*Disclaimer: This should not be used as medical advice. I am not a doctor. This post is simply my opinions and advice based on my own experiences.
Colonoscopy Prep Tips
Congratulations on doing your homework before an upcoming colonoscopy! Research is the first step to making it a better experience. Before we get started, I'll warn you. This is going to get just a little graphic and I may use mild foul language, but really, what are we talking about here? Let's get the giggles out of the way: "Poop, Shit, Butt-hole, Ass..."
Now that that's out of the way - I hope this will help ease your mind and prepare you for your upcoming shit-fest.
I chose the MoviPrep option and had an afternoon colonoscopy. First, let's start with a shopping list of the items that will help with the prep. Other than picking up the big MoviPrep box from the pharmacy, I suggest the following items. I'll explain the importance of each of them.
- 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly in a squeeze bottle
- (Separate) Vaseline for lips
- 2 containers of Charmin flushable wipes
- Panty liners (optional)
- Lemon flavored Italian ices
- Miso soup broth or Chicken broth
- Stuff to make smoothies
- Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse (optional)
- Anti-Bacterial foaming hand soap
- Insulated travel coffee mug
- Water bottle
The Prep instructions will state that you should avoid high fiber foods 3-5 days before your colonoscopy. I strongly recommend that you follow that. Three days before my colonoscopy, I tried to have mostly liquids and very soft foods. It WILL make a difference in how you feel during the prep. You need to accept the fact that you ARE going to be hungry, but it won't kill you and you might even lose a few pounds! BONUS!
If you have Ulcerative Colitis, of course, continue to stay away from your "bad foods" and do your best to reduce your stress level. Try to schedule your colonoscopy for a Monday so that you can relax the weekend before. You don't want a flare-up on the day of your appointment!
Three Days Before the Colonoscopy
Breakfast: a Smoothie
Lunch: A smoothie and something else soft, like yogurt
Snack: Flavored water, pudding
Dinner: Mashed potatoes, soup (soft and liquid!)
Dessert: Frozen yogurt
Two Days Before the Colonoscopy
Breakfast: Smoothie and tea
Lunch: Smoothie and/or a small portion of mashed potatoes (sweet potatoes are great!)
Snacks: lots of water, yogurt, Italian ices
Evening snack: a big bowl of frozen yogurt (last solid food- make it soft and good!)
Follow your instruction sheet given to you by the doctor. Don't eat nuts, broccoli, cereal, oatmeal or anything that would be considered fiber or called "roughage." There is a reason for eating very soft foods and mostly liquids a few days ahead of time. MoviPrep will "Movi" through you like Draino. It will be fast and furious. So, YOU decide what you want rocketing through your a-hole for a few hours. Solids or liquids?
The Day Before the Colonoscopy
The food list recommends eating Jello, but I recommend making your own with real gelatin without all the chemicals and food dyes.
I bought 5 large bowls of Miso soup from the local sushi restaurant. (Grocery store Miso soup isn't the same and doesn't taste nearly as good.) I asked the sushi restaurant to omit the mushrooms, chives and tofu. I only needed the broth! It is best enjoyed HOT. I recommend using a a travel coffee mug to keep it nice and hot while you drink it... by the gallon. The Miso broth was a life saver for me. It was delicious and helped me feel full. Remember to drink lots of water!
About 2 hours before you are supposed to start drinking the MoviPrep, mix it together and put it in the fridge. It's much more tolerable cold. Then, start getting the bathroom prepared.
1. Put the Petroleum Jelly and the 2 containers of flushable wipes near the toilet.
2. Bring your cell phone in the bathroom and put it within arms reach of the toilet. I brought the ipad in and put it on the counter top to watch YouTube videos for entertainment. Be prepared to spend about 2 hours in or near the bathroom.
3. You probably already have hand soap in your bathroom, but I recommend a good, anti-bacterial foaming hand soap since you will washing butt-juice and Vaseline off of your finger a million times.
