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A few tips to make your colonoscopy an easier process

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posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 08:25 AM
This isn't going to be entertaining, but if it helps anybody who is scheduled for a colonoscopy, then it's worth it.

I am not a physician, and this is not medical advice, but a few tips that helped make the process and procedure a little easier on my body.

I am 59, and having had some digestive issues, my doctor recommended a colonoscopy. I spoke with five people who I know have been through the process, and I was unnerved by their memories of it. All five used phrases like "liquid fire", "horrific cramping". My doctor said to follow the prep procedure, and I shouldn't have any problems, although he noted that frequently people did experience discomfort. hmmmm. In medical terms, "discomfort" sometimes translates to pain.

I read a lot, and the more I read on blogs from people who had been through the prep process, the more I was determined to avoid "liquid fire coming out of me for hours". Don't fear -- I won't get much more TMI than that.

The cleansing solution that is required the night before the procedure REALLY works well, however if it is cleaning remaining food from your system, it appears to work you body harder than is necessary.

My experience was that the prep wasn't bad at all and the prep solution wasn't nearly as wretched and horrible tasting as I'd been lead to believe.

1. Four days prior to the procedure, I went on a soup diet. Thin, soft, soups, nothing very hearty, but more than just broth. I drank lots of water.

2. Two days before the procedure, I began eating only clear broth, in my case homemade chicken broth with very little seasoning, and continued drinking more water than my usual intake. I also stopped drinking any alcohol; I don't know if this affected the process, but it seemed like it couldn't hurt.

3. I had been advised by my doctor to not ingest or drink red or purple liquids, as those can temporarily stain the colon and make the process more difficult for your doctor.

4. The day before the procedure, I was pretty hungry, and acquired some prepared foods that I thought I might want after the procedure. I also acquired flushable baby wipes and vaseline (petroleum jelly).

5. The afternoon before the procedure, I mixed the first of four packets of the bowel prep solution, and refrigerated it. The solution tastes awful, like salty vanilla. Chilling it wasn't nearly as bad. I was told I could add clear, flavored liquids but didn't. Note: My colonoscopy was in the morning; if an afternoon appointment, it is sometimes advised to split the packets between the night before and the morning of. Check with your doctor.

6. The vaseline was used as a protected coating for the anticipated *cough* ........ affected area. Use it often. I drank the solution as prescribed; the entire process took about six hours.

7. Think of the flushable baby wipes as baby "pats". 'Nuff said.

8. I drank regular water along with the prep solution. I didn't experience any burning and certainly no "liquid fire", and was very relieved at how easy it was. I believe that going to a liquid diet earlier than suggested is the primary reason for this.

Things you doctor may not tell you:

1. Even after your emissions are clear liquid, they will still likely be yellow. This is apparently due to bile staining.

2. After your colon and bowels are clean, you will likely still create and emit a lot of gas. This continued even the next day, right up until the procedure. It may be particularly noxious. There will be even more after the procedure, as they blow your colon up like a balloon -- that will be mostly air.

3. Wear loose clothing and slip-on shoes to your appointment.

4. Don't be a pain in the ass to the medical staff. They don't like it any more than you do, and you are not the sole focus of their world, but a player in it. I personally believe that in this situation -- as in life -- humor is an excellent balm, and is a way to express appreciation toward the medical professionals who will be dealing with you.

5. Have most of your questions already asked and answered before the day of your procedure, but if you think of others, don't hesitate to ask. For example, I wanted to know where my Darlin' was going to wait for me, and how soon I would be accessible to her.

6. Much as you feel fine mentally after the procedure, you are not fit to drive for several hours. Makes sure the person who is waiting for you has something to occupy themselves with, and carrying a snack in case they get hungry.

7. Be patient after the procedure. Your medical professionals will expect you to pass a lot of gas and be mostly in your right mind before you leave the hospital. You may be fed something light while you are still in the hospital. If so, eat it and thank them for it.

8. If you are a large or tall person, ask for a large backless dress (gown). Some hospitals have the notion of "one size fits all". I have almost no personal modesty, but I imagine a few folk suffered from the view.

