I Had a Colonoscopy

I don’t know where I’m running now
I’m just running on

First, let me say that colon cancer is serious stuff. In no way do I mean to make light of this disease OR the procedure that is so important to early detection. Doctors say you should have a baseline colonoscopy when you’re 50 (I AM NOT 50).

Second, this post is as long as my colon. I could’ve broken it into two parts, but I think, like my colon, it should be kept intact.

Third, I have an idea. Everyone loves to Xerox their butt, right? So why can’t they invent something that combines the fun of this merry prank with the medical mumbo-jumbo and let us plant our naked butts on a some kind of fancy machine that sees right up into you?

Well, until they invent that, I had to fast for a day, drink some vile stuff, and get a tube shoved up my colon.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Is anyone ever prepared for a finger up the butt? I know I wasn’t. But that would be the first of many indignities I would suffer on my road to a colonoscopy.

The Fast

The day before a colonoscopy, you can eat only see-through liquids. For some reason, this includes popsicles and Jell-O. Also, broth, apple juice, 7-UP, and, of course, water. I tried spreading out a piece of pizza till it was almost see-through, but I suspected that might be considered cheating.

I will not lie. Fasting is hard for a girl like me. A popsicle is no substitute for Lucky Charms. Chicken broth does not even remotely resemble a Big Mac. And Jell-O can in no way be mistaken for ice cream. But you have to do it. A friend told me that if I cheated, I’d be sorry. “There’s just that much more to come out,” she said.


My “supper”


If I don’t eat, no one does


The Solution

But fasting isn’t enough. You have to make sure every particle of Jell-O is gone. For this, you get TriLyte powder. You start drinking it around 6 PM: an 8-oz glass every 5-10 minutes. You can stop drinking once your “stools are clear.” Um . . . I’ve never seen a clear stool. Does it look like glass? I’m rather intrigued and skeptical. Also, I’ve grown to really hate the word “stool.”

The TriLyte powder comes in a handy 4-liter plastic jug and five (5!) delicious flavor packs. Well, they have to make it taste good, right? So then how come the instructions suggest that “drinking with a straw may help bypass some of the taste”? I also read that “chilling the solution improves the taste.” Well, thanks for telling me that four seconds before I have to start swigging.

TriLyte jug, Magnesium Citrate, “flavor” packs


Here are the directions on the TriLyte jug:

  1. TriLyte with flavor packs can be used with or without the addition of one flavor pack.
  2. If you prefer an unflavored solution (boy, that sounds appealing), discard the flavor packs (why, are they toxic?) and proceed to step 5.
  3. If you prefer a flavored solution, proceed to step 2.
  4. Choose one of the flavor packets.

Were these instructions written for newborn babies?

But then how stupid do I feel when I don’t read step 3 to find out you have to put the flavor pack in BEFORE the water. Duh.

From my flavor choices, I choose pineapple. It smells OK, and there is a cheery little pineapple on the packet. I bet this is going to taste just like a pina colada . . .

. . . This tastes nothing like a pina colada. Oh, my god. Where’s my straw? Bypass! Bypass!

(Later I read on a colonoscopy message board some apt descriptions of the TriLyte solution: “thick consistency with salty aftertaste,” “like Alka Seltzer but without the fizz,” “oily dishwater liquid,” and my favorite and perhaps the most accurate: “a jug of elephant semen.”)

Luckily I “only” had to drink about 3 liters of the elephant semen, which I managed to do in about an hour and a half. All in all, I probably made about 176 trips to the bathroom, although I’ll admit that a few of those were just to see how much weight I’d lost (grand total: 5 lbs). To keep my mind off the horror of it all, I watched eppies of 30 Rock. Now just the sight of Tina Fey brings on the uncontrolllable urge to poo.

I was pretty much finished by 10:30 and fell into a troubled but uninterrupted sleep.

The Procedure

I woke up nervous and dehydrated. But despite feeling emptier than a hobo’s wallet, I still wasn’t done. I had to drink a 10-oz bottle of Magnesium Citrate at least 3 hours before the procedure.

The recommended flavor is lemon-lime, but my pharmacy didn’t have that, so I got “original flavor.” Great. What does that taste like, phlegm?

Fizzy phlegm!

Mmmm. Fizzy phlegm.


Yup! It’s phlegm! Oh, and remember when I said I was “pretty much finished” at 10:30 the night before? Drinking this stuff ensured that I was most definitely NOT finished. I was not finished by the time my mom came to pick me up, I was not finished on the ride to the hospital, and I was not finished when we got to the waiting room.

After about 20 minutes, I was taken to a room where my underpants were confiscated. I expressed my concern of “not being finished” all over the operating table, but the nurse assured me that “everything will be sucked out through the scope.” Well. OK, then.

I was nervous lying there. All I could think about was an air bubble in my saline IV. A nurse walked in and cracked a huge yawn. “Oh! I’m so sleepy!” she exclaimed. Great.

Did I mention my doctor is hot? I’m so glad they didn’t make me wear a shower cap over my beautifully curled hair. Wait, no one is wearing a cap. WHY? Don’t they care about a stray hair getting into my colon?

Hot Doctor says some stuff and tells me to roll over onto my left. I’m about to complain that I’m more comfortable on my right, but BLAM! I’m out.

Then, BLAM! I’m awake and feeling perfectly fine, if a bit groggy. The whole thing took about an hour, and everything looked normal (yay!). I have the most delicious apple juice of my life. A kind nurse tells me to pass some gas, but I’m way ahead of her.

I get to leave pretty quickly after I’m handed a sheet with the doctor’s notes, which include such horrifying terminology as: “normal colonic mucosa” (ewwww!); “Blood loss: minimal” (WHAT?) “The variable-stiffness pediatric colonoscope was inserted . . .” Wait a second. “Pediatric”? I don’t think so, bub.
I came home, ate half a turkey sandwich, and slept the blissful sleep of someone who will never go number 2 again.


So, kids, when they say the prep is the worst part, they are right. I do have one tiny suggestion:

To the attendants of the waiting room washroom: For the love of god, please use softer toilet paper. I probably visited your otherwise clean and lovely washroom 17 times, and each trip ended in mind-numbing pain.

If You Need a Colonoscopy

  • Stock up on extra-soft TP or better still, something like this.
  • Eat a light, low-fiber diet the day before. It’s all coming out, so the less there is, the better.
  • Don’t choose pineapple.



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143 Responses to “I Had a Colonoscopy”

  1. 1 Regan

    Oh no, that must have been bad! I’ve never fasted, so I don’t know what its like, but I’m sure it felt good to eat again.

    And I hate flavored medical drinks, such as grape cough syrup. It doesn’t taste like grape, and it leaves a horrible aftertaste, oh yeah, bubblegum flavor doesn’t taste like bubblegum either.

    Why not make a chocolaate flavor that actually tastes like good chocolate, and leaves a good taste in your mouth after?

  2. 2 Singular Girl

    I can’t imagine having a foreign object inserted in unspeakable locations… I’m so glad you did that so we don’t have to… right now I’m having my own medical mystery which is not nearly as serious as your own but I think may include someone poking a voodoo doll of me and making random body parts swell up for no apparent reason.

    Singular Girl’s last blog post..Pride, Prejudice and Politics

  3. 3 April

    I am more than happy to let you go through that so I don’t have to

  4. 4 Jeff

    Oh thank you very much. I’ve been procrastinating this procedure because I was nervous about the prep. Now thanks to your “jug of elephant semen” comment I will probably never do it (but please, don’t feel guilty).

    But I DID love your “cat’s looking at us pathetically for some food” picture and comment. That is classic! :-)

    Jeff’s last blog post..I’m taking off to Canada eh, you hosers

  5. 5 brooke regans friend

    i am glad you did that so i do have to
    but we were promised a video

  6. 6 Daisy the Curly Cat

    I am still trying to imagine what clear stools look like. And also, worried that you could have gotten a stray hair in your colon.

    Thank goodness it’s all “behind” you, right!?

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Sunday Comics with Daisy!

  7. 7 Babs - beetle

    “Oh what a bummer” (Probably too British) ;O)

    I am forever grateful that you did that so I don’t have to! It all sounds horrific – but you have had a good clean out now! Some pay good money to have that done.

    I know you didn’t really starve your kitties, so I wanna know. Were you tempted by their stinky goodness?

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Who’s a Happy Bunny?

  8. 8 Sarah

    Love it daisy!

    Wow, I’m really glad you went through that for us. I don’t know how I’d do fasting… when I needed a ultra-sound two years ago, they told me that I had to drink X ounces of water, and I did but I did it too soon and was like OH GOD I NEED A BATHROOM! but I couldn’t go because they needed my bladder full.

