So if you were worried about the colonoscopy, I hope I put your mind at ease. They are nothing. A breeze. If you get a hot nurse (I wasn’t so lucky), they could even be filled with fantasy. Seriously! Get it done!
But the GI X-rays… That’s another story. I arrived at the appointment and the first thing they ask you to do is drink about 2 litres of a Barium Sulphate (ite?) “milk shake”. The stuff doesn’t taste terrible. Kind of like maalox. Chalky, with a hint of strawberry. You’ll have a lovely white tongue after drinking it.
They took me into an xray machine to get a quick look at how fast the barium was travelling through my system. Apparently this could take hours… Luckily they suggested it was moving quickly. You go through the same “cleansing” as the colonoscopy with powerful laxatives and clear liquids. Within 20 minutes I felt the barium reach the end of the line. So much so, I had to go to the washroom. They needed an xray to confirm what I saw in the toilet bowl… So I was ready. It was at this point they told me about the tube they’d be sticking up my booty. WHATT???? I didn’t sign up for that? OK, you’ll sedate me right??? NO???
So they got me up onto the xray table. Not without a fight. Danger pay for nurses. The tube she inserted into me (ahem) was uncomfortable. About the size of a finger. Saladfinger’s finger (obscure reference I know). She taped it into place so it would slip out. Thankfully I have a hairy ass. Wait, no, not thankfully. That’s gonna hurt when it comes off! So I’m violated, and broadway showtunes are started to run through my head. I imagine the xray room spruced up with some vibrant colours, nice carpeting and some high-end knick knacks. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come.
The doctor came in and pressed this giant xray machine into my belly. It was kind of cool, because I could watch the barium moving through my system in real time. An digestive ballet. It was beautiful. Then he told me he was going to start filling me with air. WHAT??? The air started to pump in and if you can imagine farting in reverse, you’d have the feeling locked in. I’ve “held back” some gas in my time, and I know that gas pains can be serious. They were now doing this intentionally! And it did not feel good…
The air kept pumping, and the doctor had me flipping over onto my stomach, to my right side, to my back, to my left side, repeat. Basically I think he’s getting the gasses to move backwards through my system. This is called a “Barium Air Contrast” xray. It makes pretty pictures.
So the end of it, they pull the plug out of my butt, and I rush to the washroom to explode the barium and air. I swear I could hear the people in the waiting room laughing. I could hear everyone at work laughing. I could hear my family and friends laughing. I decided to laugh along with them. It was over. It sucked. But farts are funny.
For the next few days, my stools slowly changed from a ghostly white (I called them “ghost poops”, perfect for the Halloween season) back to normal colours (green with pink polka dots). I’m basically waiting to hear the results…