A day of preparation

Today I must prepare myself for my colonoscopy, which is scheduled for tomorrow morning, by taking nothing by mouth but clear liquids. I can have coffee, tea, broth, juices, Gatorade, and so forth, but nothing with any substance or bulk. Around 3 PM I must begin taking a laxative named Nulytely (4 liters worth of it), and then spend the later afternoon and early evening purging my bowels of their contents so that the doctor can inspect that during the procedure.

For those of you who are asking yourself why I am having this procedure, let me reassure you that it is done as a precaution that is appropriate to someone my age. Colon cancer is said to be the preventable cancer because one can have this procedure (the colonoscopy) and thereby identify early any potential problems.

One source says:

With colonoscopy, it is now possible to detect and remove most polyps without abdominal surgery. Colonoscopy is more accurate than an x-ray exam of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. Frequently, polyps can be removed at the same time, a major step towards the prevention of colon cancer.

I have had no symptoms that have prompted me to get this done, save for the symptom of growing older. I just thought when having my annual physical last month that I would request to have this done, and my doctor agreed it was a good idea.

If I understand correctly today is the worst part of the whole procedure. That is, clearing out the colon by taking almost a gallon of laxative and suffering the effect of that is the most inconvenient and uncomfortable part of the procedure. Still I think it is worthwhile to do this procedure at least once and find out that all is well in my interior.


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