    You really must have had to go because after “I Flush” I thought you wouldn’t use public restrooms again.

    Sarah’s last blog post..Packing Problems

  9. 9 Kathy

    I am horrified. And yet I cannot stop laughing. The look on Prudence’s face is priceless. Mom! Bring food down here! We don’t care what’s goin’ on with your butt! It doesn’t involve us!

    I’m thinking “TriLyte” is short for “Just try to like it.” God bless you for going through that so we don’t have to.

    Am I right that this is the second event where your underpants were confiscated? I’m pretty sure you had them taken away during the surg … procedure. Girl, you gotta stop giving them to people.

    Really glad everything’s OK and this is just a memory now. A disgusting, vile memory, but still just a memory.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Leavin’ on a Jet Plane. Maybe.

  10. 10 Kay

    This is a great post – everything I need to and don’t really want to know about this procedure, which I have been putting off for too many years now.

  11. 11 Luxor's Mom

    I am SO glad that you did that so I won’t have to!!!

    Luxor’s Mom’s last blog post..Is there something on my head?

  12. 12 JD

    Regan: Hey, first to comment again! Are you just sitting at your computer, hitting Refresh? You’re absolutely right: anything medical tastes medical, no matter how they try to hide it. Mmmm. Yoo-Hoo-flavored cough syrup. I’m down with that!

    Singular Girl: Oh, no. Those voodoo doll afflictions are almost as bad as being poisoned. You do not want to mess around with that. As for the foreign object and the unspeakable location: I truly did not feel a thing!

    April: It was my pleasure. Well, no, it wasn’t, but you know. But when it’s your time (hopefully not till you’re 50), you’re gonna HAVE to do it!

    Jeff: O ho! Please don’t be put off by the “elephant semen” description! Have you ever had elephant semen? It tastes just like colonoscopy prep solution!

    Yeah, the cats weren’t very happy. But! Misery loves company, as I tried to explain to them.

    brooke regans friend: Well, now, I did say “possibly with exciting video.” I really hoped to provide you with an in-depth and up-close look at the whole procedure, but my doctor put his foot down. He’s such a baby.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: HA! Yup, it’s all BEHIND me. And I guess if a hair did get in there, maybe I wouldn’t even know about it. As for the clear stool, well, I didn’t want to go into too much detail . . .

    Babs – beetle: No, we say that here, too—and you made a rather bad pun, if I may point that out! You’re right: I can’t believe people actually pay money for that kind of thing or even do it willingly to lose weight. Gross.

    (Just between you and me: I took a second picture of them after I’d filled their bowl, and yes, I was tempted. How bad can it be?)

    Sarah: Oh! That happened to me once, too! And they were laughing at me, because I’d drunk WAY more water than I needed to, just to be safe. The ultrasound technician was like, THAT is a full bladder! (Hope your ultrasound came out OK!)

    Kathy: YES! I’m so glad it’s just a memory, too. Phew. And no one’s getting my underpants again, no matter HOW hot they are. Poor Prudence was not too happy. She’s still a little self-centered. Gus was a little more understanding, but not much.

    Kay: Thank you! I tried to sprinkle in a little actual information among all the gross bits.

    Luxor’s Mom: Yeah, I BET you are!

    Tayo: No, this is definitely NOT something you do unless you have to! And I hope you don’t have to for a very, very long time.

  13. 13 Tayo

    Oh. MY. God. Well then, that sounded like a wonderful, enjoyable experience and all and I’m gld you got to go through it and hope I never HAVE to (though why I would do it without having to is beyond me…)

    Tayo’s last blog post..Old School Friday – Lenny Kravitz

  14. 14 Chat Blanc

    my question is. . . why can’t they put you out the day BEFORE and just give you the fluids intravenously?? I mean, HOLY CRAP, oh oops, um anyway, my point is they torture you with all that drinking and stuff for way longer than the procedure, they should really work on that.

    Glad you’re well!

    Chat Blanc’s last blog post..And the winner is. . .

  15. 15 Babs - beetle

    I forgot to say. I’m very glad that you got the all clear :O)

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Who’s a Happy Bunny?

  16. 16 Kelly

    I’ve fasted before, so I know how to handle that part. I like food, but can manage without it for a day.

    Now, all that medicinal stuff, on the other hand? Stuff that tastes like elephant semen? I’m gagging already. I’ve had a number of CT scans and the crap they make you drink for those is just weirdly flavored iced tea. How about if I fast for THREE days instead of drinking elephant semen? I could do that. Seriously. I could.

    I’m not happy that I’m actually going to have to do that soon, since I AM 50. Huge frown here!

    But thanks for the tips. Bring my own TP, and no pineapple. Got it.

    Kelly’s last blog post..Mandala 8-10

  17. 17 Sassy Mama Bear

    The liquid diet is nothing to drinking that awful tasting liquid that will cause you to spend hours in the bathroom….I think you forgot to mention keeping a good supply of reading material in the bathroom as you will spend much of your time there. I’ve had to do this 5 times now, for the colonoscopy and various scans. Not fun, not fun, not fun….but better safe than sorry.

    Sassy Mama Bear’s last blog post..Entrecard Advertisers of the Week

  18. 18 Joe

    I had one last year. Best part was farting on the nurses, and they said it was fine.
    I can’t even smell pineapple since then, though.
    I did ask the doctors for copies of the colonoscopy for my Christmas cards, but they wouldn’t give them to me. :(
    Glad you came through it fine.

    Joe’s last blog post..Happy Sunday

  19. 19 Jay

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for doing that so I don’t have to! I’m over fifty, but docs this side of the Pond don’t seem to care and you only get a colonoscopy if there is Due Cause. I’ve had the occult blood tests though, and they’re a doddle.

    Elephant semen! ROFL ROFL ROFL!!

    *Tears* … uh .. of sympathy! Yes, sympathy!! Not laughter, no nonono.

    Good advice to skip the pineapple. It’s ALWAYS good to skip the pineapple. Trust me I know.

    Jay’s last blog post..Conversation in Dog

  20. 20 dcr

    Blood loss: minimal

    And they wonder why people don’t like going to doctors.

    Many moons ago, I had to go to the emergency room. They gave me some medicine you have to drink down. They hand you the cup and then step back, as if they expect most people to just re-enact The Exorcist or something, which is never a good sign. They encourage you to chug it down. Took me three swallows or so, and they took an extra step back after the first swallow.

    dcr’s last blog post..Hit by the Tearjerker Song Meme

  21. 21 Tim

    I’ve been emptier than a hobo’s wallet before once, but it had nothing to do with elephant semen. I got food poisoning or some such in the Caribbean and was thoroughly cleaned out from both ends, then couldn’t eat for 3 days. At least, I don’t think they cook with elephant semen down there…
    I’m not really disappointed by the lack of video. If I want to watch something horrible I can go rent a movie or go visit a friend who doesn’t know how to discipline children but still had some anyways.

    Tim’s last blog post..Beer Gift Baskets – Great Gifts For Any Occasion!

  22. 22 JD

    Chat Blanc: Now that is an even better idea than my Butt Copier. I’d love to spend a whole day under sedation. Can you imagine?

    Babs – beetle: Hee! And thank you.

    Kelly: You really are an alien, aren’t you? You can manage without food for a day? You say it so casually! I can barely manage for an hour! I’m sorry you’ve had to undergo so many tests. I actually think I’d rather drink the elephant semen than fast.

    Sassy Mama Bear: I almost brought my laptop in there, but I wasn’t exactly spending long amounts of time—just making a lot of short trips. And, you’re absolutely right: better safe than sorry.

    Joe: It takes a special nurse to ASK someone to fart on her and then look pleased. I would love copies of my colonoscopy. So far I’ve gotten videos of my laparoscopy and thyroid biopsy.

    Jay: You’re so welcome! Since I had to do it anyway . . . That’s interesting that in your land, it’s not mandatory after 50. You can cry tears of laughter if you want!

    dcr: I know, right?!!! Oh, that’s a hilarious story about the ER. At least, as long as everything turned out OK. Did they need to step back after all, or were you able to avoid exploding?

    Tim: That last line is cracking me up. Oh, that’s good stuff. Wow. I’m sorry you got sick in the Caribbean. Did it totally ruin your vacation? Kinda sounds like it.

  23. 23 The Hawg


    Uh, yes. The fasting and “preparation” phase is the worst part. I have to have one of those every two years as I’ve got ulcerative colitis and I absolutely hate it when colonoscopy time rolls around.