Just before the sedative was administered, I said to the doctor, anesthesiologist and nurses: "I want you all to promise me that my posterior won't end up on youtube or Facebook." They all laughed and it eased the mood for all of us. Just before I went under, my doctor leaned in and said, "you forgot to mention SnapChat".
I don't remember any of it. There are different levels of sedation available, and mine was "conscious sedation", however I regained awareness in the OR, after the procedure was finished. It took about an hour.

No discomfort for me after the procedure nor the days after that. I had no physical indication that anything had been done. All that worry for nothing.

For a hilarious view of the process, please see SpartanKingLeonidas' thread -- Colonoscopies Aren't Just for Fun Anymore. Just don't take it to heart. Trust me, no more than six feet of camera is inserted.

edit on 31/8/16 by argentus because: (no reason given)

edit on 31/8/16 by argentus because: added the backless dress

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 08:41 AM
a reply to: argentus

My poor wife had to have one done last Friday, poor thing, especially because she's only in her mid-20's. Even though this post is a few days after the procedure, we actually did follow these guidelines so it's nice to know that we did make it as easy as we could for her.

For any who are about to go through it, "discomfort" is definitely describing it lightly. The cramping/pain the solution caused actually brought her to tears, so yeah, good luck to anyone having to go through it. XD

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 08:56 AM
a reply to: argentus

I've had two of these procedures.

Vaseline is Vital!

Prepare the "area" well before drinking the prep solution. There will be no time to do so once the prep solution kicks in.

Failure to protect will lead to the "Ring of Fire" experience.

Other than that, I have had no discomfort with either of my procedures.

The prep solution tastes a bit like salty mineral water. It is best served very cold (like revenge!).

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 08:58 AM
Big thumbs up for writing it down.
How complicated that sounds.

I got a letter with me where the things were listed not to eat, but was allowed to eat stuff like whitebread, but not things like beans, nuts, seeds and so on. I drank the stuff (mine tasted like sweet citrus, but aweful) and was driven there. They gave me something funny and I woke up in another room, all done but still in the OP cloth. After around 10 minutes I was stable enough to walk alone.

However they said to me I should go into the room and wait. I was supposed to just cross the floor but somehow I missunderstood that, because I saw my wife sitting in the waiting room, I walked towards her, I´ll never forget their look on the face... But before I could reach it, I was upheld by two nurses half the way, when they turned me around to bring me to the right room to put on my clothes. Must have been a great view for the other patients.

The real horror started on the drive home, I felt like I could inflate a couple of hot air baloons. I just remember some things from that day, the rest is gone. Oh by the way, I got the full package, including a endogastroscopia.
edit on 31-8-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-8-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 08:59 AM
I've had to go through the bowel prep twice so far. I didn't have a lot of problem with cramping or the "fire" part, but the first time, I had a horrible experience with severe dehydration. I blacked out for a few seconds and found myself on my bathroom floor. I was alone at the time, so as soon as I came to, I called 911. While I was on the phone with the operator, she told me to drink, drink, drink as much water as I could get down me. By the time EMS got there, I felt better. I learned the hard way how important it is to keep yourself hydrated before and during the prep.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:03 AM
a reply to: argentus

I've been putting this off for over a year now.

Cowardly and I would prefer to avoid the discomfort.

Yes, I know it is a great preventative measure, but that doesn't make it any easier.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:08 AM
Thank you for the post. I scheduled my first procedure less than an hour ago. I'll be brushing up on your suggestions over the next two weeks so that I'll be both physically and mentally prepared when the day arrives. Gracias...

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:28 AM
a reply to: DBCowboy

I've been putting it off 6 yrs now,but alas see Dr fri so my day is near,I hate hearing the storys

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:38 AM
a reply to: argentus

My doctor said to follow the prep procedure, and I shouldn't have any problems, although he noted that frequently people did experience discomfort. hmmmm. In medical terms, "discomfort" sometimes translates to pain.

Oh I hate when they say that! Tell me it's going to be painful or hurt like hell instead of candy coating it!

Discomfort definition - an absence of comfort or ease; uneasiness, hardship, or mild pain. Didn't they teach these doctors in med school the meaning between discomfort and excruciating pain?

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:38 AM
a reply to: Oldtimer2

I had one done a few years ago. It doesn't make the process any easier.

