Now, colonoscopy examinations are the cornerstone of preventative medicine for bowel cancer and it seems that women (who seem to be more reconciled the loss of dignity that the medical establishment demands) are just fine with the procedure. There have, however been some pretty spectacular accounts of men who have had colonoscopies in the popular press.
This is Dave Barry's account of a colonoscopy procedure (Danger, do not read this while eating or drinking unless someone familiar with the Heimlich maneuver is present)(LINK)
This is Peter King's account of preparing for a colonoscopy (LINK)
It is the preparation that prompts this posting gentle readers. In the good old days they treated you like a vet would treat a horse and made you slam down a glass of trisodium phosphate to empty the system. Yes, that is the same trisodium phosphate that you can buy by the kilo at the hardware store as TSP to remove wallpaper. It seems that this treatment was particularly effective but rather harsh on the lower bowel and dramatically lowered your electrolytes to a dangerous level if you were ill. So now they have these mixes that they give you. The one I am now familiar with is GoLytely.
Polyethylene glycol (LINK) (this is the primary active ingredient)
sodium sulfate (LINK) (this is also known as Glauber's Salt and is also an active ingredient)
Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium chloride and Potassium chloride are all present for electrolyte balance.
In any event I now have an excellent solution assignment for my first year students. What are the molarities, mole fractions and mass percentages of the different electrolytes in the prepared four litre solution of Golytely?
Just remember friends, do not golytely into that good night.