• Colonoscopy prep

    Asked by nancyjac on Monday, January 28, 2013

    Colonoscopy prep

    I have my first routine screening colonoscopy coming up in a couple of weeks. I'm not so much concerned with the procedure itself as I am the prep for it. I don't do well with fasting and anesthesia. Both make me very nauseous and give me a screaming headache. I have to be on a low fiber diet starting 3 days before the procedure, then the day before only clear liquids, then total fasting the day of. Most likely I won't be able to eat for 24 hours after the procedure because of nausea. That's 4-5 days of misery invested for a 20 minute procedure. Would sure appreciate any suggestions to make it a little easier.

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      That's interesting. I only have one experience with taking my dad for a colonoscopy several years ago. From what I remember, he only had to drink what they gave him to clean him out, and fast the day before. Then he went in for his scope. Then they put him in a little recovery area, where he had gas, and we could hear the people behind the other curtains breaking wind. We had a good laugh. Then he was ready to go. I don't remember a low fiber diet. The best thing I can say, is when we have a procedure where we have to fast, we try to get the earliest possible appointment the day of the procedure, or reschedule to a day when you can be first in line for the day. Maybe the doctor can let you have something to get ahead of the headache and nausea.

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Good luck with it Nancy. I hope it's easier on your body than you anticipate.

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

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      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I have had several colonoscopies over the last 13 years. Every doctor has their own protocol, but not once did i have to eat a low fiber diet for 3 days before hand. One of gastroenterologist allowed me to have a light breakfast, on the day before the procedure (needed to finish eating by 9 AM). I do not know what time you procedure is, but I tried to have mine as early in the day as possible, which cuts down on the fast time. I had lots of tea and broth the day before. I was given a sedative or as I referred to it "industrial strength Valium", which made me doze off during most of procedures , but I was awake enough to to see the pictures on the screen once or twice. The sedative calms you down so that you don't move, and allows you to leave within an hour. They will give you something to eat and drink, but I advise you to bring your own food. What I was offered was coffee, water, juice, cookies, and crackers. Not what I would eat normally, and not what I want to eat after not eating for over 24 hours, thank you very much.

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      BTW the prep is the worst part. Especially the final "cleanse" the evening/night before.

      about 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Hey Nancy, I had that done a few years ago too, I like Sue said, only had to drink the gallon of XXX they gave me, along with a handful of laxatives. That was it, they didn't change my diet or anything.

      Hope it goes well for you. Tell us if you hear any good colonoscopy jokes too. My wife wanted to know if the Dr. seen my head while he was in there.

      about 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar
      abrub

      Ask for antinauseants in your mix of drugs, including for with your colonoscopy prep. The anesthesia used is light anesthesia, less likely to cause nausea (I'm very afraid of vomiting, and I've never had a problem with it.) It's more of sedation rather than anesthesia. I get scoped every 3 years (and it's coming up too soon for me...)

      I know I had to stop certain foods a few days before my prep (seeds, anything with red dyes). I like to eat lightly the day before the prep to give me that much less to pass through. Once the test is done, you'll be able to eat right away. They'll give you juice when you awaken.

      Ask what pain meds you can take for your headache. I've found sniffing Eucalyptus oil helps me recover from all types of headaches. It's worth having around. (I have a dilute eucalyptus roll-on that I can use. If you get the straight essential oil, put a drop on a cotton ball and breathe it.)

      The prep is the worst part. You should feel good pretty quickly thereafter.

      about 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      Nancy, As noted the worst part is drinking the awful stuff the afternon before the procedure. I have done it 5 or 6 times and I always mix it 50 - 50 with apple juice. It makes the apple juice taste really bad but aty least you can choke it down. You can have as much clear liquid as you want the day before but once you start the awful stuff it isn't going to stick around very much. I the anethesia makes you nauseated then as if they can give you some antinausea meds along with anethesa. They do use a light dose of antethesia since you are only out for 20 minutes or so. I realize that a colonoscopy is no fun but it is infinetailly better thatn teh alternative. I can attest to that. Good Luck

      about 4 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Having prepped three times in one year....(UGH!!) and I had sworn I'd never have a colonoscopy. Of course now that a colonoscopy in fact saved my life, I don't dread them, and I look forward to knowing that I'm going to be thoroughly checked. So I go in with a very positive, eager mindset. And I am now pretty much on a permanent low fiber diet, but again, that's a small price to pay for what I've gotten in return.