    Once you get in there, they hammer you with enough drugs that you don’t really notice anything at all. In fact, my doctor told me I was a hoot the last time around. He said I mentioned something about going through a colonoscopy is “better than being at work, at least.”

    I really do need a new job…

    Glad you made it through OK!

    The Hawg’s last blog post..The Hawg’s greatness is recognized!

  24. 24 Liz

    Thank God you did that so I didnt have to! I laughed so freaking hard when I saw the picture of the cats with the caption! Loved it!!

    Liz’s last blog post..American Tourist Killed in Beijing

  25. 25 Kelly

    Here’s a great plan, JD… I’ll fast for you and you drink the elephant semen for me!

    People never believe me right away that I’m an alien. But eventually they come around to my way of thinking. LOL

    Kelly’s last blog post..Mandala 8-10

  26. 26 dcr

    It wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, and I imagine it was tastier than a lot of the things I see on Fear Factor, but I managed to keep it down. I don’t chug that well, so they probably figured if I wasn’t chugging it down, I would likely spit it up. I took big swallows, but it probably didn’t constitute chugging.

    dcr’s last blog post..Creepy Ways People Found My Blog So Far in August, and Why Can’t Miley Cyrus Learn How to Dress Before Appearing in Front of Cameras?

  27. 27 Monique

    I could not even read this post because the moment I read the header I began to have hot flashes.

    Many moons ago, I had to have a colonoscopy followed by surgery to remove my gallbladder. They both spanned the course of about a week and they both had the same pre-surgery requirements. Fasting, icky foods, followed by some overly salty drink that caused me to throw up.

    What made the adventure even more exciting was that the surgery was preformed by the Dr I worked for. Talk about a nightmare.

    Monique’s last blog post..The Joys of Being Adopted

  28. 28 Toni

    Oh Dear, I was cringing for you and yet busting into tears from laughing so hard the bad thing is I read this at work when we were slow so I think my pharmacist thought I had gone insane. I am definetly going to have to post this in my midweek shout out this week. I am so sorry you had to go through that but thank you for the giggles

    Toni’s last blog post..My 200th POST! And because I am excited you can win!

  29. 29 Alice

    Yay! You did it! Just the thought of fasting for one day scares me (let alone drinking all that gak).

    And I’d be scared of any product that looks like it comes in a canister you could put gas in.

    You are too funny!

    Alice’s last blog post..Honey Pie Weekend Update

  30. 30 JD

    The Hawg: Oh, dear. I’m sorry to hear about your condition. And sorry you have to go thru this so often. At least it sounds like you’re having fun during part of it. (God, now I hope I didn’t say anything embarrassing about my Hot Doctor!)

    Liz: You’re very welcome. My cats were not laughing, believe me. And for anyone out there who thinks I would really starve my cats, that food dish was filled to the brim within seconds of my taking that picture!

    Kelly: I have come to believe fully in your alien status. And yes! You have a deal. Maybe that elephant semen tastes better on a full stomach . . . nah, probably not.

    dcr: I think chugging is a mistake with an unfamiliar liquid. You just don’t know how it’s going to go down. Obviously you want to drink it fast if it’s unpleasant, but chugging can lead to hurling.

    Monique: Wow. Your experience trumps mine tenfold. Why a colonoscopy AND gallbladder surgery in a week??? That’s cruel and unusual. Sorry to have brought back unpleasant memories. I hope you’re a long way off from needing a colonoscopy again.

    Toni: Thank YOU! I’m so glad you got a good laugh at my expense! That’s what I’m here for. I hope your pharmacist doesn’t think you’re insane anymore.

    Alice: YAY! Yeah, I think the fasting was the worst part. There were at least a dozen times throughout the day when I just automatically thought, I’d better eat something! And then remembered: Oh. yeah. HA! It does look like something you could carry gas in! I’m glad I didn’t make that association before I had to drink the stuff!

  31. 31 Jenny

    To me, all this sounds worse than dying. And this from someone who made four trips to the delivery room …

  32. 32 Natural

    JD, I just finished bowing before your blog, this post goes into my Blogger’s Hall of Fame or BHOF for short.

    I gave up comedy radio ‘cause I was LOL @ work too much and now this post. I LOVE IT. I had to hold my cheeks to keep from grinning so much, then tears started coming out of my eyes from not being able to laugh out loud and it was hard to breath…since we’re being gross, things were flying out of my noise in the process. I’m going to burst soon!! FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY!!!

    I’m not ready for this process, hopefully by the time I need it, they will have come up with something better. What about those darn head lights (on cars) that people shine on my head when I’m driving. I feel like they can see right through me, now all I need to do is master driving with my butt up in the air and they can send the results on to my doctor. Hey how come they can’t xray this procedure.

    Anywho, JD, thanks for doing this so I don’t have to. I will be contacting you, oh in about 10 years so that you can stand in for me. I’m going out now, so I can laugh at this post and I will read it again when I get home. It was the best, I have to share it with my friends. LOLOLOLOL

    Natural’s last blog post..Are You Feeling Guilty Over Something?

  33. 33 Tiggy

    JD – a selfless heroine in the name of blogging! I’m looking forward to your “I Have Uneccessary Liposuction So You Don’t Have To” post.

    I didn’t realize you’d be unconscious for most of the procedure. I hoped you were going to treat us to a blow-by-blow account of foreign object insertion (the time when your imagination runs wild and small metal probes appear as huge flaming spears in your mind).

    Glad to hear everything in botty-land is A-OK!

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy’s Word Of The Day – Spain

  34. 34 Scratch Bags

    I don’t want you to starve anymore. Have got loads of cake for you and you can have all of it. God Bless! And you were talking about taking break? i couldn’t stop until reached towards the end. Let me know after you have had cake, I’d have my laugh!

    Scratch Bags’s last blog post..Stop Peeing! Would You?

  35. 35 Alvin

    “a jug of elephant semen.”) or pineapple. Gah, that is not exactly like “Cake or Death” Oh well, I’m set up for next month. Sounds sort of like a reverse root canal. Thanks for the heads up.

    Alvin’s last blog post..A Love Poem

  36. 36 Blaine Fridley

    I taste elephant semen so you don’t have to!

    great post. glad to hear everthing’s good down there, er, up there…whatever. great post.

    Blaine Fridley’s last blog post..Diary of Fools Nut-Punch of the Week: August 11-15, 2008

  37. 37 dcr

    You know, I just noticed the cartoon. Well, I saw it before, but all I did was read the text and only briefly glance at the image. But, now looking at it, look at it! The woman’s head is on backwards! Backwards! You can’t twist your head like that unless you’re an owl!

    dcr’s last blog post..The Critique as Art, or How Art May Not Be Art Until Someone Thinks That It Is

  38. 38 Fancy

    Sorry about your sore bum. Thanks for the laugh!

    Fancy’s last blog post..West Point

  39. 39 Koolmotor

    Well it’s about time.

    What the heck were you waiting for?

  40. 40 JD

    Jenny: “worse than dying.” I’d say that’s pretty accurate. No, seriously, it wasn’t that bad. Perhaps I exaggerated a wee bit. Or, perhaps not!

    Natural! And THIS goes in my just-now established Comment Hall of Fame (CHOF). I’m absolutely thrilled you got such a kick out of this. The only thing that got me thru was knowing I could write about it and hopefully make a few people laugh. And your idea about driving with your butt up in the air—hilariously sensible. I was going to say, how about one of those miniature cameras, but I like Butt Headlights better.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Your comment made my day.

    Tiggy: Oh, wow! Thanks for the idea! I hadn’t even thought of unnecessary liposuction, but that would be PERfect! (This colonoscopy was unnecessary, too—I only did it so I could blog about it. KIDDING!) And thank you very much.

    Scratch Bags: Oh, thank you so much for the cake! It was delicious. Like you, I did not take a break—I ate the whole thing in one sitting. You are very kind!

    Alvin: OK, I love you. “Cake or Death” reference? Awesome. Thank you for that. (Hint: I preferred my root canal). And good luck next month. Please do come back and let us know how it went!

    Blaine Fridley: HA! That should have been the title. Maybe then I’d get on the front page of Digg. And thank you. Yes, everything seems fine . . . in there.

    dcr: You’re right! Well, she’s a freak. I can’t do that with my head; in fact, I can barely move it in either direction. I’d make a terrible owl.

    Fancy: Thanks so much. Oh, and you’re welcome!

    Koolmotor: I was waiting for you to have your 2d one. Every 10 years after you turn 50, right?

  41. 41 Angi

    Whew, glad you lived to tell the tale!

