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I had my first colonoscopy (and perhaps the last … but more on that later) last Friday. I’m happy to report that I got a healthy clean colon…no polyps.
My procedure was at 10:15 a.m. (I had to arrive at 9:30 a.m.). I decided to write this blog post about tips I followed and ones I WISH I’d known, but that aren’t listed on, say, the Mayo clinic website.
I got the Suprep Bowel Prep Kit which includes not one but two bottles of awfulness that you have to drink with 16 ounces of water. I had to do one bottle at 11 a.m. and the other at 7 p.m.
Then you have to drink 32 more ounces of water within the hour. Drinking that much water didn’t bother me, but if you are not a water drinker, you may want to have other fluids (juices, teas, Gatorade — just make sure they aren’t red or purple) on hand.
Those I Followed…
1. About a week before the colonoscopy, eat lighter meals. Based on a friend’s recommendation who had her colonoscopy a few months ago, I decided eat yogurt and fruits for breakfast (with the exception of Sunday morning pancake breakfast – it was Valentine’s day after all) and salads and veggie soups for lunch and dinner. It’s probably a good thing that I started this detox process, especially just returning from a 21-day cruise on February 13th…but I think it made the whole process easier. They say you’ll be going for a few hours, but for some people, it can be longer. Your poop will turn from dark brown smush to a liquid yellow, or even colorless. It’ll have weird things in it when it’s yellow. Little bits of whatever. That’s normal. Just icky!
2. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Make sure it is super easy to get down when the urge arises. Trust me on this, you will not have time to mess with buttons, draw strings, etc. I ended up wearing a night down and no undies.
3. When you’re drinking your prep stuff, use a straw! The first prep I was able to just chug it but by the second bottle I was hungry, tired and nauseous and the straw came in handy…that way the nasty stuff only reaches the back of your tongue. Also, refrigerate the prep for a little while before drinking it and mix it with really cold water. The tongue tastes a bit less of something when it is very cold.
4. Brush your teeth and tongue (if you have a tongue scraper, even better) after you drink the prep stuff. It tastes gross and leaves a white film on your tongue…and you are definitely going to want to get that taste off your tongue as soon as possible
5. Make homemade bone broth (chicken, beef or duck) or vegetable broth before your prep. That way, you’ll have something delicious and fresh and full of vitamins/minerals. I had duck broth in the freezer that I defrosted and drank throughout the day.
6. If you get nauseous, drink peppermint or ginger tea. The nausea does pass very quickly after you are finished with your pooping.
7. Have a huge supply of really soft toilet paper in the house….and blot instead of wipe. Your anus will start to burn like fire. You may even get hemorrhoids … so blotting is a better and nicer to the area. Trust me on this.
8. Keep a good supply of reading material in the bathroom…magazines or books. You may not be able to focus so magazines may be the better route. It would be great to have a television in the bathroom. If you have one, great. Sadly, I do not.
9. Once your pooping has subsided, a lukewarm bath or shower is very soothing and also makes you feel clean again. Be careful of the type of soap you use as some of them can be quite irritating … and hasn’t your butt been through enough already?
10. During your colonoscopy, they pump you full of air which means that it has to come out. So basically, you are gonna fart and fart. You may even have award-winning farts. The whole point is that the air has to come out of you and it comes out much easier when you lie on your left side …. which makes sense because it follows the digestive tract.
Those I Wished I would’ve known…
1. Have a huge supply of wet wipes for your butt in the house. I used a washcloth and soap to clean up after each “episode”. My butt got a bit tired after a while and wished that I had wet wipes instead.
2. Have Peppermint Altoids or ginger candy available just in case you get nauseous. I drank peppermint tea and it did help, but I think it would have been better to have something to suck on.
3. Have jello available, again no red or purple. I was so hungry by 7 p.m. that drinking that second bottle of prep was extremely difficult. I just wanted to eat. REAL. FOOD. I wanted to cry. Actually, I think I did while I was trying to gag it down. Anyway, the bone broth was great to drink throughout the day but having something a little more solid (i.e. jello) would have been better. After the second prep, the nausea took over and I forgot my hungry belly. The next morning, I thought I would be on the brink of starvation with stomach growling and me ready to pounce. Nope. That didn’t happen. I wasn’t hungry at all. I was just very tired and wanted the procedure to be OVER.
4. Eat lighter foods after your colonoscopy, at least right after. I told my husband that I wanted pulled pork so we went to our local favorite restaurant. I ate about half of my meal, but regretted it almost immediately. My stomach felt heavy and I was still pretty groggy from Propofol, the drug they give you to make you go to sleep during your procedure. I just wanted to go home and sleep. Starting off with soup would have been better.
Alright that’s it. I hope you’ve learned some good tips. Now I will try to forget about that prep forever or at least until the next time which for me will be 10 years, if ever.
Why I May Not Get Another Colonoscopy
I wrote at the beginning of this post that I had my first and perhaps last colonoscopy. I debated about having this colonoscopy but eventually decided to have it just to have a baseline of the colon of my health because I didn’t always eat as healthy as I do now.
The reason it may be my last is because…
1. I eat a much healthier diet now.
2. There’s no history of colon issues in my family.
3. I thought the the prep was too violent for your system/butt to have to go through. I don’t know why they don’t let you have colonics say two days in a row before your procedure. I’ve done several colonics and they are so much more civilized and just as effective.
4. I hate to fast. I’m a girl who likes her food.
But I have 10 years to decide…
Have you had a colonoscopy? Do you have any tips to add.