Well, it’s that time of year again – Annual colonoscopy time!
Didn’t I just have my last one??? A quick check of the calendar reveals that it was indeed a full year ago. This time of year seems to roll around faster and faster and faster! But then, everything seems to be rolling around again faster: the end of school, the holidays, mammograms, etc.
After 4 colonoscopies in 3 years (more than most people have in a lifetime), I have this procedure down to a science! And, honestly, I don’t mind it at all. It’s a little inconvenient, but the prep and procedure are quiet easy. And, the piece of mind is worth every moment of inconvenience!
The week before the procedure:
Gather your prep day* supplies. Once things get moving on prep day, you won’t want to stray far from the bathroom. My list of must-haves includes:
- Lemon and/or Lime jello (no red food dye!)
- Ginger Ale
- Chicken Broth
- Flushable wet wipes (Much more comfortable than dry toilet paper)
- Vaseline (Things can get irritated down there.)
- Reading material (Now is the time to splurge on those magazines you’ve been eyeing at the grocery store.)
[*Prep day is the day before your colonoscopy when you are “preparing” your colon for its big day. You want it to looks its best for the doctor! If you are not squeaky-clean, a polyp could be missed and the consequences could be tragic! Prep properly!!!]
Two Days before the procedure:
My moto for this day is, “What goes in, must come out.” I like to eat easily digestible foods on this day. I also tend to eat lightly.
Prep Day (the day before the procedure):
My prep instructions allow me to eat a light breakfast. I try to go for some protein and, again, something that is easily digestible. This is my last solid food for more than 24 hours. I like to have a scrambled egg, a banana and piece of toast with Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (yum!). I can even have coffee (Yay!) without any cream.
Day of Procedure:
This year, because of the time of my procedure – 12:20pm, I can have liquids until 7:00am. It’s worth getting up in time to have something to drink. As much as I like to sleep, even I will wake up to have a big glass of water. Typically, I like to have a much earlier appointment in the day.
Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s get this party started…
My Prep Day!
6:30 am: I woke up this morning and came straight downstairs for breakfast. Usually I shower and get ready for my day as soon as I get out of bed. However, today I wanted to eat breakfast early to get the process moving. I dined on a very monotone meal: a scrambled egg, ½ of an english muffin, & 1/3 of a pretty large banana. Whoop! Whoop! Delicious! That will be my last solid food until sometime tomorrow afternoon.
8:30am: Can it be that I’m already hungry??? It’s only 8:30am. It’s going to be a long day… My only saving grace is my black coffee!
9:56am: Seriously??? My stomach is full-on growling! Can you hear it from there?
10:45am: Can’t stand it anymore. It feels as though I haven’t eaten in DAYS!! Must… Have… Jell-O!
3:00pm: I made it this far. Now for the fun part! It’s time to start the prescription prep. (My preference is Prepopik.) It’s a piece of cake: one 5oz. cup of Prepopik now and another one at 8:00pm. (Plus, lots of clear liquid.) Sure beats the gallons of “other stuff”I’ll be honest, it doesn’t taste great – artificially sweet and VERY sour. But, even I can get it down. That says a lot!
Make sure to follow your prep instructions. Mine call for me to drink 5 – 8oz cups of clear liquid before my next dose at 8:00pm. Space it out. If I drink it all at one time I tend to feel nauseous! My goal is to avoid that at all cost!
5:00pm: (2 hours after drinking the prep.) First trip to the bathroom. Don’t stray too far from the “facilities”!
6:30pm: I think the first round is over! I feel so good now. Do I really have to do this again? 2nd dose at 8pm. I can’t imagine there’s anything left in there.
7:00pm: Dinner(???) of chicken broth! Yum!
8:00pm: 2nd dose down!
10:30pm: Done! That wasn’t so bad. Like I said, the lighter you eat the day before your prep, the easier it is. I’ve had my additional 3 – 8oz cups of water. I’m going to bed!
My Colonoscopy Day!
6:45am: After a very good night’s sleep, I got up for some white grape juice and water before I have to stop drinking.
To be honest, this is the worst part for me – – The waiting! I’m hungry and have to wait 5 hours with nothing to eat or drink. There is food taunting me everywhere! Ugh! (This is why I prefer morning appointments.)
11:00am: Off to my procedure! Get there early to make sure they can get you ready to go on time. Don’t want to put it off any longer than necessary!
The procedure was easy-peasy (as always)! I slept through the entire thing. The last thing I remember was taking 2 of the 5 deep breaths the nurse told me to take. Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes in the recovery area. There is no residual pain or strange sensations when it’s over. I was a little groggy for a few minutes and somewhat anxious while I waited for the doctor to come see me.
The BEST part…
NO POLYPS!! This means I can skip a year and go 2 entire years before my next scope! Hip Hip Hooray!!
Let me know what questions you have for me. I’m happy to share more about my experience! (Also, feel free to email me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peace and Grace!