    Regarding your TriLyte, it sounds quite similar to this nasty junk I had to drink a few years back while getting a series of blood tests for hypoglycemia. You drink this disgusting crap that tastes like “orange soda!” (yeah RIGHT, it has the aftertaste of battery acid) and then they draw your blood every half an hour for 3 hours. LOTS of fun. My arms looked like I was a heroin addict by the time I was finished, and I felt like one too.

    But the “orange soda” was supposed to be delicious. HAHAHA.

    Angi’s last blog post..An Open Letter to My Two Co-Workers

  42. 42 Athena

    Oh, man. I’m glad your…uh.. colonic mucosa was normal and the bleeding was minimal!! Glad you made it through okay, too!

    Athena’s last blog post..The Olympics are sexy

  43. 43 Musing

    Glad everything is fine!

    Colonoscopies are no fun at all. But, at least your doctor was hot.

    Musing’s last blog post..Spread the quotes and share the, um, wisdom

  44. 44 Elle

    GAH! My sister just did this – about the same time as you did, BTW. All she would allow is that “they gave me way much demerol.” Not too, but way much. I agree with those who suggest that the demerol begin before the fasting and tri-lyte.

    Elle’s last blog post..Guess Who…

  45. 45 JD

    Angi: Y’know, as bad as that “original flavor” stuff was, I almost prefer it to the fake-flavored crap. It NEVER tastes like what it’s supposed to taste like. Your blood testing ordeal sounds awful. I hope you don’t ever have to go thru anything like that again.

    Athena: Ew! You said “colonic mucosa”! Seriously, thank you very much. I’m glad too. I think you get 7 years before you have to do another one. Hopefully by then they’ll have invented some sort of camera pill for the colon.

    Musing: Yeah, there was that. Too bad he was looking up my butt the whole time!

    Elle: Is there such a thing as “too much” demerol? I think not.

  46. 46 Diffuser Sticks

    Oh, my god! I’m really sorry that you had this horrible exam:/ I hope that you feel fine. I was very close to have an oposite exam – from a different side – and I couldn’t make it.

  47. 47 Julie in Houston


    “Does it look like glass?”

    I almost peed my panties when I read that. Thanks for the insight on your procedure. My Gpa died of colon cancer and my Mom has colon issues so I’m sure there will be plenty of glassy stool in my future.


  48. 48 muskrat

    i hope i don’t have to do that before i’m “old.” at least 30 more years.

  49. 49 JT

    Angi, I’m with you on the sugar syrup, although I have to say, you got off easy girl! Man, when I took that test, it was starve for 12 hours, drink this enormous bottle of syrup, (and they didn’t have orange flavored back then, it was Sprite or Coke) and the get poked for 8 hours! It was horrible, it sucked, like you, I walked out looking like a junkie in need of intervention, and the nice nurse had the nerve to pat me on the head and tell me “well now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
    Course that was 10 years ago, and I have been very clever about avoiding it since then.
    Finger up the butt, yep, they pulled that 1 on me when I was preggers with my 2nd girl. No warning, just a SURPRISE! My favorite OB of all time, and damned if she almost didn’t get my foot up her ass!
    The other thing is this: when I had my uterus taken out, after recovery, they booked me with a woman who was doing the same thing you did, only in the confines of the hospital. It was terrible because there I was trying to recover from surgery, and instead, that first night was spent listening to her try to get “clear stool”. It was so funny because the most atrocious noises came out of the bathroom all night long, and it hurt like bloody fury to laugh, and all I could do was lay there and cry in mirth and wait till I could punch the button on the morphine machine so I could laugh instead in reasonable comfort. I had actually forgotten about that, thanks for bringing the memory back! :)

    JT’s last blog post..Construction hell and paper trails

  50. 50 JD

    Diffuser Sticks: I do feel fine, thank you! I felt fine the second it was all over. I hope your exam goes well—is it the dentist??? (also bad)

    Julie in Houston If you liked that, be sure to check back at the end of the week. I’ve got a real treat for all the “glass poo” fans (a total of you and me, at this point). I’m very sorry to hear about your grandpa and mom. You should be fine if you do the Glassy Stool procedure when you need to. Good luck!

    muskrat: Ah, my young muskrat. Y’know, I’m not “old,” either. I have at least 3 more years till I’m 50. That’s not quite the same as 30 years, but it’s close.

    JT: I’m glad my clear stool saga brought back happy (if somewhat painful) memories. And boy do I feel lucky that I haven’t had to do the human pincushion thing. What is it with these nurses? “Now that wasn’t so bad”? Um . . . have you ever had to starve yourself for 24 hours and then drink fizzy phlegm? I thought not.

  51. 51 Marketing Deviant

    Aww, I feel bad for the cats! Glad you are okay in the end :D Did you feed the cats afterward!?

    Marketing Deviant’s last blog post..Lose and Gain

  52. 52 Luxor

    Hi, I gave you an award on my blog!

    Luxor’s last blog post..Re: Brillante Award

  53. 53 iMike

    You are a brave brave lady.

    I am a a young adult male currently pursuing a medical career and usually I am more than happy to be a lab rat. This may be one of the few things I would actually volunteer to do without having to do.

    So kudos to you! I work in a pharmacy setting, so I am aware of the horrors of TriLyte and similar (prep) laxatives. I hear the cherry is a good choice. Well I guess you’ll do that next time haha.

    Great post and I love your blog. It’s a very clever idea!



    iMike’s last blog post..Bad Ad Placement?

  54. 54 WillThink4Wine

    Yup, that’s a fair and accurate report alright! Well done. I hope no stray hairs found their way to your colon, too.

    WillThink4Wine’s last blog post..WW: 9½ Weeks – You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies!

  55. 55 JD

    Marketing Deviant: Hey! The cats are getting more sympathy than me! Yes, I absolutely fed the cats immediately after I took that photo. They are not the sort of cats to be fooled with.

    Luxor: Thank you so much!

    iMike: Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I am brave, aren’t I? And, no, I wouldn’t recommend volunteering for this particular procedure. I’d have gone for the cherry in a heartbeat, but they tell you no red or purple liquids, as that can mess up the ‘scope.

    WillThink4Wine: As far as I know, I’m good. Fair and accurate? I guess you speak (sadly) from experience.

  56. 56 Rhonda

    They knocked you out for yours!!?? I am jealous….I was awake for the whole thing.

    Rhonda’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  57. 57 JD

    Rhonda: Like WIDE awake? I was under conscious sedation, which meant that I was probably somewhat awake, but I don’t remember anything. It felt like I was knocked out completely.


  58. 58 Chelle

    Man does that sound horrible. At least you came out of it to write about it right? I sincerely hope you are right that I won’t have to do that!

    Chelle’s last blog post..This Week On Ebay 8.12

  59. 59 Charles

    Just seeing that picture of the Colonoscopy makes me worried for a few years down the road when I will start needing them… Yucky!

  60. 60 JD

    Chelle: Nope! You’re good. I did it so NOBODY else has to. But, of course, you really should do it, when the time is right. Hopefully that’s a long way off.

    Charles: I can’t argue: “Yucky” is a pretty good description. But they are important. Don’t worry. If I can get thru it (and laugh about it), anyone can.

  61. 61 maria

    Sorry you had to go through a colonoscopy but that was some funny shit. Oh wait, sorry. That was very, very funny.

    I actually laughed out loud while reading for the first time in a long time.

  62. 62 Fanta Girl :)

    LOL. Gosh, I can actually relate to this post. This situation sucks, no? :(
    But your post made me laugh so thank you, haha.

    I’ve had one before and ironically, I’m fasting today – because I have another one tomorrow morning! Seriously.
    So it was like a Godsend when I found your post!

    Needless to say I am starving right now, and it’s feels much better knowing someone understands!
    (especially the bit about the disgusting stuff they make you drink.. euw, as if the ‘flavour’ is gonna make a difference!)

    Great post lol, keep it going :)

  63. 63 unfinishedrambler

    Thank you for not having any video with this, but the pictures of the cats– well, the one cat anyway — looking up forlorn (the other one looked like he had that blank cat stare into space that you wonder what the hell they’re staring at anyway) were great as well as the bottle of gin you had there (oh, wait, that wasn’t gin).

    I apologize for not putting you on my blogroll sooner or adding you to my reader. Now you can breathe easier knowing you’re on my blogroll and your subscriptions went up by 1. (I saw you were going to be having this post last week and should have known it would be nothing but classic, colons plus oscopies always equals humor).

    unfinishedrambler’s last blog post..Shout outs to my Humor-Blogs.com peeps

  64. 64 JD

    maria: Heh. You were right the first time. And thank you. As I’ve said already, the only thing that got me thru it was knowing people were going to laugh at my expense.

