What Is a Colonoscopy, and How Do I Prep for It?

Updated on July 12, 2019
nebby profile image

Nebby writes about all types of health topics. She loves to share her personal experiences to aid others in their better-health journies.

Do you dread the thought of getting a colonoscopy? You'll be surprised to know that the whole ordeal is quick, easy, and painless.
Do you dread the thought of getting a colonoscopy? You'll be surprised to know that the whole ordeal is quick, easy, and painless. | Source

"You Want Me to Have a What?!"

. . . "and you're going to put that where?!"

Does the thought of having a colonoscopy scare the living crap out of you? Many of my friends would rather have their teeth pulled without Novocaine than have a colonoscopy, but that may be a bit dramatic, considering the simplicity of the procedure.

Even so, you have probably heard a phrase along the lines of, "I'd rather die from cancer than have a colonoscopy." But let's face it, colon cancer is a lot more painful and embarrassing than spending 30 minutes knocked out with a camera up your butt!

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

Pound this into your head: Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is easily detectable, and if caught early, easily treatable. You can be proactive by setting up an appointment and incorporating regular colonoscopies into your healthcare routine, usually starting at the age of 50.

Note: Some doctors recommend having your first one at 40, and then a second at 50. Have a conversation with your doctor to decide what the best approach is.

Let's Get Scoped

In this article, I will share with you my recent colonoscopy experience and list resources so that you can be well prepared for your procedure. Hopefully, after learning about the "ins" of your "out," you will be able to rest easy when it's time to scope things out.

Warning

I'm going to be very open and frank. If you think that may offend you, I suggest that you get the necessary information from your doctor.

Colonoscopy Prep: Night of the Living Dead

You are supposed to empty out your colon the day or night before the procedure. There are several different ways to prep—each hospital, medical center, or outpatient clinic has their own specific instructions, so be sure to follow them to a T. I can't stress this enough!

How to Prep for a Colonoscopy

In this section, I'll explain how my night of hell differs from most. But before I freak you out, I'll be very honest—most people have no problems with prep day.

Here are the prep instructions that I received:

  • One week before the colonoscopy, no blood thinners, aspirin, ibuprofen, or NSAIDs are allowed.
  • Two days before, you have to take Milk of Magnesia at 8 p.m. (but only if you get constipated easily).
  • On the day before the colonoscopy, no solid food (including dairy) is allowed. You can only have clear liquids such as:
    • Water
    • Sports drinks
    • Powdered drinks (Kool-Aid, Crystal Lite)
    • Apple juice
    • White grape juice
    • Ice pops (no sherbet or fruit pulp)
    • Soda
    • Coffee or tea (without milk or creamer)
    • Hard candies
    • JELL-O

Note: It is very important that none of these clear liquids include red or purple dye. Otherwise, the imaging of your colon can reveal false internal bleeding.

Coffee counts as a clear liquid, so feel free to enjoy a cup on prep day (without milk or cream)!
Coffee counts as a clear liquid, so feel free to enjoy a cup on prep day (without milk or cream)! | Source

My Experience Taking Laxatives

In the morning on the day before my procedure, I bought a large package of toilet paper and baby wipes to reduce irritation. At 3 p.m., I was feeling great—sucking on ice pops and nibbling on JELL-O. At 4 p.m., it was time to mix the prep. Before I did, I had to take four Dulcolax tablets.

Then I was instructed to mix one large bottle of Miralax (238 grams) with 64 ounces of a sports drink, water, or Crystal Light. Since the store didn't have the large bottle of Miralax, I picked up two smaller ones and mixed them with two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade. I don't usually drink Gatorade or sports drinks, so I chose two different kinds to sample. (Next time—and yes, there will be a next time—I'm using Crystal Light, as I prefer the flavor.)

The Miralax dissolved instantly, but I was told to put it in the fridge for two hours first. At 6 p.m., I had to start drinking the prep; one cup every 10–15 minutes until it was gone. You must finish it in two to three hours. The hospital staff suggested that I drink the liquid cold and through a straw, so I did.

My Doctor's Advice:

"Stick close to the toilet."

Off to a Good Start

I finished the first bottle of prep with no problems. The Miralax has no taste and absolutely no grit. Had I not mixed it myself, I would not have known it wasn't a plain sports drink.

As I started drinking the second bottle, I started feeling full. I felt fuller and fuller until I didn't think I could drink any more . . . but I had to. The last few ounces had to be forced. (Next time, I'll drink less during the day so my stomach isn't filled with liquid before the prep.)

