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!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.