    Fanta Girl: Oh, no! I’m so sorry you are in the middle of this right now, but you know I’m pulling for you and hoping the time will fly by and everything will be fine. I’m so glad you found my post! Best of luck tomorrow. Please come back and tell us how it went!

    unfinishedrambler: No, it wasn’t gin. I wish it was gin, and I don’t even like gin.

    And thanks for the blogroll add! That’s fantastic. I treasure every single reader and I ADORE every single commenter. So thank you. It’s a pretty good value, tho, don’t you think? I mean, I did get a colonoscopy so you don’t have to.

  65. 65 Andrea

    Whoa! Better you than me! I would so have died just from fasting. That would have been the worst. The pooping and camera in the rear would be a piece of cake compared to a day with no solid food. Glad your booty got the A-OK after all that!

    Andrea’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  66. 66 Missy

    OMG! Are you a comedienne? I laughed so hard I cried, then laughed some more, cried some more…. Every 30 seconds (if not less) I had to take off my glasses, wipe my eyes and start again, inevitably beginning to laugh/cry before I could even find where I left off. My kids came out to the family room wondering if I was seriously crying and looked at me as if I was nuts…well… I probably am because of them. Tomorrow I will share your link with my friends at work. You can bet that a pack of women over 50 will be howling and rolling on the floor in a much needed humor break. Keep writing. Now I am off to click more medical adventures.

  67. 67 Margaret

    This is by far one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. Bravo, author, bravo! I couldn’t stop laughing, sorry about that, I mean we’re talking about the poop chute. Yours.

    I cracked up at the kitty photo caption, and just kept laughing the whole way through. Thank you!


    Margaret’s last blog post..Skankiness & Shoe Spray, With Honors

  68. 68 JD

    Andrea: The fasting was indeed the worst. It’s just unnatural. And thank you. My booty is better than ever!

    Missy: Oh, my gosh, thank you so much! This whole was definitely worth it if it made a few people laugh until they cried. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. The procedure wasn’t much fun, but writing about it sure was. Yes! Spread the word! All your 50-something friends are more than welcome!

    Margaret: Wheee! Thank you! You are encouraged to laugh! Like I said above, that’s what it’s all about — even if someone has to shove a tube up my butt, as long as people laugh, it’s worth it. And I want to say again: The cats WERE fed. I swear!

  69. 69 Fanta Girl :)

    aaaw, well i’m back from the colonoscopy and it went fine thank you!
    I slept through it, and I woke up thinking hurray it’s over! Haha, this thing was weighing on my mind for a month.

    And I’m still a little woozy from the sedative, haha I can hardly walk straight!

    I’m about to add you to my blogroll cos ur blog is fab, original and oh so cool :)

    drop by sometime and visit me. and thank you for the laughs!

    Fanta Girl :)’s last blog post..Can’t Sleep?

  70. 70 JD

    Fanta Girl: YAY! I’m so glad it’s over and everything went well. Enjoy a delicious nap. You may still feel a bit out of it tomorrow, too, so just take it easy.

    Thanks for the add! I’ll definitely stop by!

  71. 71 Indygal

    This is great! Everything we need to know about this procedure and yet it is presented in such a hilarious manner! Thanks for both the info and the laughs!

  72. 72 Ashley

    I read this and I cried I was laughing so hard from the commentary. All I could think about was when my mom had to go through the same thing. She didn’t have any of those life-saving flavor packets you were fortunate to have! She had a lemon lime flavored stuff…so she thought of many different ways of consuming the 8oz every 5-10 minutes..I think her best idea included putting the 8oz in 8 shot glasses and cutting up a few limes…then she would down a shot followed by biting a lime wedge….She would shake in disgust each time.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your colonoscopy adventure…

    Thanks for the laugh

    Ashley’s last blog post..I’m sooo glad that is on a leash!

  73. 73 allure

    wow! you made it sound so easy. most people are really scared doing this thing. good thing you explained everything as if it’s not a big deal. and you inspire people to do the procedure.

    allure’s last blog post..Black Princess and The Frog

  74. 74 JD

    Indygal: Aw, thank YOU! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I hope it was somewhat helpful. It’s still something everyone WILL have to do themselves, at some point.

    Ashley: Oh, your poor mom! I think there is just no way to get around the foul taste of that stuff. But she was creative, at least. I’m laughing (and sympathizing) at the image of her shaking in disgust. Thanks for the comment!

    allure: Thank you! I hope people won’t be too freaked out about it. It’s not the most pleasant 24 hours, but if you have a sense of humor, it’s not too bad. And it IS important.

  75. 75 Addie

    OH MY GOD. Found this post after a Google search and nearly laughing myself to death. You are so right on about all the details. I went through this today and no one tells you about the mortification you are going to feel when you wake up realizing you are in the midst of UNCONTROLLABLE, persistent gas passing in front of at least 20 nurses and other patients. My doctor was also hot so it was almost worth it though…

  76. 76 JD

    Addie: HA! I’m so glad you came across my post. It’s rather embarrassing, isn’t it? Still, it’s probably the one time in your life that flatulence is not only acceptable but encouraged. I quite enjoyed really letting loose, much to the disapproval of my mom.

    And yay for hot doctors!

  77. 77 Colon Leaf

    great post on colon cancer

  78. 78 flit

    so now that you’ve done it the rest of us never have to, right? Isn’t that the deal?

    flit’s last blog post..Dream Jobs…

  79. 79 Julia_01_bebe

    Okay so first of all the article was hillarious. I am 25 and having my second colonoscopy in two years tomorrow morning and drinking the “elephant semen” as I type. I love it just as much as you do, and I just got a kick out of your honesty. It totally sucks and thankfully yours was clean. My last one had villous polyps (whatever the heck that is) anyhow it’s the kind that if left there to stew can eventually be cancerous. So here I go again….under the scope….or over the scope, whatever. Hope this ones clean so I don’t have to visit the butt doctor for 10 years, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

    Bottom line the doctors, or pharmaceutical companies have to come up with a better way. I’d rather jump out of my window barefoot and naked than drink this crap in another year!

  80. 80 JD

    flit: Um . . . well, technically that is how it works, but I should remind you I am not a licensed doctor, and it just could be that my colonoscopy will not, in fact, work on you. I’m just sayin’. I’d recommend a second opinion, just to be safe.

    Julia_01_bebe: Oh, boy. You’re too young to have to start doing this on a regular basis. I really do hope you are declared “all clear.” Will you please come back and let us know? I’m pulling for you. I have a friend who had to start having colonoscopies when she was 35, every 2 years. She had a lot of polyps at first, too, but they have decreased with each procedure. Hopefully, that will be the case with you. GOOD LUCK! Enjoy your elephant semen! And thanks for stopping by. I do hope you’ll come back and tell us how it all went.

  81. 81 IBSJournal

    I had a colonoscopy last week, and to add to your tip on moist toilet paper, I’d add that a good barrier cream is a God send!

    As I have a baby daughter I pinched some of her nappy rash barrier cream (Sudocrem), which was actually suggested by my doctor.

    Moist TP and barrier cream really helped. I’d hate to think how sore I would have been without them!

    IBSJournal’s last blog post..Rome III Criteria for IBS

  82. 82 JD

    Thank you so much for stopping by and throwing in your 2 cents. I wish I’d known about barrier cream, which, I’m guessing is British? I don’t know what the American equivalent is, but I’m sure someone can educate me.

  83. 83 Johnny

    I believe the barrier cream would be like diaper cream where it’s all white and gooey on your bum. I’m curious as to how old you are and why you went to get one of these things in the first place. Glad to hear your okay in there!
    Your post was very informative and entertaining at the same time.

  84. 84 JD

    Johnny: OH, ok. That clarifies things. Thank you! I’m 47 and needed the procedure just to rule out a few things. Luckily, things were ruled out, and I am fine. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  85. 85 Steve | Trade Show Guru

    hey JD,
    In all seriousness, thanks for this post. I’m still a few years away from this dreaded event, but a year ago or so I looked into what was involved. I didn’t know there was all the-day-before stuff. I thought one just went into the office and got stuck. Anyway, the medical descriptions I found were not nearly as informative (or entertaining) as your real life experience. Again, thanks.
    ~ Steve, aka the still under 50 trade show guru

    PS. I was going to ask why you had it done if you were under 50, but then saw your comment above. Glad things were ruled out. Do you have to go back at 50, or are you good for a decade or so?