Be sure to have plenty of toilet paper. Wet wipes are also a good idea to stock up on to prevent unnecessary irritation.
Be sure to have plenty of toilet paper. Wet wipes are also a good idea to stock up on to prevent unnecessary irritation. | Source

Then, It Hit Me . . .

Then the urgency hit—this is what I had feared. All of those colon cleansing photos came to mind, and I dreaded going to the bathroom, but I had to.

The first one looked like my regular morning BM. I was cruising. I thought that I was going to get through this easy. The next thing I knew, I was running to the bathroom again. "Whew, just made it." The weird thing is that it looked like plain blue water (I drank a blue sports drink). I made several return trips. I took only one normal BM, and the rest came out like water. There was no diarrhea or loose stools in sight. I don't know if this is average or not, but it totally surprised me.

What may have helped (but I can't be sure 100%) is that a few days before I happened to see a Crystal Light product that had added fiber in it. Since I love Crystal Light, I picked it up. Maybe having the extra fiber a few days before helped me prepare, even before the official prep.

So after one regular BM and five blue watery ones, I figured it was time for bed. The instructions said that if by chance the bowel movements weren't clear or yellow, you have to drink a bottle of Magnesium Citrate. Thank goodness mine were clear (tinted with blue dye), because I couldn't drink anything else if my life depended on it.

A Poop Panic Attack

So I started watching TV to unwind, and a wave of nausea hit me. I had to jump up and run to the bathroom because I felt gurgling . . .

I didn't quite make it and the pretty blue liquid got on the bathroom floor. I slipped, fell on the floor, banged my hip, and hit my head. I felt so sick to my stomach that I just laid there for about 30 minutes before calling my husband for help. By then, I was incredibly sick, and for some unknown reason, it spurred a panic attack.

I don't know if you have ever had a panic attack, but they are not fun at all. I experienced the sweats, a rapid heartbeat, and, oh, nausea. Just what I needed, more nausea. By the way, they tell you that if you "toss your cookies" during the prep that you'll have to reschedule your colonoscopy—so I tried my darnedest to keep it down—but boy was it hard.

I was afraid that I would be too sick to go to the hospital the next day.

A Rare Reaction

My reaction to the prep was quite rare, so please do not worry. My mother-in-law had her first colonoscopy at 95 years old. She sailed through the prep and procedure with no problems. If a 95-year-old can do it, so can you!

Finally, It Was Over

So after lying on the floor for a while, my husband helped me up and cleaned the bathroom floor while I hit the shower. Gosh, that felt good. I was finally able to fall asleep right before the alarm rang. I was still feeling pretty out of it, but after about 45 minutes, I began to feel like my old self again. I took another shower (don't you just love showers?), left, and breezed through the colonoscopy.

Proceeding With the Procedure

They often schedule colonoscopies early in the morning so you don't starve to death or give your colon a chance to fill up again. I was scheduled for 5:30 a.m., so I had to be there at 5 a.m.

Settling In

After a quick rundown of my health history (they already had info from my doctor's office), they just had to double-check a few facts and make sure that I hadn't had any food or water after midnight.

After the rundown, I put on a gown. I was surprised to find that I could leave my shirt and socks on. Once I was "dressed," they stuck an IV in my arm where the "magic potion" would soon flow.

If you had anything to eat or drink after midnight, you might have to have your procedure rescheduled. You can regurgitate if you have anything in your stomach while under anesthesia, and this can put you at risk of aspiration. The only exception is if you must take medication with water, in which case they may allow it, but no later than two hours before your scheduled time.

You should also be aware that you can't have gum or breath mints, either. Be sure to brush your teeth well so you don't knock out the hospital staff when you talk.

Camera Time

The last thing that I remember was being wheeled into a tiny little room where the doctor, anesthesiologist, and equipment was.

The doctor asked me to confirm that I was indeed there to have a colonoscopy. (This is the standard hospital policy to verify that they have the right patient for the right procedure.) Once I told him that I was there to have pictures taken of my ass, he laughed, and they injected the magic potion into my IV.

Going under was my favorite part of the whole deal. You can say and see some whacky things before the drugs start working their magic.
Going under was my favorite part of the whole deal. You can say and see some whacky things before the drugs start working their magic. | Source

It's Time to Go to La-La-Land

The anesthesia makes it very hard to remember anything you said right before or after the procedure. So if you tried to pick up the nurse or make a play for the doctor, they'll remember, but you won't. Whew. Now, don't you feel a bit better?

