I like to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but I swallowed a camera because my doctor told me to.


Also. I would like to clarify that my pinkie is not that crooked in real life. I caught it in the middle of a yoga move preparing to play its part in shoving a giant flashing pill down my throat after having had nothing to drink for seven hours.

Did I not mention that it was flashing?

Of course it was flashing.

Unfortunately, it did not flash brightly enough to be seen through my abdomen in a dark closet. Or under the covers. Which really was a true disappointment for both me and the children.

(Okay. And Chris. But don’t tell him I told you.)

But first.

The Prep.

Wait – No. Do we really need to go through the specifics of The Prep again?

Probably not, as I’m sure the last trauma of my bowels is still freshly seared into your mind.

But as a quick aside, never believe a nurse that tells you a prep will “only” be a mini prep.

No prep is a mini prep.

My non-mini-prep consisted of a few pills and this, which was basically an entire bottle of sourer-than-Janet-Reno Flavored Alka-Seltzer.


Lemon FLAVOR doesn’t begin to describe it.

Essence of Lemon, maybe.

Concentrated Lemon Grease, possibly.

But not lemon flavor.

The next morning I got up early and drove to the Gastroenterologist’s office, where I was alone without even so much as a receptionist, so I had ample time to admire the fine artwork in the waiting room.


They were all too happy.

All except one.


And I suddenly wished my doctor were the un-amused one. Because these doctors see things that no one should have to see. You want them to be un-amused. You NEED them to be un-amused.

After several moments of quiet reflection on the proper joviality level of a Gastroenterologist, the nurse retrieved me.

She took me to a room and presented me with The Magic Bullet,


And then holstered me with The World’s Ugliest Purse and a Circa 1992 Sam’s Wholesale Club Employee Back Brace, which she tightened around my tender abdomen (thanks, Mini Prep) until I told her I could no longer breathe.


The fashion-forward belt received the photographic transmissions from the pill (2 per second, up to 56,000 for the day), and then it transferred them through a Dot Matrix Printer Cord to the purse, which was carrying a 1990 Prodigy Dial-Up modem.

I was staring at the Antiquated thick metal modem-looking device, thinking that surely they could reduce the size to a USB drive…and modernize the lines…and get rid of the Original-Dr.-Who-ish blinky lights, when the nurse said,

“Isn’t this amazing? This is like…Jetson’s technology to me. I have no idea how they do this.”

Clearly she doesn’t use Twitter.

Then she gave me her highly technologically advanced copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of my diet instructions for the day.


Which, by the way, I totally cheated on. Because I swallowed that pill at 8am, and her copy of a copy of a copy of a copy made no allowances for early swallowing.

(And for the record, she was clear that those slashes between food items were ORs, not ANDs. I went with the soup.)

Notice that there’s no time stamp next to Capsule Excretion (which I’m assuming is the “unusual sensation.”) I didn’t push her on it, but I’m sure if Sheldon ever needs a Capsule Endoscopy, he would require a time to perform that last action.

I dutifully wore my accessories all day, watched the blinking lights like a good girl (if they stopped blinking or blinked differently or changed color I was to return immediately before my viscera exploded,) then turned in the bling (minus the capsule) that afternoon.

I mourned for my pet camera, floating along the lazy river of my intestines, still taking photos and shooting them out into the big, bad world beyond my belly fat where nobody was catching them any longer.

Flashing, flashing, hopelessly flashing.

Chris suggested, “You should hold your phone up to your stomach and see if you can pick up its wi-fi.”

I did.

And sure enough, my phone found a secure wi-fi connection I’ve never seen before.

My first thought was how ridiculously spoiled my intestinal bacteria was (or bacterium, all that was left after my mini prep) – he had his own wi-fi!! There aren’t many amoeba that can boast of such amenities.

But later, I questioned myself. Maybe it was a random passerby’s wi-fi. Or a new neighbor. Surely my belly wasn’t broadcasting that obviously.

But if it was, I rue the NSA agent that managed to catch the rest of those images.

And as for the current location of the capsule, I honestly have no idea. And if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.

18 thoughts on “56,000 Selfies: The Tale of a Capsule Endoscopy.

  1. Perfection — “I didn’t push her on it, but I’m sure if Sheldon ever needs a Capsule Endoscopy, he would require a time to perform that last action.” Gotta love Sheldon, and you’re absolutely right about him :)

  2. I would totally be terrified to do this! But I have done the magnesium citrate before. Nasty stuff. Hope they find all is ok. My hubby goes to that same group of docs. Not sure which one he is on the pic though. Hopefully not the grumpy one. :)

  3. While these posts are very entertaining and I’m glad I now know beforehand what indignities are involved in endo/colonoscopies… I hope they figure out something once and for all for you, and leave your poor intestines alone. *hug*

  4. I’m fascinated by the camera pill…fascinated. That being said, I hope they finally figure out once and for all what is wrong.

  5. The video of the flashing pill set to “Just Like a Pill”…..brilliant. I feel like that camera could be a disco ball for the minions on Despicable Me.
    I hope the camera pill did it’s job well and the amused gastro docs can help you get better and leave your poor insides alone!

  6. Wow, that is interesting! And Jetson’s technology?? They can make a camera that fits on the head of a pin for spying but they can’t make something smaller than that for you to swallow?! I hope all this at least gives you some results!

  7. Hope they find out what is wrong. On another note, is the mag citrate better then the Golytely? I always wonder because our docs always give the Golytely and I can’t help but think that is mean if there is something of smaller volume that is just as effective that we could be giving them.

  8. OMG, you just crack me up regularly (no pun intended!!). That photo of the gastroenterologists had me truly laughing out loud. That must be the 9th doctor who never recommends the product. And seriously, if they have cameras in pills, why don’t they have a computer to make a new printout of the lovely instruction sheet! You are right – clearly the woman never used twitter.

  9. First of all, you have me absolutely terrified of all this stuff. Second, why are there no women gastroenterologists? Considering they have the better part of two football teams and all but one guy (is he in the bathroom) for two baseball teams, I’m a bit worried about what the, er, attraction is to this field.


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