in Checking In, Follow-Up, Geezer

Day of colonoscopy prep

So I made it to the tail end (ha!) of my day of colonoscopy preparation and its been better than the first time. What does a day of colonoscopy preparation mean? I’m about to tell ya. Why do I tell ya? Not because it’s glamorous or fun, but because someday, Dear Reader, you may also be faced with having to get a colonoscopy and you’ll be thinking “dammit, why didn’t I listen to that blogger guy, Whatisname?”

Beginning Monday, I switched to a mostly diet – not because anyone told me to but because I wanted today to be as smooth as possible. I bought a case of Ensure-type nutritional shakes at Costco and swigged them throughout the day yesterday, pausing only for a four-egg dinner because I got so hungry by the end of yesterday. Today, though, was an all clear-liquids diet. That meant Gatorade, Jello, and chicken broth. Mostly Gatorade, as I’ll explain in a moment.

The doc wants you to stay hydrated because the laxative is going to take a lot out of you. You can only consume clear liquids, though, because anything more solid will clutter your bowel. My epiphany this time around is that chicken broth, while relatively tasty, only has 15 measly calories. A glass of Gatorade, on the other hand, has 80 calories. A bowl of Jello has calories somewhere in-between. Thus, I mostly subsisted on Gatorade today after two large cups of black coffee in the morning. Then, once I’d gotten as many calories as I could from Gatorade, I drank two cups of heated chicken broth at dinnertime.

For breakfast and lunch it was Jello, one box per serving. It gave my stomach something to do but I still found myself craving a handful of assorted nuts and dipping chips in hummus throughout the day. I’d also find myself imagining cutting into a juicy steak but the daydreaming was only torturing me more. I found myself wanting to get outside for a while, just to get away from all food.

So my routine wasn’t much different than normal for most of today, other than the liquid diet. My blood pressure began to rise a bit when it came time to take my first laxative, Dulcolax, a stimulant laxative that was relatively easy to handle.

At 5 PM the real fun started when I took my first dose of SURPREP. This stuff goes through you within 30 minutes and from then on you’re going to stay wherever you are for a while. A follow-up dose at 9 AM will likely keep me awake for a bit longer but after 11 PM my gut should settle down for the night.

Today is the hardest day of the whole colonoscopy routine. The procedure itself is a breeze, comparatively speaking. I show up, put on a gown, and fall asleep for 45 minutes. Super easy. But Prep Day is not much fun.

I got some ideas from last time on how to make this time better. I swallowed my pride and made use of diaper rash cream and adult … shall we say, “undergarments.” Both made a difference in my comfort.

And here’s something I just figured out that no one else has ever told me: when you are drinking your water or drinks, make them warm or lukewarm ones! You’re going to be flushing your body with lots of water during this day and if you’re doing it with cold water your body is going to feel somewhat chilled. That hot chicken broth I drank offered pitiful calories but its warmness was greatly appreciated. If the SUPREP laxative calls for “cool water,” you can read this as “not excessively hot.” Warm is okay. Also, feel free to make your hydration drink of choice to be decaffeinated coffee or tea. Might as well drink something tasty and warm while you’re fueling up.

What’s left? Tomorrow’s procedure! At this point I’m so looking forward to getting it over with and chowing down to a big hamburger or Egg McMuffin. I’ll blog a bit on tomorrow’s expected process in the morning.