4. Wear pants that you can easily pull down. No snaps, zippers, ties, whatever. In some cases, you'll be lucky that you even got them down in time. Panty liners are nice for keeping the messy petroleum jelly and butt-juice from destroying your underpants. You can keep changing the liner so you don't have yucky underwear during the process. Guys- don't be embarrassed to ask your lady to borrow a few liners. It's better than having butt-juice underwear! And don't go commando. You don't want that shit running down your legs.
Ok, time to start drinking! Bon Appetit!
The MoviPrep tastes like liquid Pledge floor cleaner. You're gonna have to psych yourself into drinking it. Follow the instructions for the amount you are supposed to drink. Don't sip it. Just chug it as fast as you can and get it over with. Then, chase it with a little water. It should take effect within 15-20 minutes. Don't sit down or relax. You want things to get moving. Why delay the inevitable? Stay standing, walk around, let it do it's thing. Just stay near the bathroom. Set a timer for 15 minutes to start drinking the next set.
3-2-1 Blast Off!
that's not a fart. RUN! Get your ass to the toilet. Do not assume that
"it's probably fart." You will shit your pants. If you feel anything
at all, you're almost too late. RUN!
The Pooping Process: Step by step guide for your shit-fest.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
I recommend getting the Petroleum jelly in a squeeze bottle. It will be so much cleaner than dunking your finger in a tub of that goo and then... well, you know. If you followed my diet suggestions you will not expel anything that really looks like poop. Ideally, it will be liquid poop.
Also, DO NOT USE TOILET PAPER!
I don't care how soft you may think it is. This medicine-cocktail is powerful and will burn your butt-hole if you don't take care of it. Only
use the flushable wipes. You may think it's ok, the first time. It's not. The MoviPrep liquid will have an effect on your skin from the first moment. Don't ruin a good thing. Use the flushable wipes. Trust me. (I have tried many flushable wipes and I recommend Charmin. The other ones tend to make me itchy.)
Do the following after EVERY "poop".
- Gently wipe or dab your butt-hole with a flushable wipe and then throw it in the toilet.
- Squeeze about an inch of petroleum jelly on your finger and apply it around your butt-hole, even if it feels fine. Trust me.
- Get another flushable wipe and wipe off your finger. Put it in the toilet and flush!
If you pee at the same time, just pat with toilet paper or a flushable wipe.
(Ladies- lean/rotate forward to pee so that it doesn't drip near your butt-hole. Urine will burn your butt-hole after this medicine passes through.)
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hand soap and dry.
- Keep standing. Walk around, stand, pace, but don't lay down. Keep things moving to get this over with! If you lay down, it will take longer and you may cramp up.
After you have finished half of the container of liquid, just bring it in the bathroom with your cup. You won't be able to make it to the fridge and back to pour the next 2 doses. Keep following the step by step instructions and be sure to use the Petroleum Jelly EVERY TIME. Stay Hydrated. Drink a lot of water. This will make a huge difference in how you feel. Carry a water bottle around with you and take constant sips.
Six hours before the Colonoscopy
Have a little Miso Soup broth and drink more water.
Four Hours Before the Colonoscopy
You will not be able to eat or drink anything, even water, 4 hours before the procedure. So, just before that, drink a big glass of water. Rinse your mouth once or twice with the Biotene before you leave for the procedure. It will help with dry mouth. Also, applying the Vaseline (made for lips) to your lips will help you not feel so thirsty. Chapstick is addictive stuff and actually ruins the top layer of skin on your lips. Vaseline for lips is great and will last longer.
It will be hard to not slip up. You body's survival instinct will be telling you "I'm hungry. I'll just eat that __________." You have to keep reminding yourself that you can not eat or drink
. Here's a trick I did: I was pretty hungry, but smelling food actually seemed to stop the craving. I stuck my nose in a bag of chocolate chips and breathed it in. It smelled great and it was like I had eaten it. Peanut Butter smells good, too!
I hope this (long) guide will help you. If you have any other helpful tips, let me know so I can include them for others. Now, go get your ass checked out! Good Luck!
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Ulcerative colitis, Colonoscopy tips, Colonoscopy prep, Ulcerative proctitis