You won't experience any of the side effects that you would have when undergoing a longer surgery. This drug helps you sleep, but you won't wake up groggy or "hungover."

A Happy (Rear) Ending

The next thing I knew, I was waking up from a very restful sleep in the recovery room. The entire procedure lasted only 30 minutes. This section is very short, isn't it? That's because I don't remember any of it. I think that I might have dreamed of being on Kauai.

I wish that I could say that about the night before!

Be Honest . . .

How freaked out are you about getting a colonoscopy?

See results

The Results

I know that this is kind of like our first date and we don't know each other that well, but heck, I'm a Woodstocker, so let me flash you my colon.

I won't tell if you don't.

If the pictures below don't make sense to you, don't worry, they didn't make any sense to me either. Luckily, the doctor explained what I was looking at. They are hard to see, but the lighter colored areas (that look like pimple eruptions) are polyps. They found, removed, and biopsied three polyps. I've had malignant melanoma in the past, so luckily these polyps were caught in time. Had I put this off another few years . . . well, I hate to think about it.

My Colonoscopy Photos
My Colonoscopy Photos

I also found out that I have diverticulosis (a dent in the wall of the colon). But that's not a big deal. In the second-to-last photo on the bottom row, the black spot is the diverticulosis. Diverticulosis can turn into diverticulitis (where the dents are larger and foods such as nuts can get lodged), but most likely, it won't.

Diverticulosis Is a Fairly Common Find

After the Procedure

After the procedure, I woke up, got dressed, and went home. The whole process took less than 15 minutes. I felt pretty good. Since the medication was so light, I didn't feel any aftereffects. For a while afterward, I noticed a few things about my body that had changed:

  • My cravings for carbs and sugars went away.
  • I slept better.
  • I was generally more relaxed.

It was actually worth going through that hellish night just to feel that good. The cleanse was just what my body needed. It was a total colon reboot.

Are you feeling more relaxed yet?

See results

Katie Couric's Colonoscopy

Katie Couric is a well-known television host. Her colonoscopy was filmed in 2000 to stress the importance of having routine colonoscopies as an adult. It was revolutionary at the time to televise such a procedure. Katie's husband had died two years prior to filming from colon cancer, so she made it her mission to help others avoid such a fate:

It felt like this disease cheated Jay out of so many things, taking him when he was just 42, and our girls were 2 and 6 years old . . . . I was compelled to try to have something good come from his senseless death—to help other families avoid the type of terrible loss mine had endured.”

– Katie Couric

Since Katie was to be filmed while her procedure was being performed, she was given fairly light sedation. Her segment has helped normalize colonoscopies and emphasize their necessity.

I was 100% not interested in having my scope filmed for the public eye, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. But I still admire Katie for her bravery.

Tips and Tricks for Your Colonoscopy

  • Very rarely does anyone get sick from prep, but drinking it too quickly can upset your stomach. If you do start feeling nauseous, take a break for a few minutes. Just be sure you still get it all down in the allotted time. Also, chilling the beverage can help prevent nausea. (Personally, I was not a fan of the cold liquid, but everyone's experience is different.)
  • If you have a history of cancer, you should get a colonoscopy every two years, rather than the recommended ten.
  • Try not to fill up on liquids during the day so you can drink all that liquid more easily.
  • You may want to pick up a pack of Depends so you don't need to worry about accidents or having to run too quickly. You may not need them, but for peace of mind, it's worth it.
  • Sometimes when you have polyps removed there may be a little bit of blood afterward. Don't be concerned—this is normal, though uncommon. I didn't experience any bleeding.
  • The only real side effect you will probably experience is some gassiness—since they pump your colon full of air for the scope to see everything properly. Otherwise, you should feel completely fine!
  • It may take several days before you have your first normal BM. It took me four or five days. Waiting is normal, as it takes a while for your colon to get up and running again.

Don't Be Embarrased

Having a colonoscopy can save your life! Is your life really worth risking to avoid some minor embarrassment?

Take Care of Yourself and Your Colon!

Maybe you've already had a colonoscopy and want to share your experience, or maybe my story has made you a little less skittish. Either way, let us know in the comments!

Thank you for stopping by today, and please, if your doctor has recommended a colonoscopy, don't put it off.

It's that important!

Homer's Colonoscopy

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

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      • agedefyingworkout profile image

        agedefyingworkout 

        5 years ago

        The prep is 10 times worse than the procedure. I got the anesthesia through an IV. Best nap I've had in a long time!

