Tuesday, December 6, 2011

what a difference not eating for 40 hours makes...

Generally, I don't go 40 hours between meals. But in preparation for yesterday morning's combo-platter of endoscopy and colonoscopy, I went without food for a long time. And naturally, as anyone who's experienced this personally knows, I also had the fun of drinking 4 liters of purgative swill. It was a singularly disgusting experience, one I wouldn't wish on anyone else, friend or enemy. I had chills and slept only fitfully, wrapped around a hot water bottle. The worst part was the final liter at 4am the day of the procedures. Utterly disgusting.

In truth, I'd felt lousy all weekend. We went away Friday night with 15 friends to a rental house on the beach in Stinson. We had unbelievable weather -- 80 degrees on Friday, in December! Unfortunately, my insides weren't as sunny -- I felt physically off, sluggish. Four hours sleep Friday night set me up for a persistent, nagging headache all day Saturday, a sleeplessness hangover that lingered into Sunday because meds were off-limits as part of the prep.

In a way it was a relief to start the purge at 4pm on Sunday, to hand myself over 100%, surrender to feeling as crappy (ha ha ha) as I felt, for 4 hours. Throughout, I thought about people who never get enough to eat, about how much I probably generally over-eat, about how mostly easy it was to skip meals, how much more time and brain-space I felt like I had when I didn't have to worry about what and when we would eat next. The lack of food and mostly dehydration were definitely affecting me by Monday morning. I had to put my head down before leaving for the hospital, so dizzy and faint.

As soon as I got there, though, I relaxed. The staff at Kaiser were ridiculously good and funny as usual, making me feel well taken care of in every way. They talked to me about my tattoos, naturally, and asked me about what I planned on eating first, when the procedures were over and I was free to eat again. [Toast and coffee, if you must know.] I appreciated their goofy jokes, and also really appreciated them starting the IV right away, as they put it, to take the edge off. It was conscious sedation, but that was no kinda consciousness I generally operate in. All I know is that I woke up feeling so refreshed, like I'd had the best night's sleep I'd had in months. Ok, I do recall one weird dream-like experience of the endoscope coming back up, but really I slept so deeply and well.

What's crazy is that ever since the procedures were done, I have felt GREAT. I don't think it could possibly be residual drugs in my system. I feel clearer than I have in ages, which is literally true thanks to those 4 liters of bilge. My head feels good and I just feel completely comfortable. How weird: did I need that?

It's like I hit the re-set button and am starting fresh.

I've followed friends who've done cleanses of one kind or another, read about them, considered doing them, and yet have never taken the plunge. I did juice-fasts in the early 80s (yes, before you were born), but they haven't held much appeal for me since. But now that I've had my own brutal high-speed cleanse on doctor's orders and I feel fantastic, I kind of get it, what everyone's so excited about with these crackpot lemon juice and cayenne pepper regimens. Assuming they have the same (just more gradual) effect.

Whatever, I'm certainly being super conscious of what I put in my mouth, really thinking about every food choice. I am just relishing feeling SO good right now and wanting it to last and last as long as possible. After forty hours and four liters, I think I earned it.


1 comment:

Blue Boy said...

I enjoyed fasting for my first colonoscopy so much that I've been fasting once a week since. I have so much time and energy on fast days and the reset of my physiology changes my approach to food on the days that I eat.