    Steve | Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..King Corn

  86. 86 JD

    Steve | Trade Show Guru: You’re very welcome. I had hoped to make the whole process seem, well, not too horrific. Truly, the worst part is the prep, which is just unpleasant, not scary or painful or dangerous or anything. And if you can have a sense of humor about it, all the better. Best of luck with yours! And, no, I don’t have to go back for 10 more years! Wheee!

  87. 87 Katie

    I have to have my first colonoscopy Friday at noon and I’m only 22. I am not looking forward to it. I have to drink this shitty stuff that makes me have diarrhea all day long so I am going to be on the toilet today. I have to have it because I’ve been pooping red and my poops are big and large and they can stop up the toilet easily. I just can’t wait for it to be over with because I am just going to come home Friday and rest all day long and do nothing.

    Katie’s last blog post..Colonoscopy

  88. 88 JD

    Katie: Yikes! I hope everything goes well and you get some answers. Enjoy the rest of your day and GOOD LUCK!

  89. 89 ced

    I just came across this as I am prepping for this. I had the trilyte for kicks (really to try to get things right). The elephant semen did not help. Tonight I get to take 32 pills (no exaggeration) instead of drinking. I also had a nice barium cocktail 2 weeks ago so I guess the pills are a reprieve. I too am 25 years old. I’ll be ready for this agin when I turn 50. The prepping just sucks.

  90. 90 Diaper Cake

    This was a very informative post, if not overly descriptive, hah. I will be going in for my first colonoscopy and I had no idea what to expect. So you can imagine I definitely have a better understanding of it at this time. Thanks

  91. 91 JD

    Diaper Cake: OMG. I can rest easy now, knowing there is someone in this world named Diaper Cake. THANK YOU. I’m soooo glad I was able to help you visualize each step of the colonoscopy. Good luck with yours, and let us know how you did!

  92. 92 stan

    this is GREAT! thanks for sharing and “passing” on your experience in such a colorful way! at 2 pm today i will start the “prep” for the procedure…. and i have some really soft TP!
    pucker up!

  93. 93 JD

    stan: I’m so glad you popped in. Will you PLEASE come back and let us know (in gory detail) how it all went? Best of luck!

  94. 94 Ted

    What about colon cleansing? I heard that over time helps prevent cancer, is that correct?

  95. 95 GiGi

    I found this site while looking up the directions for my husband’s colonoscopy. Having lived through these myself too many times, (I have ulcerative colitis), I want to thank you for making me laugh. I have always said the prep is the worst and the magnesium is worse than the prep, I can never finish it. My dad and my husband both are guzzlers, so they get through the Colytely much easier than I but being men, they fear the procedure each and every time. I will have my husband read this tomorrow while he is guzzling just to get a chuckle. Thanks again. BTW, I average 5 pounds weight loss every time. Unfortunately, it’s back by the time I eat again…

  96. 96 JD

    GiGi: Hi! And welcome. I’m so glad you got a laugh out of this, especially considering what you’ve had to go thru. Oh, that magnesium. It is pure evil. It’s hard to even describe what it tastes like or why it tastes so bad, but it does. Best of luck to your husband. Come back and let me know how it went!

  97. 97 Tracy

    OMG! That’s all I can say.

    So glad to hear your colonial mucus is not abnormal.

  98. 98 JD

    Tracy: So you read it, even with the threat of pictures?! I was soooo relieved about my colonial mucus. I had been worrying about it for days. You should get YOURS checked out too!

  99. 99 Tracy

    Yeah, I’m waiting to get hooked up with a corporate sponsor. Nobody winds a camera through my internal parts unless I’m getting paid!

    Although between us, now that the comments have died down, I have a biore-pore strip like curiosity over exactly how much would come out, should I have to do the prep.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..A celebration of my own labor =-.

  100. 100 JD
  101. 101 Carl

    I’ve had a colonoscopy too, due to UC. I found it stangely interesting being able to see up my own bum !

  102. 102 JD

    Tracy: Now that’s a good idea. And just between us? How much comes out? Well, a lot. All. Everything you ever had inside you and more. Most of it liquid. Figure on about 30 trips to the bathroom, and that’s no exaggeration. Let me know how that corporate sponsorship works out.

    Carl: I was out, so I didn’t have that pleasure. Not that I’d want it . . . I don’t think.

  103. 103 Mamajeanne

    Thank you. Truly. I just drank my second bottle of mag cit and at 10 pm, I get to down 4 dulcolax. Still can’t figure out why they want a sick mom to be up all night, but I’ll follow their damn instructions.

    Will I really not be able to drive for 12 hours?????

  104. 104 JD

    Mamajeanne: Hang in there! I’m not sure how strict the “no driving” rules are. You’ll be groggy from the anesthesia, even tho (in my case, anyway) it’s just the conscious sedation type. You may not even feel like going anywhere. Just take it easy and eat a turkey sandwich. This time tomorrow, it’ll all be over!

  105. 105 Meagan

    This is hilarious, I’m actually sitting here chugging that vile mess right now, Orange flavor of course. I just read a blog from a woman who had a colonoscopy previously and the DR told her she could start sipping the stuff in the morning and slowly through the day as opposed to chugging it all at once and that it helped a lot. Good advice for next time but too late for me now. In reference to clear stool, and I don’t mean to be vulgar but it’s like peeing from your butt, it’s kinda weird if you ask me, and when it’s like just water coming out, yea it’s totally random and weird and I have no desire to go through this stuff again. I’m not really nervous about the procedure other than the general embarrassment of having to pass gas in a room full of people. I’ve actually chosen my ride on the way home based on the fact that they will likely be there when I have to do it… ick embarrassing! I’m glad your procedure went well and I hope mine goes just as well. I’m only 24 WAY too young for this stuff!!

    BTW having a cold and continual sneezing while you’re bowels are on over drive, lmao, no fun!!

    Thanks for this post a good way to pass the time while drinking this mess.

  106. 106 JD

    Megan: Hey, how did it go? I hope you’ll come back and let us know. God, I’m so glad I didn’t have to deal with a cold AND the dreaded solution. How awful for you. I was so relieved when it was over, I didn’t even mind about the gas-passing. (And really, you have no choice.) I hope everything went OK!

  107. 107 Beth

    I had a colonoscopy for the first time a week ago.
    There was probably no one more nervous than me as I am an anxious person to begin with.
    Now a week later I can say I am soooo glad it is over and done with.All went well (just have a hemorrhoid which I knew about)
    If I can offer my tip it would be to get the MoviPrep solution mix one liter with unsweetened ice tea and one with 1/2 strength Juicy Juice apple juice.Make sure you have the prep COLD and drink through a straw.
    Take as long as you need to get through it.
    The Office said I could do that and in between glasses I drank some flat gingerale to help the taste.
    It worked well and I think the tea and the apple juice made the drink atleast bearable.
    It’s not a picnic at all but if you get some herb ox beef broth and some jello smacks to help too and use my tips you can deal with it.
    The procedure was not as bad as I imagined.
    I had a small amount of diprovan and so I nodded off but was awake a bit too and it was over pretty quick.
    Go and have it done for peace of mind.
    I can go back in 5 years..

  108. 108 college girl

    This REALLY made me LOL. I’m in my early 20′s and will be having an upper endoscopy and colonscopy in a couple days. I was searching for tricks to make that disgusting “elephant semen” taste better, but I could not. I was going to choose pineapple, but I may rethink that now. I am going to read this again when I’m going through the laxative process (can’t wait) because it is sooo funny! Thanks for the post, hope everythings okay with you!

  109. 109 JD

    Beth: Thank you SO much for dropping by to share your tips. I wish I’d known about the apple juice thing. I’m not even sure when/if I have to go back. Hopefully never, but I don’t think it works like that. Orange jello is the best!

    college girl: Oh, good! I’m glad you LOL’d. Be sure to read Beth’s tips (above your comment); she has some good ones. And truthfully, the pineapple flavor was probably no worse than the others. It’s just very hard to make elephant semen taste good, I guess. Best of luck, and come back to let us know how it went!

  110. 110 Beth

    You’re welcome JD.
    Glad you liked my tips. The only thing I didn’t do that the Doctor said was also good was to have some Lemon ice after each cup (but I did the flat gingerale instead)

    Anyway you slice it a colonoscopy is quite the experience-that is for sure!! I think I forgot to mention with the prep my stomach felt like the Amazon river was in it..and then the Nile flowed in.
    Gurgling all night long.
    Just remember it’s only a short time then you are back to normal :)

  111. 111 Bea Bear

    Hi everyone. I have been putting this off for 12 yrs. I am now 62. I still can’t bring myself to getting one. I am scared to death of this procedure. Why the go lytly stuff? I have heard of people taking the Miralx in 64 ounces of liquid. There is no taste with this or the pills that have no taste. You don’t mention anything about anyone taking a different course of prep here. Is there anything that will keep one from vomiting up this stuff? Scarey. I have irritable bowel, don’t think that would help one bit. Had two children and I would rather face a baby than this. I hope I can change my mind but so far not.

