Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Medical Procedure

Have you heard of a procedure called barium enema? If you haven't, here's a very descriptive article. It does a better job at decribing it than I can ever do! The only thing I have to say about it is that it is a most uncomfortable procedure and something that I do not wish to repeat any time soon, if at all possible, ever again!

What I would like to share here is the preparation I had to undergo before the barium enema.

In order for the procedure to be possible, your bowels have to be completely clean. So I was put on a special diet for 3 days. I was only allowed one solid meal a day, a small portion of baked/broiled/boiled fish or chicken and 2 slices of bread, that had to be taken by 8.00 a.m. The rest of the day I could only take liquids - clear broth, clear juices, soft drinks, tea or coffee with non-diary creamer, and all the jello I can take. I had never felt so hungry in my life! Liquids are a poor substitute for a nice solid meal. I now know what it means to go to bed hungry. :-(

The third day was the hardest. I had to take a full glass of clear liquid every hour. Then at 12.30 p.m. I had to take something called phosphate soda. Yucks! It tasted like 10 salted plums (somboi)! Horrible! I almost threw up what I had taken! That would have been bad. And do you know what phosphate soda does to your system? I think you can guess! Yes, it makes whatever is left in your tummy loose, very, very loose!! I had to run to the toilet countless times all throughout the afternoon. I still had to take the full glass of clear liquid all that afternoon too.

Then in the evening I had to take 4 tablets ... it did exactly what the phosphate soda did and its effect could be felt in the morning; the morning that I had the procedure done ... today to be exact!! As if that is not enough, I had to use a suppository, an hour before I left the house. If you don't know what a suppository is, go look it up in a dictionary! Haha.

I wasn't allowed to take anything this morning. Before I left the house, I made sure I brought some biscuits in my handbag! Heheh, after the procedure, I couldn't wait to eat something. Not that I was in any shape to eat anything. I was still suffering the after effects of the barium enema. :-(

We did stop at a Greek restaurant for lunch. I ordered a gyros sandwich, and I think that lunch was a little too heavy for my tummy ... my bloated tummy from the barium enema. Anyway, I was glad, really glad to finally have something solid in my tummy! :-)

P.S. I wished it was possible to have had pictures of me taken during the whole procedure! I told the doctor as much! He (a chinese doctor) just laughed at me. It would have helped you understand better what I had to go through.

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