I'm turning 50 this year. If having lost an uncle to colon cancer and seeing an aunt suffer from it were not enough to convince me to take preventive action, last spring my students and I took a little trip to a pathology department of a local hospital. We saw polyps at the core of a cancerous growth, and a few weeks later I asked my family doctor for a colonoscopy. In Quebec, Canada there is about a six-month waiting period for such a procedure, if you want it free and not go through a private clinic. Yesterday, was almost six months later, so on Sunday, I was put on a liquid diet. At 4 PM and 8 PM I dissolved a mixture of magnesium oxide, citric acid and sodium picosulfate(disodium (pyridin-2-ylmethylene)di-4,1-phenylene disulfate) in 250 ml of water. The reaction was exothermic, so I was advised to let it cool before drinking it. The picosulfate is a contact laxative which increases the motor activity of the intestinal tract. The first two compounds in water create aqueous ions of citrate and mamgnesium, which cause the inside of the colon to be hypertonic. This spells out osmosis as the rate of diffusion of water moving into the colon will exceed the rate of absorption. Summary: lots of peristlasis and lots of water in the colon spell out intense diarrhea one hour after ingestion of the product. After ingesting each pouch of this concoction, I had to drink a liter of fluids including a sports drink to compensate for the loss of electrolytes. They could not be red or dark-coloured since such solutions could interfere with the colonoscopy. Since I was spending so much time on the bowl and since the Celtics had finished beating the Lakers, I had time to go through the CPS(Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties ) entry for PicoSalax and noticed that the instructions differed from the one my doctor gave me. Yesterday the specialist explained to me that his procedure was more effective. By the way, before starting the diarrhea, if you don't have a bidet, apply zinc oxide so that you don't rub your butt off with toilet paper. At 10 PM I had to take a different laxative that was effective 8 hours later. Finally after a rough night's sleep I seemed to discharge the last of my colon's contents at about 6:30 AM. I was taken in by the orderly 15 minutes ahead of schedule, which stunned me. When I worked in Honolulu and had medical insurance with Kaiser, if they were 10 minutes late with an appointment I received a letter of apology and a free parking voucher. But in Montreal, hospitals that run hours behind schedule are as common as hockey and poutine. With the IV already inserted, the specialist gave me the option of having the colonoscopy done without sedatives, I agreed after hearing about the new equipment, seeing the high resolution monitor and being told that 50 year olds tend to have straighter colons. There were a couple of sharp pains as the tube took turns, but the procedure was far less discomforting than the toilet bowl bouts. I was happy that the previous night's ordeal had resulted in a clean colon and happier to discover that I, like about 80% of the population at age 50,was totally free of polyps. The images were so sharp that you could see the blood vessels on the walls of the intestine and the opening to the appendix. Without having been sedated, within a half hour I walked out, inflated with air that had been pumped into me and inflated with the thought that I would not have to feel intense osmosis for another 5 years until the next appointment.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- The Art Of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
- Small Topics on Neutrino’s for Discussion
- Systems Biology Post-Docs May Have A New Best Friend In...Philip Morris?
- New Theory On Cause Of Endometriosis
- Iron Deficiency Does Not Cause People To Become Vegans
- Oh, What A Tangled Web The NSA Weaves
- Oxadiazoles: New Class Of Antibiotics Discovered
- "The answer to your question -- what is the probability that somewhere in the universe there is..."
- "The underlying issue here may be methionine. I suspect it is that amino acid that is the principle..."
- "Oh, you might be able to use a web cam for a usb Geiger counter. I'm not sure an alpha source will..."
- "So, new questions for post-Sagan cosmologists, which is the probability that within a galaxy like..."
- "This is cool. This reminds me of a book by Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind ( I read it 20 years..."
- Education 'protects' poor women from fattening effects of rising wealth
- Deer proliferation disrupts a forest's natural growth
- New guidelines employ a team approach to autism diagnosis and care
- Research on 3D scaffolds sets new bar in lung regeneration
- New NASA Van Allen Probes observations helping to improve space weather models