Today I had my first routine, “age appropriate”, colonoscopy. Despite all the fear and hoopla surrounding colonoscopies, it really wasn’t that bad. When my Nurse Practitioner suggested the screening at my annual checkup I initially balked at it. However as I sat there listening to her tell me how important it is I thought of two of my friends. One passed away a couple of years ago from colon cancer and the other is currently going through chemo. The first was a few years older than me and the second is my age. I decided it was time to woman-up and get the screening. It is recommended that screenings begin at age 50 and continue every 10 years if the screening is clean and the patient is at low risk.
I met with the surgeon last week and he reassured me that it was a painless procedure and that I would not be awake. That was the most important thing to me. Seriously, who wants to be awake for that? So with my colon cleansing prep instructions in hand I was off to get prepared.
Colonoscopy prep has always been one of the reasons for avoiding colonoscopy screenings. Fortunately there is a new way of prep that doesn’t involve drinking the nasty tasting liquid. It is the Miralax Prep and it consists of an 8 oz bottle of Mirolax, 64 oz of a liquid of your choice, 4 Ducolax pills and a bottle of Magnesium Citrate. The liquid can be juice (apple or white grape), Gatorade (nothing red), water or tea. The main thing is that nothing has red food coloring or juice in it. I chose apple juice.
Here are some colonoscopy prep tips that you might find helpful.
- Easing up on your diet a few days before will help with the prep.
- The prep will likely begin in the afternoon, so after you begin plan to stay home. You will take the Dulcolax first.
- 2 Hours later you will start the Miralax. You will mix it with the liquid and you have 3 hours to drink it all.
- Cold liquid goes down much easier so make sure that you refrigerate your juice prior to mixing.
- I can’t deal with little bits of chalky stuff in my drink, so I poured half of the juice in my Ninja and blended all the powder that way. Then I added it back to the rest of the juice.
- Drinking with straw makes it go down easier and faster. If you have to drink the Magnesium Citrate you will appreciate that. While the Miralax is tasteless the Magnesium Citrate is not.
- Buy the softest toilet tissue you can find. Seriously. The softest.
- Have diaper wipes or cleansing wipes along with diaper rash ointment on hand. You will need this. The worst part of prep for me was how sore my bottom was.
- You will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom so you will want something to read or keep you occupied.
When I arrived at the surgery center I was taken to pre-op. I was given a warming gown and they started an IV and began taking my vitals. I get sick from pain meds and anesthesia so they gave me a dose of Zofran for nausea. By the time they came back to get me I was so relaxed I barely needed anesthesia. I was out within a couple of minutes.
A little while later I woke up in recovery. My husband came in and sat with me until I fully woke up. No pain. Just drowsy from the meds.
Recovery was a breeze. I wanted caffeine and food. The nurse brought me a Pepsi and my husband stopped at Sonic on the way home. We spent our afternoon catching up on Married at First Sight and then watched a movie together. Might as well take advantage of the fact that he is off work today. 🙂
If you are on the fence about getting a colonoscopy, just do it. It might just save your life, By the way, I got a clean bill of health from the surgeon. Very happy news!!
Have you scheduled your screening yet? Do you have any additional tips to share? Comment below and share with us.
Until next time,