  112. 112 JD

    Beth: Ah, excellent analogy: the Amazon and then the Nile. Man, it’s all coming back to me! HA! But yes. It’s an unpleasant evening, a gurgly night, a kind of crappy morning, and then DONE! And then you can have a nice nap and delicious sandwich.

    Bea Bar: Hello, and welcome! I’m sorry you’re so scared of getting a colonoscopy. I’m in no position to say, Hey, EVERYONE should do it! It’s really a personal thing, and something you need to decide about on your own. I do know there are other options to the Trilyte, but I don’t know much about them. You should ask your doctor, because I’m sure there’s a way to make it easier for someone with IB. Best of luck to you!

  113. 113 UKMummyof3

    Thanks so much for your account of the colonoscopy, or rather the prep beforehand. I've got to go through this soon, just waiting for a date after having a camera that only went 'so far' showed some inflammation. They're looking to diagnose colitis when they do the colonoscopy. I'd heard about the joys of the prep beforehand and so had a little search for experiences and came across yours. I can't tell you how much I giggled at the 'elephant semen' hmmm, can't wait! I've got a fairly good sense of humour and have already got some soft wet wipes and stack of magazines and a pillow to lean my head against the wall when I'm on the loo. My 5 year old will be told that mummy is decorating the bathroom so she'll have to use the little loo downstairs. Glad all was well with you. I already know I have a problem, probably colitis, but am hopeful I'll get a diagnosis and treatment which will make life better for me. My colonoscopy is due in about 3-4 weeks time and I'm 39.

  114. 114 JD at I Do Things

    Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm happy to hear my little colonoscopy tale gave you a little giggle. I hope everything goes well for you, and you get some answers that lead to an easy resolution of your problem. I hope you'll come back and let us know how it went. Good luck!

  115. 115 UKMummyof3

    Hi, I’m back after my colonoscopy and diagnosis.

    Firstly the prep beforehand….an absolute breeze. I found it all incredibly easy. I’d got the baby wipes, a word search book, a carton of apple juice to take a sip after the glass of ‘stuff’. I had to take a sachet of Citrafleet at 2pm..easy and a pleasant taste and then I waited for almost 2 hours before it started to take effect. At 5pm I had to start preparing the first sachet of the bowel cleanse stuff and I had to drink a glass full every 10-15 minutes. I hate drinking ice cold drinks so mine was tepid and i drank it through a straw. It did have a salty taste but it also had a vanilla after taste and I followed it quickly by a swig of the apple juice which took the taste away immediately. I had about 9 glasses of the stuff and it worked after 1 hour and 10 mins after taking the prep. I was able to move around the house easily and didn’t feel I had to stay in the bathroom ALL the time. The effect started at about 7pm and it seemed to be over with by about 8.30-9pm. But I did have to get up in the night once and in the morning I had to go again. I was fine on the trip over to the hospital, but VERY nervous.
    On arriving at the hospital I waited for about 20 minutes then was shown into a ward where I fell apart emotionally. I’d been worried about the result I’d get and had held it together in front of the children but sitting in that little cubicle and getting into the hospital gown seemed to be the turning point and I just cried. A very nice nurse came and talked to me and allowed my hubby to come in and sit with me until it was time to go down for my colonoscopy.
    I went down and they sorted out the canular (IV line thing) into the crook of my arm. The consultant then came in said he was going to have a good look at my bowel and it all started very quickly.
    I have to be honest here and say it was painful. I was moaning and crying with the pain BUT it was manageable, just, and it didn’t take long. I didn’t feel sedated at all. I was aware of the several biopsies taken as the consultant was saying ‘open’, ‘close’ and I felt a small sensation that was not at all painful. As soon as they were done the pain went away and I was wheeled back to the ward. I asked straight away if there was any tumour or cancer and the answer was ‘no’.
    The consultant was very aware of how painful I found it and explained that 10% of people do find it painful and that I had a sensitive bowel.
    He had found some mild inflammation.
    I went back to the cubicle and a nurse came and hooked me up to the blood pressure monitor and let me rest for about 15 minutes and then brought me a lovely cup of tea and a few biscuits..I was so hungry!
    My husband was then allowed back in and we chatted for a few minutes and then the consultant came to the bed and drew me a little diagram showing me where the inflammation was and said he’d see me in 2 weeks time and explain more. At this time no medication was given as they had to get the result of the biopsies back first.

    The let me go home after about 30 minutes which flew by. I got home, my hubby went out to get some fish and chips….which I was really craving. I ate some of that and then just watched TV feeling absolutely fine. A couple of hours later I did the food shopping online and ate dinner as usual and everything felt normal. I did feel very slightly woozy but not in an unpleasant way and not enough to make me feel really sleepy. I wasn’t sure if that was the sedation or the lack of food the day before and the worry.

    Apparently you’re not supposed to be left alone for 24 hours after sedation, but I felt fine and my hubby took our youngest child to school so I was alone for all of 20 minutes. By this time I felt back to normal and relieved it was all over.

    Fast forward to yesterday (2 weeks after the colonoscopy) I had my follow-up appointment with the same consultant. My biopsies confirmed that I had mild ulcerative colitis. I’ve been put on 2g of Pentasa (4 tablets per day). These should ease the inflammation, lengthen my time in remission from flare-ups and lessen the effects of the flare-ups when they happen. Everything was explained carefully. I asked about whether I should avoid certain foods and whether pro-biotic yoghurts help or not. I was told that they wouldn’t hurt and that some people find them beneficial.

    I have a follow up appointment to see how the medication is going in another 8 weeks time. I also asked about the colonoscopy and why it was painful. He checked the amount of sedation I’d had…quite a hefty dose apparently, but he also said that as i was SO nervous it might have lessened the effect. he also said that some people have 1 painful colonoscopy and then go on to have others that are much less painful. I asked when the next one would be. He said in 10 years time unless something changed.

    So there you go, I found the prep an absolute breeze. I found the colonoscopy painful. BUT it’s well worth it to get a diagnosis and the right treatment. I’d go and do it again tomorrow if I had to. Even though it was painful it really doesn’t last long AT ALL and as soon as it’s over it’s fine. I was smiling within a couple of minutes even with my experience.

    If anyone has symptoms they feel aren’t right, then go and get them checked out. I didn’t go for 3 YEARS! Even though I knew things weren’t right. it was always at the back of my mind even after a flare up had gone away. I’m so relieved now to be on the right track. the peace of mind I have now is SO worth the few minutes of pain…and anyway 90% of people find colonoscopies to be a breeze.

    Good luck to anyone else going through this. The worry was the worst part by a long way.

    love to you all

  116. 116 UKMummyof3

    I should have made it clearer that my hubby took our youngest to school the next morning when the effects of the sedation were well and truly wearing off. My colonoscopy appointment had been at 11am the previous day.

    I’ll check back occasionally, if anyone has any questions about my experience ask away.

    A big thanks to JD for providing a platform to discuss this stuff. :)


  117. 117 JD

    UKMummyof3: Wow! I feel like I should replace my post with your wonderfully detailed account. It’s so much more informative and action-packed! Very, very glad to hear that your prognosis was positive. That’s the BEST news! Also great that your prep was not too bad — it sounds like you were really well . . . prepared, I guess! Good for you. I’ll have to remember the apple juice and will recommend that to anyone I know who may have to do the prep.

    So sorry to hear you experienced pain. I have a friend who has to be put out completely because she has a “twisty” colon. At least you don’t have to go back for another 10 years, and when you do, you’ll know what to expect.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I’m happy for you!

  118. 118 Linda

    I am so glad you had the colonoscopy so I didn’t have to :D I’ll make sure to let my doctor know when I turn 50 that you already did it for me.

  119. 119 Jenn

    I came across your blog as I was googlong stuff on my iPhone while on the toilet. It made me laugh while I was “peeing out my butt” and the great rivers of Africa and South America magically converged in my abdomen (referencing the comment someone else alluded to). All of these experiences descibed by others has helped me get through this evening as I’ve been on bathroom lockdown.

    In retrospect, I think the liquid diet was nothing compared to the awful “elephant semen” (which made me gag and throw up a little a few times).

