfed in the stories and blogs I read. There were moments I laughed so hard at some descriptions, and I could barely breathe as I pictured them.


Many offered tips and tricks about how to get through the dreaded prep process. The most repetitive information I read was to stay close to the loo, (I know that) have baby wipes handy to ease the soreness down below from the acidic explosions, and to use baby zinc cream to comfort and protect the delicate area below from the sting. But when I read about some various methods used to ingest the vile and copious amounts of liquid, I couldn’t stop laughing.

One girl advised to cover your nose with a Bounce dryer sheet as you gulped, to avoid the smell, which enhances the flavor. Many advised to drink from a straw and to make sure it’s placed at the back of the tongue to avoid the front palate where most of the taste buds are located. Others had their own rendition of avoiding to taste, admitting there was no way to fully mask it. But the most hysterical description I read was from a boy who was trying to describe what his prep tasted like. He said, “Imagine a hockey team’s socks soaking in a tub overnight, and then drinking the water.” I gagged at reading it, as well as doubled over in laughter. Another said that he sat on the throne so long that his foot fell asleep and he didn’t know it until he got up and his foot turned over and he sprained his ankle.


I processed so much information, that before I knew it, I had been sitting at the computer for 6 HOURS! It was 8PM and I had yet to eat dinner. My work day had vanished while it was spent investigating ways I could get through the next scope.

It really is a procedure feared by the masses. The actual procedure is nothing, like I mentioned, but that prep day is the horrific part that keeps people from having the procedure done.

Yes I’m nerved out about doing a repeat and then having scopes annually after, but I have to do it. These polyps they find are a precursor to colon cancer. And after losing a grandfather to colon cancer, an aunt to pancreatic cancer, a cousin to colon cancer (from Crohn’s disease), and another aunt on her way now to the next world from stomach cancer, I have no choice.

I know I had a hard enough time taking the Citromag and litres of fresh water. I don’t know how I’ll be able to chug 4 LITRES of mixed prep with my gag reflex, but I know I have to start summoning up my courage NOW. 


Addendum: This article was written in 2015. Since the writing of this article I have endured another few colonoscopies. I’m happy to report that my new choice of weapon that works is Miralax, a clear crystal, tasteless, odorless powder I mix in with gatorade, totally palatable and effective.


Do you have any helpful tips or experience you’d like to share?




SAY YES! To Eggs





I wanted to share a little experiment I tried with myself. I have written several posts on health concerns and I may have mentioned a few times that because I suffer with Crohn’s disease, I follow a very careful diet. This disease had me altering my diet through the years due to many foods that I can no longer tolerate. I have missed eating eggs through the years because they were giving my stomach a bad reaction. Believe me, when something you eat can make you so violently ill … you will stay away from it.

Through the years of seeing my naturopath and going over my diet, he had told me that if I abstained from certain foods that bothered me, for a period of time, I may want to try and revisit them when my system felt stronger. Well as comforting as that sounded to me, I had the fear of eggs in me—enough not to make me curious to try out his theory. On the flip side, after going through all my blood work, he also told me that it is more than likely it was the albumen in the egg white that was most likely the culprit, not the yolk. Most people who react to immunization shots react to the albumen which is contained in many needle preparations.

I thought about my naturopath’s theory for years as I fixed my husband scrambled eggs or enviously watched him dip his toast into his runny fried eggs. But the fear remained in the back of my mind.

Many times when I am baking or dipping food in egg to batter I question myself, why I could eat those foods made with the egg and it didn’t affect me. I will note that whenever I did use eggs for ingredients, out of force of habit, I always drained out the white and only used the yolk to cook with keeping in mind my fear. I had been thinking about this egg business lately and remembering what my naturopath told me about the whites of the eggs and thinking about my use of yolks when cooking or baking.

I decided I was going to be brave and after fifteen years of abstaining from eating eggs, I made myself an egg yolk omelette with asparagus and goat cheese. IT WAS DELICIOUS! I went about my work and curiously glanced at the clock every few minutes because the pattern of the past, when I began feeling ill from something I ate, usually took effect in about 20 minutes to half an hour after ingestion. While I got busy working on my upcoming publication, I noticed almost two hours had gone by! I felt fine and I was elated. I conquered my fear of eggs and I didn’t get sick in the process.

Sometimes we have to be brave, we may have to tread lightly, but in the end, if we don’t explore, we may be missing simple pleasures we may have surrendered to forever.