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How NOT to come off a fast

When you hit my age, the doctor sends you to a specialist who looks around in your intestinal tract for anything that might be pre-cancerous. It’s a rite of passage of sorts.   So, I’m doing that today. Since they’ll be knocking me out, I’m not too concerned.  On the other hand, the l…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
When you hit my age, the doctor sends you to a specialist who looks around in your intestinal tract for anything that might be pre-cancerous. It’s a rite of passage of sorts.
So, I’m doing that today. Since they’ll be knocking me out, I’m not too concerned.  On the other hand, the liquid they gave me to drink yesterday and the consequences that follow are nothing short of traumatic. It reminds me of what happened a couple of months ago…

It was the end of a fast. When I’d come off a much longer fast, although everyone talked about the importance of starting with a weak chicken broth, I transitioned right to solid food and suffered no ill effects. After a half a Starbucks sandwich, my atrophied stomach kicked back into life without missing a beat.

So, cocky guy that I was after a mere six day juice fast, this time I (accompanied by my family) swaggered into Little Italy and ordered a Supreme family size and a Stromboli. Three slices washed down by a beer never tasted so good.  It took me back to my days as a high school wrestler where the post weigh-in binge was normal.  You’d make up for a week of not eating in one sitting, scarfing down anything in the house that was remotely edible. In those days you never even noticed the cheerleaders at your matches because you were so busy thinking about food.

With Little Italy a blissful memory, I went to bed feeling the deep serenity of a lion after a kill.  I coasted to a dreamless sleep that lasted until precisely 3:30 in the morning.  “DING DING DING!” A 5-alarm fire siren sounded from somewhere deep inside and my stomach began to curse and hiccough and gurgle.  I awoke wide-eyed at the full-scale rebellion taking place. It was like a scene out of Star Trek where Captain Kirk yells out “battle stations!” Reflexively, I sprang into action, nearly tripping over the dog in my haste to the bathroom.

The whole next day I stayed home from the office. At times I was looking for seatbelts on the commode. I felt like a science experiment, like when you combine vinegar and baking soda in a jar and wait for it to explode.

Next time I come off a fast, I’ll be looking for the chicken broth.

Comments (21)

  • How timely! I started a juice fast on Ash Wednesday and I am letting God guide me as to how long this will go. I will absolutely NOT feast on anything stronger than soup when it ends. Also, I can empathize with the pre-colonoscopy preparations. Been there, done that. Hope everything is clear.


    Thank you for reminding your readers that you don’t walk on water. You too are one of us. Thanks for being real.


  • Seth, your writing amazes me in profound, and well… not so profound ways!!! Thanks for this one. So sorry to hear about that experience (although your detailed description of it is certainly entertaining and a strong reminder!), and I’m praying for an un-eventful procedure and report.

  • St. Mark of the Cross

    Hope you will be feeling well after being on the “Inside Edition.” I have gone through the “Inside Edition” three different times – no polyps. The first time it was at a hospital where Debbie’s best friend from high school was the nurse. Well, needless to say – it wasn’t flattering. Also, I thought they just used a throw-away camera – was I surprised to see the “garden” hose! I wondered if it was left over from the janitor cleaning up the place? Never in a million years would I have imagined that the garden hose was for me! Now I know a little about anatomy and when I last remember before I went out – “…” well, I don’t really want to say 🙂 Anyway, I survived and now am a little more compassionate to those people who have digestive problems. Oh, and by the way…I am thankful I was not called to be a proctologist.

  • I had a similar experience after coming back from Nicaragua. I was visiting a lot of the villages and towns… eating was sketchy at best and I decided to “fast”… I was not fasting for spiritual reasons but all the same, when I got to the Miami airport I had a California Pizza and a Whopper and 30 oz or more of soda..

    pop is about all I can say..

    hope the test goes well!

  • And only you could use such a phrase as “rite of passage” about such a procedure!!!!

    Glad you’re okay :))) xxx

  • WAY too funny! The comments were as funny as your blog. Sounds like everything came out in the end! ….sorry, but I couldn’t resist. My rite of passage is later this month. I will adhere to your advice.

  • You are a very good, descriptive, writer. I am sorry it is at your expense that I had a light hearted moment.

  • Seth,

    Well, well, isn’t life over 50 great? Was this your first ah, er, ummmm, investigative intestinal perusal? While experiencing mine this past year, I asked “Hey Doc, while you are this far do you mind going a bit further and scratching my throat”? He laughed!

    God bless you man. Laughing is so good for the heart (and maybe even the colon!)

    Kenny Sacht


    (though I’m glad your test went well and you’re good for another ten…)


    Wonderful writing, Seth!

  • Wow. This got more comments than the whole week’s blogs put together! Nothing like vulnerability to new depths! 🙂

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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