Sunday, October 11, 2009

o festival day

Many major religious denom-inations celebrate today as a holy day, and I respect that. For me, however, the day's most notable quality is that it is Bowel Prep Day (BPD), which is the manner in which I will henceforward refer to it.

It is inspiring and comforting, when one embarks upon an artistic venture (here, blogging about bowel prep), to know that the great literary lights of our time have gone before, and that one's writing aspires to join an established canon, to add one gleaming facet to the jewel of literary exploration of a subject inextricably woven into the fabric of human experience. As every true student of literature knows, the seminal work on the subject of bowel prep was written by Pulitzer prize-winning author Dave Barry. Mr. Barry was (as one might expect) not preparing for the removal of endometrial adhesions; the anticipated event was a colonoscopy. Without further ado, then, the passage that established the canon:

[O]n the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-litre plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a litre is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon. The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

My endeavor today, then, will be to experience the truth of these assertions myself, and to share that truth, as best I know how, with the world.

I haven't started yet - I'm supposed to start on my drug cocktail at 10:00 AM Eastern, but I took my thyroid pill at 9:09 and wanted to give it an hour to absorb before I start taking antibiotics (synthroid apparently interacts poorly with practically everything, which is confusing to me, as it is supposed to be a clone of T4, which occurs naturally in the body and can't help interacting with all the food and drugs you ever consume, immediately), and dislodging the entire contents of my digestive system.

One of the questions to which I will direct my attention is whether consuming nothing but clear liquids (I'm planning on fruit juice - I don't know why Mr. Barry went with chicken broth. I hate plain chicken broth) and taking this concoction will get rid of my invariable early-menstrual bloating. I am not naive enough to suppose it will reduce the accompanying abdominal pain. Also worthy of note: I am not taking "Moviprep," but a substance called "Go Lightly," which I am sure was the manufacturer's attempt at humor. One might suppose oneself more likely to go, as it were, lightly, if one did not consume any laxative at all.

I would also be interested in hearing whether other ladies who took these preparations find Mr. Barry's description to ring true.


  1. Haven't ever had to do a bowel prep, but I'm praying your surgery is successful!!!

  2. If you can get some desitin that would help when you start spewing firey sand from your nether regions!

    Relax, have fun, and evacuate safely!

    They say the worse part of your surgery is the bowel prep. It actually brings me to tears to have to do another one ever again. Oh and the enema I had to do in the morning, probably cleared purgatory! :)

    I'm excited for you, because after your surgery, you should not have anymore pelvic pain. Say good bye to high doses of A.leve!!!!

    Hope things move smoothly! :)