Colonoscopy and Colyte can be fun if you do it right.

People hate drinking the Colyte laxative.

This updates the post about fixing the worst thing about a colonoscopy examination. Most people say they hate drinking the gallon of awful gut-cleansing laxative Colyte and its alternative Golytely beverage the night before the medical exam. I posted a review of this problem last year and have thought some more about it since then. Below are a few new and improved suggestions which will help billions of future people drink that foul tasteless fluid easily.

A method for drinking foul tasting fluids

The trick is to drink something pleasantly strong smelling and strong tasting immediately before the Colyte and then quickly gulp down the laxative stuff without breathing and then take another couple of swallows of the spicy good tasting stuff before breathing in though the nose and out through the mouth. It’s easier to do than to describe. Basically (Take a couple of deep breaths, swallow some spicy tea, gulp down the Colyte, swallow some more tea, breathe.) All of these fluids are best taken at room temperature.

How to put a little more fun into your Colyte experience.

To make this procedure even more fun you can drink a different spicy thing after the gulp. To make the whole ordeal even more fun, even entertaining, make it a challenge to find a different tasty thing to drink every single time both before and after the big gulp. There is a huge potential list of clear fluids which might be legitimately consumed. Perhaps one could consider this an opportunity to explore the many varieties of teas, coffees, jellos and sodas that you generally consider outside your normal routine. However, you are supposed to avoid red colored drinks for the last few purgings because the color might stain the colon and make interpreting any abnormal colon skin discolorations more difficult for your doctor. Dark colored Coke might be okay for the first several cycles of this procedure but the last ones used should be with pale colorless fluids like green tea, peppermint tea or flavored clear soda water. This whole cycle takes about 16 seconds, and most people can easily hold their breath that long if they take a couple of deep breaths before starting. If you can’t hold your breath that long, breathe in a little through your nose only, midway through the gulps while keeping your mouth closed, and then continue drinking. When you drink it all at once you can take a sip of something good tasting and smelling before and after the Colyte and you won’t even taste it; you will taste only the spicy first drink and the last one and the stuff in between will have no taste or odor at all. Just don’t breathe while drinking it and think pleasant thoughts.

The old cold-drink method doesn’t work very well.

The usual recommendation is to cool the laxative fluids to about 40°F in a refrigerator. They recommend this low temperature because it helps to suppress the foul taste but I found that to be bad advice because it is so cold that it becomes difficult to drink the Colyte quickly. That cold drink procedure becomes counterproductive because it takes longer to drink the stuff and it is in your mouth longer. While in your mouth it warms up and then tastes bad. What works better is to have it at about room temperature, 70°F. That temperature is a balance between easy to drink quickly and minimal odor and so you can easily drink it in one group of quick swallows.

Most of your time is your usual fun activities.

Although the gallon bottle looks impossibly large to drink in a single day it turns out to be easily done because the large volume of fluid doesn’t actually enter your body proper but it just goes inside your intestines and on out into the toilet in about ten minutes, before it gets assimilated into your body. Doing this procedure can get boring though because you are trapped and can’t go far away from a toilet, so you should pre-plan for some easily paused activity such as watching a movie. However, if you choose that option make sure you know how to operate the pause button on short notice. Yes, I mean short notice. You might practice this operation beforehand if you don’t usually pause to poo. Reading might not be distracting enough unless it is something rather racy, and computer work sort of keeps you hunched over in a tummy squeezing posture which may complicate matters a bit. It is probably okay to go to bed after your final drink and poo cycle but leave a bit of time, at least ten minutes, just to be sure. It might be a good idea to have a small towel tucked into the danger zone, just in case there is any anal leakage.

No pain at all if you accept the sedation.

The actual colonoscopy procedure is sort of fun if you like people fussing over you and don’t mind artificially friendly strangers putting probes up your butt. I have done it twice now, about ten years apart, once with sedation and once without. If they offer you sedation, go for it. That only takes a couple of minutes longer in the recovery room and you avoid all the possibility of pain. Actually the pain was only about like biting one’s tongue by pressing it upward forcefully against a canine tooth with just your tongue muscles. Not all that much pain but it’s way up inside of your guts and totally out of your control so it seems to hurt more than it really does.

A painless colonoscopy is better than a year of painful dying.

Colon cancer graphic showing stages of colon cancer

The stages of colon cancer. Click the picture link to details.

It’s a good idea to get these tests occasionally because if the first tiny colon cancer polyps are caught early they can be removed right during the exam. If the problem is corrected early the pleasant part of your life may be prolonged by many years into the future. If you don’t catch them your life will definitely be shorter and increasingly very unpleasant.

Leave a comment about your experiences – good, bad and other.

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A spider bite photographed a year later.

This is an update a year after the original spider bite; it shows a sequence of photos of a recluse type spider bite from August 16, 2010. Fortunately for me it wasn’t the very dangerous Brown Recluse, found in the lower Mississippi river valley, or the photographs below would look even worse.

A Recluse-Spider but not a Brown-Recluse

I found this Recluse-Spider in my house but not a Brown-Recluse - no violin on its thorax

spider bite

Spider bite. It's the first photo of my lower leg about four days after the bite. 8/20/2010

spider bite plus six days

Spider bite six days after the bite. - 8/22/2010

Spider bite progress

Spider bite seven days after the bite has developed long extensions 8/23/2010

Spider bite with long tendrils

Spider bite eight at days has developed long tendrils and isolated patches. 8-24-2010

Spider bite

Spider bite 15 days after the bite. 2010/09/01

 

Spider bite

Spider bite 26 days after the bite. 2110/09/12

Spider bite

Spider bite 28 days after the bite 2010/09/14

Two month old spider bite.

The spider bite 65 days after the bite. 2010/10/18 it still has soft dented tissue.

Spider bite is still visible a year later, at center where the lines enclose.

My spider bite one year later is just barely visible at the center.

This photo was made an hour ago, and a year after the spider bite. It shows that there is still a visible patch, but it would not be noticeable if one didn’t look for it. It no longer has a soft-dented feel when I stroke my finger firmly across it. The red area in the lower left  corner was caused when I scuffed my shin on a very heavy couch during some house moving operations last week.

Wikipedia has a good article on Spider Bites.

Although this bite looked bad, it appears that the best treatment was to clean the wound as early as possible with soap and water, which I did, and then an application of iodine or some similar disinfectant, which I didn’t, and then as the ugliness develops just keep it as clean as possible, which I did, and then to avoid spiders in the future, which I will most certainly do.

The bite never hurt or itched, which was why I didn’t notice it for a day or two. The first symptom was when the spot, which later had the ulcer, developed a liquid filled blister over a scarlet area. The first photograph in this series was taken soon after the blister burst. It looked ugly and I saw a doctor immediately, but since there wasn’t any infection he suggested that I just keep it very clean – which I did.

Two months later there was still an obvious discoloration around the ulcerated spot and that ulcer still had a slight indentation and felt spongy to the touch. The progress on healing was slowing at that time and it will only be necessary to photograph it occasionally, such as on the monthly anniversary of the bite. (A year later this spongy feel is gone.)

This post includes the updated photograph promised a year ago at my old site Probaway Life Hacks