Life as MommyMo

Monday, August 20, 2007

Now I know...

Disclaimer #1: I work for the American Cancer Society and truly, truly believe that regular colon screening according to published guidelines is one of the most critical health actions an individual can take to avoid a cancer diagnosis.

Disclaimer #2: Discontinue reading this post if you don't care to read a slightly personal update than you might have in the past.

So... The Fever of 2007 persists and Fancy Pants doctor ordered one last screening to make sure no stone is left unturned in the big hunt for possible malignancy. This last test is called a gallium scan. It seems it's a rather uncommon procedure and involves the following: an injection of gallium on Day 1. A 60-minute scan on Day 2. Another 60-minute scan on Day 3. It also involves the changing of the camera equipment in the nuclear medicine facility and thus can only be scheduled either first thing in the morning or as the last appointment of the day.

And... oh yeah... If you didn't know, it also involves a "bowel cleanse." That's a little tidbit that they don't tell you when you call to schedule this lovely scan. "Ms. Becker, our protocol indicates no prep is needed for this test. You will feel a slight pinch when receiving the injection, but no other advance preparation is required. You will feel no pain during the exam."

Ok... So the scan itself might not hurt (though I do have to lay still for an entire hour, which is darn near impossible for me) but the lovely little kit they send you home with -- did I mention I wasn't warned about this?? -- is plenty painful enough.

I had a few hours of intense water consumption leading up to the first actual dose of magnesium citrate. That left me plenty of time to consult Dr. World Wide Web to see what I might be in for as the day progressed. I found very little information, but did read one message board post that I chose to hang my hat on and cease the research process. That post indicated that the specific prep I was prescribed was far more palatable than the more common Go-Lightly that is used for colonoscopy.

Well, after having consumed the innocuous looking powder substance just moments ago, I am giving notice to my boss the minute I'm due back from vacation next week. I'm quitting a career I love to devote my entire life to the flavor enhancement of intestinal preparatory solutions.

It's THAT bad. I don't like anything salty, so the description on the package that called this particular pharmaceutical a "saline laxative" should have been my first clue that I was in for a less-than-tasty experience.

I should also add that in addition to not being warned that I was going to need to "prepare" myself for the scan, I also wasn't told that the prep involves a completely liquid diet for three entire days! The first thing with any flavor all day turned out to be, without exaggeration, the nastiest thing I have ever ingested.

I literally gagged down eight ounces of Lo-So Prep and then ranted to Rob about the injustice of the entire situation for a full ten minutes before he escaped to "do something upstairs."

Without belaboring the most unpleasant part of this whole experience, you've probably gathered what I have to look forward to for the rest of the night. I can't believe I'm already this miserable, and the "purpose" of the prep hasn't even commenced yet. At least the next dose of medication isn't liquid. Some genius must have tasted the stuff and figured no one would subject themselves more than once.

I'm also convinced that the beyond horrific taste of Lo-So Prep is quite possibly why the American Cancer Society recommends colon screening just once a decade (after a clean colonoscopy beginning at age 50 unless you are in a high risk category!)

Rant over. For now.


Kim said...

I kind of feel guilty for finding such entertainment in your discomfort. Ted told me before that if you have something funny on your blog to let him know so he can check it out.. I think he will be checking this one out!!!!!!

bodegalee said...

Oh Wow Karen! UGH... But Thank Goodness they've found nothing serious thusfar... Just love all your DIGI scrap pages - hmmm.... maybe this little not so fun moment in life could be scrapped! :)