The Colonoscopy

So Friday was colonoscopy day….

This was my first and sadly not my last colonoscopy.  This growing older stuff truly isn’t for sissies…not that it was terrible, just another thing.

For those of you who haven’t had one…what people say about the prepping being the worst part is absolutely true.  Prepping is the worst part.

People are given the option of adding flavor packets.  I didn’t.  I went straight.

After a day of no eating and a clear liquid diet, I started in drinking at 5pm.  I think it almost has an Alka Seltzer with no fizz and an after taste.  I was bound and determined to get the half of jug down before Hubby came home.  I didn’t want him to sit and watch me drink it.  At about 5:35 I heard the garage door opener and quickly slammed down the last two glasses that got me to my half way point.

..and then I was off and running.  Literally off and running to the bathroom.

I was VERY amazed that there was no cramping.  I figured that I’d have the big cramps associated with having the flu and diarrhea but nope…not of that.  That was really a relief.

By 8pm I was tired and feeling weak and done with the bathroom so off to bed I went to wake at 3am and start the whole process all over.

The 3am drinking didn’t go quite as good.  I had hoped to drink, be on the toilet and back to bed but that didn’t happen.  I was down to one glass left, took a sip and then raced to the toilet vomiting.  UGH.  I was convinced I had blown the whole prepping by throwing up but when I got to the hospital they told me that’s fairly typical.  That was a huge relief as I would have hated to all that just to find out I’d messed it up.

I stayed awake from 3am on and between toilet stops I got a quilt bound.  I’m so lucky that the bathroom and sewing room are close together.

The procedure at the hospital was a breeze.  I was in at 7am and out by 10am. The procedure was only about 30 minutes the rest of the time is just getting an IV going and recovery.

My not so fun news…two polyps were found and sent to be tested.  Results come in two weeks.  In the mean time by doctor said finding polyps means I’m on the five year plan…so another colonoscopy in five years.  I am not looking forward to it but not apprehensive either.  I feel a little comforted to know what to expect next time.

18 thoughts on “The Colonoscopy”

  1. I had my first one a few months ago and I’m got on the 10 year plan. I learned that the laxative pills worked really fast on me!!! I took them at noon and was really glad I left work early that day I NEEDED my own potty within a few hours of the pills before I started the special Kool Aid. I loved the drugs that they used during the main event I slept the whole time and had no memory of it. My husband was awake during his and I knew that wasn’t for me since I have anxiety issues.

  2. I Googled for tricks in getting that awful stuff down. Sugar free root beer chaser helps with taste as do sugar free popsicles. Made it almost bearable.

  3. Be glad it’s the 5-year plan. My husband had to go back in 6 months to have another colonoscopy and he told the doctor if he had to come back in another 6 months he was just going to stay on the clear liquid diet for the whole time. Luckily, he was clear that time!

    1. It’s really not that bad. The next day I took a nap when I got home and it was all just a memory. Do it…You’ll be so happy not to have it hanging over your head.

  4. Some of the tricks I have learned from my 20 times of having this done. Chill the liquid as you register the temperature more than the taste. Use a fat straw (McDonalds) as lots of taste buds are at the front and not so many at the back of your mouth. You can mix the satchels up with lemonade instead of water. Drink one or two glasses of water to get rid of the taste and help the process along. Leave the light on in the toilet and the door open and the seat in the correct position for a quick arrival and wear something comfort and easy to get off.

  5. As someone that has had a couple, I had polyps with the first but none on the second, so I am on the 10 year plan now. Hope you are as lucky too!

  6. What we did on a vacation day, that is what my husband tells people. We did our colonoscopies together in 2013. Husband is on the 10 year plan, I’m on the 5 year plan like you. I had a couple tiny polyps. Yes, the worse part was the prep. Our medical center had us drink one last prep drink in the morning, had all I could do to get it down. YUCK! When surgery called to make sure we understood the prep, they had a good chuckle about us doing the procedure the same day – they hoped we had two bathrooms! In some ways getting older is good, in some ways it sure brings lots of new responsibility for living a long life!

  7. For my first colonoscopy, I followed all the instructions carefully but I wasn’t “cleaned out” enough, so I had to have another in a month! Ugh. The solution to drink looked the same as what you show in your picture…it was a powder in a big jug that you had to mix water into, but even with insurance paying, it was ridiculously expensive, like $50 (if I recall correctly).

    A month later, the doctor gave me a different procedure which involved buying a couple of bottles of Magnesium Citrate, available in the normal aisles of the drugstore for $2.49 each. Yes, please. If I’m going to go through this process, I’d rather not pay a lot to do it! I also had to add Mirilax to a drink for the week prior to the procedure. The “clean-out” was more successful, and I’m now on the 10-year-plan, thankfully.

    Anyway, if the big jug costs you a lot of money, too, ask your doctor about using Magnesium Citrate instead. Doctors should be able to understand that we’d rather spend $5 than $50 out-of-pocket!!

  8. By the way, I found your blog recently through another blog (Michelle’s Romantic Tangle, maybe?) and I went through every one of your house posts. I so enjoyed it.

    I’m on the East Coast now, but I lived in Dubuque during the 70s, so I also enjoyed when you talked about road trips in your area! It takes me back a bit! ;)

  9. As a pro at this I want to give you some tips for the prep. First INSIST you will not do the gallon malarki! It’s not necessary. They even have better preps not than I had on my last one. I have been dx. w/ulcerative colitis which thankfully is in remission (never cured). Anyway a nurse taught me these things: tell Dr. you want the two small bottle prep which is not the gallon thing. Then you can mix the stuff with gingerale which is my fav. The most IMPORTANT tip, use a big cup with a LID! Pour it over ice and use a BIG straw (like a McD’s straw). Don’t gulp, sip. keep refreshing the ice. Keep reminding yourself it will be over by tomorrow. Hope your results were great. I am 73 and Dr. told me this will be my last one b/c colon CA is slow growing and I will probably die of something else before color CA does me in. lol You have to keep a sense of humor in all of this. Men thought of this I’m sure!

  10. i am so NOT looking forward to my ‘procedure’ this coming thursday. asked for the different prep but my doc doesn’t use the pills. i get to use the 238 gm bottle of miralax. think it was different last time. plus gatorade which i’ve had to teach myself to like. this is my third time (dear dad had colon cancer). i have to go through this every three years. my sisters get to go on the five year plan. don’t understand. thanks for the tips on ice cold. i’m still trying to figure out all the ‘clear liquids’ i can eat. jo, i’m praying that your polyp is nothing. mine were nothing. take care and just have faith. patti in florida

  11. Elizabeth McDonald

    Dear, dear Jo – My father (who died in 1995) had a saying that getting old was difficult, but the alternative was definitely worse. I think he was right – but sometimes, just barely!
    Both of my (departed) parents had polyps so I am on the frequent flyer plan; I usually have polyps, and sometimes they are iffy. Checking as often as the doctors want is smart, no matter how much I hate the whole prepping procedure. Hang in there – and know that you are helping others to go and get checked because you are courageous enough to write about it. I do appreciate that! BRAVO!

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