Every ten years, whether I need it or not, I'm called upon to have a test performed on my insides. If you couldn't guess by the title of this little missive, the photos on the right should give it away. Yes, it's the dreaded colonoscopy.

Actually, I had my first just prior to my 55th birthday, a requirement for my long-term health care policy. I had another five years later but now find myself on a once-every-ten-year schedule. This was something of a rite of passage. You're really not a geezer until you've had your first. I was told not to fear the procedure itself. They'd put me under sedation, stick a camera up my bee-hind, and take pictures of my (hopefully) cancer-free insides. Indeed, this turned out to be the case. No pain, no real recollection of the event, and I was indeed cancer free.

But the prep. Oh the prep for the procedure was said to be legendary for its being utterly hideous. I was warned, and it lived up to its advanced billing. MRIs aren't as bad as I had been led to believe, nor are root canals. But the prep for a colonoscopy was truly horrible. And it hasn't changed too much.

Five days before the camera rolls, no raw veggies (not a big deal except for no lettuce and such) no fruits with skin (apples and pears are somewhat missed, but still no big deal) no nuts or seeds (I love cashews, and a couple of the people who sometimes stop by and listen to me play on the porch left me a bag of walnuts as a Christmas gift - okay, they keep!) and no beans. Beans have been a big part of my diet since I'm still shunning most meat. I see this phase as no more than a damn nuisance.

The day before, I'm down to Jell-o, vegetable broth, clear soda and (thank God) coffee. And at 5:00, I start the Purelax. 64 ounces of the stuff in eight-ounce doses, fifteen minutes apart. The stuff dissolves in water, GatorAde or any number of other bevereges. I use water because the taste isn't bad, but I may add some Mio flavoring to further enhance the experience.

As I recall, it was between dose two and three that I took up residence in my bathroom. I didn't find the taste to be as bad as some people described, but the sheer amount seemed to more than make up for it. What I don't remember (and may be a change) is that the morning of the procedure, I drink ANOTHER 64 ounces of this nectar of the gods. Adding insult to injury, I have to wake up at 7:00 to start this second session. 

The Physical Shin


Last update: January 2, 2021

The John Shinnick Website

Not my usual drug store purchases

Trying to arrange transportation isn't the easiest thing. This year I got two different people, one for the trip there, the other for the trip home. It's the trip home that's tricky because you're still groggy from the anesthetic. I never felt so impaired, but that's not to say I wasn't. I just didn't feel that way. It's about six or seven miles.


Is there a silver lining? Well, if you read my last month's installment, I've been having an issue with my weight. True confession, no progress to date. I can't even blame it on all the holiday parties and other food-laden gatherings, as there weren't any. Christmas was such a non-event (save a Zoom family event which didn't include dinner or even a toast to better times). I blame it on COVID and spending so much time in my house with all the food nearby.


But can you imagine the weight loss under this prep? I'm often told I'm full of $#!+ anyway, and if this is true, I could find myself down to maybe 60 or 70 pounds by the time I get my anesthetic. One change I've noticed is that the Purelax no longer requires a prescription. Perhaps a steady diet of the stuff... JUST KIDDING!

Anyway, I'll let y'all know how this all turns out. It's my third time, so I'm not nervous about it. I'm just glad that it's only once every several years.