    I am not looking forward to farting in front of people tomorrow.

    Anyway, so two years later….things haven’t changed much at all. I will have to write here again after I get done with the procedure tomorrow.

  120. 120 JD

    Jenn: Oh, man. As I read your comment, I didn’t realize you were responding to the colonoscopy post. I was like, “peeing out my butt”??? WHAT? Now I get it. I’m glad you were able to get a laugh or two during your ordeal. And the farting in front of people? It’s actually quite enjoyable. Hope everything went well!

  121. 121 actubuzz videos humour

    I had one last year. Best part was farting on the nurses, and they said it was fine.
    I can’t even smell pineapple since then, though.
    I did ask the doctors for copies of the colonoscopy for my Christmas cards, but they wouldn’t give them to me. :(
    Glad you came through it fine.
    .-= actubuzz videos humour´s last blog ..Jean Claude Van Damme frappe un caméraman Gillette =-.

  122. 122 Lu

    Hyper and scared about my procedure tomorrow, I really needed the humor. Thanks.

  123. 123 irisheyesami33

    I am about to do the prep tonight, but I do not have to do it for a procedure, I only have to do it to get cleaned out :( Unfortunately, I have a very bad problem with constipation and I also have been on pain meds for many years, so that makes it even worse! I already take Miralax twice a day, but unfortunately it hasn’t been enough. I started taking Colace, but the dr. told me to stop, as it is not good for me. The reason I am doing this tonight is because I have been feeling very sick lately and it is most likely because I am so “backed up.”

    I really liked this article…it made me laugh, but I sorta feel her pain, too…I’ve had a colonoscopy in the past already, so I’ve been through this whole ordeal as well. The only bad thing was that it was all for nothing…the “special prep solutions” didn’t work to clean me out like they were meant to do. I ended up getting another procedure done…it was even worse! (can’t think of the name of it)

    Anyways, I was trying to find out what flavor I should put in my jug of “elephant semen” before I go to town on it, lol. I already know Pineapple is out of the scenario. My daughter is telling me to use Lemon-Lime, but I’m thinking “NOT”….I’m thinking maybe Orange? or Cherry? Maybe those would be the strongest flavors? haha! Wishful thinking. Well, I better get busy…or it’s gonna be a long night!


  124. 124 Nancy

    Thanks to you I knew what to expect the day before and the day of my colonoscopy. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sight of one of my neighbors (and one I’m not very fond of) assisting the nurse. Well, wasn’t that a special moment we just shared. Thank you for making me laugh.

  125. 125 JD

    Nancy: Oh, NO! That’s not something anyone going through a colonoscopy should have to deal with. Hope everything went OK!

  126. 126 Susan

    Next time…for those of us over 50 who endure this crap every couple of years….only put 1/2 the water in the jug(with the lemon-lime) and buy a 2 liter bottle of 7-up. Pour half a glass of the ill gotten elephant semen and fill up the rest of the glass with the cold 7-up. Also, start earlier in the day if you your colonoscopy is the following morning…you will get some sleep. It was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
    Susan´s last blog post ..I AM 50 so you don’t have to be

  127. 127 Kathie

    OMG- I giggled through this entire article. I’m in the process now of cleaning out my colon. What a great giggle! Elephant semen… :)

  128. 128 Kathie

    Why do you have to drink this stuff so fast? It’s gross! Can’t I just gag and sip, gag and sip? Throwing it down my throat is what’s making me sick- I dont like sweet things too much. I don’t drink soda or even sugar in my coffee. This stuff is beyond gross… Come on baby, work! Damn it, work! I want to be done. T minus 18 hours remaining. I think we should get the sedative the day before.

  129. 129 Zee

    Thank you so much for this article; I laughed hysterically (which is much needed because I am sooooo hungry).

    Susan thanks for the tip.

  130. 130 Jesica Lenes

    thanks for your hysterical article on colonoscopies. I have to have one done and aren’t afraid of the procedure; it’s the fasting I’m nervous about but if a lot of people have it done, so can I.

  131. 131 Valtharius

    It’s 3:45am and I just finished the last 8oz. of the Trilyte…. Suggestion, mix it at room temperature with bottled water (about 8 – 16.9oz. bottles fills up the jug, so shake it well at half full. Put in rest and shake). Don’t throw away the empty water bottles. Get some Crystal Lite (lemon flavor only – doesn’t matter if it is sugar-free or not) in the little pour in the bottle packets and do just that. Pour one Crystal Lite packet into each empty bottle. Pour the Trilyte formula into each bottle and shake then cap it. Chill them for at least 5 hours. This makes them MUCH easier to handle taste-wise. Drink half of a bottle every 15 minutes until you are through 5 of the bottles. Save the other 3 for your early morning prep. Make sure to drink plenty of clear liquids in-between 8oz doses. One, it keeps you hydrated and two, all the fluids pass through you faster. Use vaseline if your rearend gets chaffed and you can suck on hard candy to to get that taste out of your mouth.

    Some friendly advise from someone who’s been there. By the way, anticipation of drinking the prep is what psyches you out. It isn’t as bad as you think it will be! =o)

    Good luck!


  132. 132 Kamil Lipski

    Great article. I will have colonoscopy for 3 days. Mayby I survive ;)
    Kamil Lipski´s last blog post ..Bank Repo Cars For Sale

  133. 133 Kelly

    I’m having the procedure done in two days. I have been really nervous about it until I got to the part where you said “Blam! I was out!” That made me feel better! I may be considered clinically to be “lightly sedated” but if my experience is unconsciousness, I’m cool with it!

  134. 134 Brandi

    I have one of these tomorrow and all jokes aside
    that liquid shit they give you to drink taste like warm baby drool with a small hint of lemon extract. it doesn’t change cold, hot.. its just gross.
    and god i want a cupcake

  135. 135 Terri

    I get my colonoscopy in 5 days and I was a bit nervous until I read your article. I now have tears of laughter running down my face! Thank you for writing this!

  136. 136 jeri billets

    I just had my second colonoscopy. The exam is easy, but my first one was done with conscious sedation (Versed and fentanyl) and they never mentioned that the Versed is given to cause amnesia…weeks after the exam, the Versed caused me to forget my PIN numbers, kids birthdays and to experience PTSD. The so-called “conscious sedation” was awful; it’s what most people get and some think that they slept thru the test..actually they have creepy amnesia and it maybe long-lasting. 2 days ago I had my repeat colonoscopy without sedation; initially they tried to bully me into signing a sedation consent but I refused. Then they tell me that most docs and nurses at the endo center get their colonoscopies unsedated; they try to push sedation on patients because the exam goes faster…and they don’t concern themselves with the patient after the test (if you signed a sedation consent, they are off the hook). Such callous attitudes. My colonoscopy was incomplete because of suboptimal prep; the GI doc called and told me to reschedule ASAP… I’ll never go back because of the dishonesty regarding the sedation.

  137. 137 beth

    So funny! Thanks…its midnight and I still need to drink this stuff._

  138. 138 Justin

    My colonoscopy was no fun, had to walk around like I was riding a horse for three days :( Yahoo Fantasy Football Rankings

  139. 139 Tom

    I did the two-day fast (2½ before the procedure, I was starving!) and went for the colonoscopy. I was given Klean-Prep to take, a “wonderful” drink that contains propylene glycol, an industrial lubricant used in motor manufacturing and the Titan nuclear missile (I kid you not). This stuff tastes like cloudy water “with a hint of egg-custard”, is revolting as it sounds, and I had to drink 4 litres (around 7 pints) of it! Yuck!
    The procedure didn’t go well as they couldn’t get the camera far enough in (or up)… I was awake THE WHOLE TIME! The reassuring “You’re doing very well” from the kindly nurse didn’t really help. You missed out on the interesting part – watching your insides as someone tries to drive something that feels like a tractor through you!

    I am currently getting through prep for a CT scan – only two glasses of laxative to drink, and it’s lemon flavored (Mmmmm). Hopefully, they will be able to determine what, if anything, is amiss tomorrow!

  140. 140 Elaine

    laughed so hard I cried. thanks for sharing. I’m getting ready to drink my 2nd round. wish me luck!

  141. 141 sandra

    just drank my second round gagging and crying as this is my second colonoscopy in 2 months (couldnt get all the way around the first time) – at least you made me laugh. thank you! this will be i think my seventh or eighth colonoscopy – i have lost count over the years and i started at the age of 33 as my bowel keeps trying to kill me by growing very nasty polyps. i am sad yo say that the prep just gets harder every time :(

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