Not to deter anyone from getting such a procedure.

I'm just a big ol baby about ANY procedure.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:56 AM
a reply to: argentus

I know we are all different, but not sure I experienced the issues you have listed - in fact I found the endoscopy much more uncomfortable, and a barium enema for further investigation led to me collapsing due to a severe reaction to a relaxant used to ease my stomach wall as air and the solution was pumped in - that is rare and when I came to I was fine apart from the cramps for a short while and strangely chalk white bowel motions.

The ring of fire thing I can sympathise with, but if you've had stomach/bowel issues long term.......... well, it's not an unusual sensation for a lot of people on a regular basis anyway.

Personally I didn't have a sedative for the colonoscopy - it's mildly embarrassing but could be worse, I needed it for my first endoscopy though as the tube down my throat caused an immediate gagging/panic sensation. I had to have another one only a couple of months ago and tried it without sedation as I'd been told the tube was much thinner. No joy, but it managed to get down far enough to check for problems.

I guess the important thing is, you don't have any of these checks for nothing. For anyone on here who has had the procedure, or friends/family who have, I hope the results were good.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 10:03 AM
To those "looking forward" to the procedure. If possible, get a sedation.
The only problems I had was pain due to the air pumped, after-wards. (pun intended) and a sore throat.
It stops, when it´s out. However, if you don´t trust that all the liquid is out, I suggest going to the stall before you leave the doc. Otherwhise you might be forced to hold it up, the whole drive.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 10:30 AM

originally posted by: Oldtimer2
a reply to: DBCowboy

I've been putting it off 6 yrs now,but alas see Dr fri so my day is near,I hate hearing the storys

Everyone is different - my second prep went much easier - no pain or major discomfort. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done during the same procedure. I had no problems with pain or discomfort of any kind afterwards.

My dad had colon cancer, so I figure any discomfort I might feel from the screening colonoscopy is well worth it, cuz cancer discomfort is a lot worse.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 11:27 AM
I'v had two. Never experienced any anal burning as you describe or discomfort really. However the drug they gave me on the second one was ample, maybe at the max amount for my weight and size, so I was sort of 'lost' about halfway into the next day, then back to normal. The Solution used to taste pretty bad, like bovine sweat, but now they have made it palatable and as argentus said, sorta vanilla-y. I just chugalugged mine in about four episodes. After all it was nearly a gallon. I chased it with a swig of Schweppes Tonic Water....... about a shot glass worth. It's really not that rank.

I suppose the most drama comes from elimination. From the start ......through just blowing water. Thing is it starts slow and frequency increases till it's every 5-10 minutes. Then it subsides. You HAVE to have someone else drive you home, you will be stupid in a fog for several hours afterwards.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 11:44 AM
a reply to: argentus

Had one and surgery 2 weeks ago. 2 day prep...inpatient. They are never an issue with me because of the sedation.

I always say "I don't care WHAT you do with my a--....just knock me out 1st. Next thing I hear is "All done!"....oh and ..."We need to hear you pass gas1st before we let you go!"

So all? Ain't northin' to it!

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 11:47 AM
The sedation drug they used during my "procedures" was groovy. The prep, not so much.....

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 02:21 PM
a reply to: Necrobile

So sorry your wife had such a hard time with the cramping. I wonder if her electrolyte was low, or if that's just the way it goes for some folks. I was definitely very lucky.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 02:23 PM
a reply to: Bhadhidar

You said it so much better than I did, and good on you for reinforcing the necessity of the vaseline. Think of it as a pre-fire extinguisher. Not to put too fine of a point on it (no pun intended), but as much in as around the affected area.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 02:26 PM
a reply to: verschickter

Thanks for your humorous post! I completely understand the fog you described. You think you're fine, and then suddenly realize you're temporarily in a bad 60's movie. Ideally, I guess, we are sedated enough to be compliant and zoned out, but not so much that it takes you forever to be movable.

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 02:27 PM
a reply to: kaylaluv

excellent point. Just because you're drinking a gallon of solution and then loosing it, doesn't mean it is hydrating you. From what I understand, one of the compounds in the solution is there to prevent much of it from being absorbed.

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