The Barium Enema and X-Ray went fine, though uncomfortable — particularly when they injected the air to blow up my colon like a balloon (no need to twist it into animal shapes, however!) and then ask me to writhe around on the table to allow gravity to get to work at coating my insides with Barium.

One of the male nurses who attended to me was a Christian; we had a good chat, which helped to make me feel more at ease.

The funniest moment was when the doctor was poised ready to insert the Barium tube into my lubed-up ‘back passage’ when I said, “Should I tell you now or afterwards that I’m one of the chaplains here?” He laughed and replied, “You don’t get any preferential treatment here; you all get treated the same!” It was worth a shot!

p.s. I had breakfast to break my fast (makes sense!): a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K with semi-skimmed milk.

Feed me!

I’m now 22 hours into my fast, in preparation for the barium x-ray this afternoon.

I celebrated the Eucharist at St Salvador’s this morning, which was an interesting experience. Truly one of service as I was unable to eat bread or drink wine. I had to write myself a notice on an A6 sheet of paper and leave it on the altar: “NIL BY MOUTH” to remind myself, just in case I went into auto-pilot.

It’s amazing how much our lives revolve around the daily rythmn and pattern of meals, and eating. I just caught myself thinking that I would have a quick bite to eat before I head out to the hospital. Hmmm… maybe not.

The question is: what do I eat first to break my fast around 3 or 4pm this afternoon? Breakfast or dinner?

Hospital preparations

Tomorrow afternoon I have an appointment at the X-ray Department of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) for a ‘barium enema’ — yeah, that sounds just as exciting to me! Since yesterday (Sunday) I’ve been on a ‘low residue diet’, which essentially means that I can white bread… and not much else! I also have two packets of ‘Picolax’ (guess what that does!) to take today to clean me out good and proper. Then from 2:00 pm this afternoon I am starving till after my appointment around 24 hours later.

On one hand I’m quite intrigued about the whole medical process, and my own physiological condition (these investigations are being done as a follow up to findings at my last renal clinic appointment; I have Autosomnal Dominant PolyCystic Kidney Disease (ASDPKD), as do my brother and sister). On the other hand, I kinda wish it wasn’t me having to have some chalky gunk squirted up my arse tomorrow, before having my insides photocopied!

Someone on MSN Messenger asked me about the Picolax. This is what I told him: “I have this powder that you add to 4 tsp of cold water and it all fizzes and bubbles and turns hot. Then it cools and you add 0.5 pt of cold water and guzzle it down like someone who wants to shit their pants for the next couple of hours.” That about sums it up, really! In fact, they should put those as the instructions on the packet!


If you haven’t done so already: install the Mozilla Firefox browser! It is fabulous. I keep finding new things about it that I love.

Today it is the print preview options — flip immediately between landscape and portrait, none of the faff of IE having to go through printer properties. This is a browser the way that browsers were meant to be.