      Yes, it's best to have the procedure earlier in the day to reduce the actual fasting time. But you're appointment is probably already set, so you have no control over that now.

      Make the clear foods you have the day before the procedure tasty, i.e. jello (lime or lemon), sodas, coffee, different clear broths, lemonade, water ice, and a nice variety. Keep yourself well-hydrated so you don't feel too hungry. There is no limit of the quantity you intake the day before so eat a water ice and an hour later a bowl of broth, then a soda, then jello so you keep your belly full and your palate satisfied (as best you can in this situation).

      Personally, chugging down the liquid was the worst. After prepping so many times in one year, by the last time, I was actually laughing, thinking...wow, I didn't know my body could do that!

      I would definitely talk to the doctor beforehand about the nausea. It would be best if you have a list of the anesthesia drugs you have not tolerated well in the past. I had not tolerated one well years ago and dreaded anesthesia more than my actual procedure and later surgery, but I discussed this with the doctor (who had been the one to administer the anesthesia that had bothered me years before) and he used a different drug and I was fine and had no reaction at all afterwards (except the numbness that accompanies being told you have cancer). The doctor also might offer either a full sedation or just a "twilight" sedation. I would definitely talk to your doctor before the procedure...like call the office tomorrow.

      Being a cancer survivor, you know you can do this and you know it is certainly worth whatever small or uncomfortable the inconvenience is. Good luck!

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Thanks for all the info folks.....even (or maybe especially) yours, FreeBird...LOL. I've talked to the doctor about my reactions to anesthesia and he insists that the drugs I get won't make me nauseous. My appointment is at 8AM and the procedure is scheduled for 9AM. And Freebird, you will appreciate this.....it is on Valentine's Day! So that's MY colonoscopy joke Greg. I start the low fiber diet Monday morning, and no solid food after Tuesday. Clear liquids only on Wednesday. At 4PM on Wednesday, I take 4 Dulcolax and then starting at 6PM I have to drink Miralax desolved in 1/2 gallon of Gatorade or Crystal Light at the rate of 8 oz every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Then I guess I'll be spending the night on the pot and will then have to leave at o dark thirty to get through rush hour traffic to get to central Austin in time for my appointment. I'll definitely be glad when this is over!

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      You know, some people just get a box of candy or nice card. You're an extreme holiday celebrator.

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      I'm almost afraid to ask about your plans for St. Patrick's Day.

      about 4 years ago
    • Momofivedcisbc's Avatar
      Momofivedcisbc

      I just had my first colonoscopy at 45, two weeks ago. The cleaning out part was the hardest part. I started the same low fiber diet/great soups on Monday and Tuesday, clear liquids and prep materials Wednesday and the procedure on Thursday. My biggest recommendation would be to prepare my skin by using desitin or vaseline I did not hear that prior and my b_tt felt like it was on fire. I definitely did great shopping beforehand apple juice, applesauce, chicken broth, jello, gatorade, lemonade, herbal tea, lots of comfy food and drink. I did relaxation exercises for the iv. The procedure did not cause me any adverse side affects. I walked the morning of the procedure and I walked after the procedure to help keep my blood flowing through my body and the anesthesia out. I did not experience gas or bloating. They removed one polyps and I had a bit of diverticulosis. I am glad I had the procedure, I wish you lots of luck.

      about 4 years ago
    • Topazcat's Avatar
      Topazcat

      I have had that procedure 4 times and the worst part is drinking the gallon of prep. The only way I can get it down is to drink it in Ginger Ale. That is strong enough to take away the salty taste of the prep. The procedure tself is easy. Kind of like taking a nap and waking up to find everything was done. A bit tired afterwards. Good luck and I hope you have great results - both with the prep and the colonoscopy!

      about 4 years ago

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