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        5 years ago from USA

        @ben-worth-96: I am glad that you faced your fears and went through with it. Although the prep part of it kind of sucks (well sucks big time) the procedure itself is pretty easy. I think that until someone actually has one done they can't understand how it's not painful and it really isn't embarrassing. Hope all of your test results come out good.

      • profile image

        ben-worth-96 

        5 years ago

        i had a colonoscopy two weeks ago , i worried myself sick for weeks before hand, and to be honest

        i worried for nothing, just a little discomfort but it was over quickly, glad i had it now.

      • Minoru10 profile image

        Michael Yoshinaka 

        5 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

        Great lens for my prep ! Thanks !

      • profile image

        LivingIntheMoment4 

        5 years ago

        I had a sigmoidoscopy inmy early 50s, and it TOTALLY SUCKED. I went in figuring it was a routine test. No sedation whatsoever --- I got a little nervous, but no big deal. BUT IT TOTALLY SUCKED!!! Asshole doctor (in more than one way....) kept going ahead even though I found it agony. When I started squirming around a lot, the A. doctor started going really fast ,.... said it was clean, that he didn't see anything. Of course he didn't see anything. He was going so fast what COULD he see. But I know he saw insurance reimbursement for just going through the motions. Personally, I think he probably had 3 kids in private colleges, the tuition was due, and if he would have been thoughtful enough to reschedule me another time when I would have been sedated and have somebody drive me home, but that would have been a loss of revenue as he would have gotten no payment for not completing the procedure, and I would have then taken a slot in his schedule at another time as well. After the sigmoidoscopy was completed, the assisting RN told me I definitely needed sedation. I probably have colon that has more curves than usual. By the way, did I mention that I am an RN as well?? Now I am 63 years old. Have a colonoscopy??? Stick that where the sun don't shine!! Even if I was totally out during the procedure, what about the "night of the living dead" bowel prep leading up to the colonoscopy?? These days, I practice "living in the moment" and a colonoscopy is a moment (actual a pure hell for 2 days) that I choose now to live through.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        my son just had one and they didn't put him to sleep or anything and he felt it all. he was in agony and said he felt the camera turning in his stomach and them taking samples. he gripped the bed and moaned but the staff barely spoke English. it was a total sham for my poor little 17 yr old boy and im discusted he was tortured in this way. the NHS staff are thick as shit and the London hospital is a butchers. not heard of anything good coming from that hell hole..ever!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        Great info and easy to read. Thanks

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        6 years ago from USA

        @geosum: That's one excellent perk of getting older!

        Here's to good health :)

      • geosum profile image

        geosum 

        6 years ago

        Had my last one at 75. Decided that would be my last one.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        today was for the camera to be put up was ery nervous but after being told what they was going to do felt at ease going to have colonoscopy in bout 10 days time watching this bit ov film has put me at ease a bit and know wots going to happen thank you very useful film

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        Are you kidding??? I hate doctors, so this was NOT A WALK IN THE PARK!! The prep was a nightmare, I didn't sleep ALL NIGHT BECAUSE I WAS ON THE THRONE!! Give me a break!! If I NEVER have to have this again, it will be TOO SOON!!!

      • choosehappy profile image

        Vikki 

        6 years ago from US

        I've had three now ...the worst part is prepping. The actual exam....you'll not remember anything and for one split half-second (just as they give you the meds) you feel really amazing. Next thing you know you're waking up and it's time to go home! *blessed*

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        I'm having one tomorrow morning! I'm really not nervous at all. I'm hoping to find out why I only have a bowel movement 2-3 times a week! That really sucks!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        I'm going for my first one tomorrow and I'm so scared. I'm only 16 years old... I can't stop crying!!

      • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

        OUTFOXprevention1 

        6 years ago

        Great info for an important topic!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        Greetings from Ireland,

        I just had to write with my colonoscopy experience, which I had this week.

        I had one several years ago and it was just like you described....

        However, this time it was completely different......

        I will start with the prep bit too.

        The powder I had to take was called Kleen Prep....

        My procedure was scheduled for 12.30 the next day.

        I had to have 2 litres (just under 2 pints) from 7 in the evening and the same again from 7 the next morning. The nighttime bit was ok ish, but the morning was horrible... Luckily the hospital is not far from my house...

        It was 2 pm when I was brought into the theAtre.... They put the iv in my arm etc. put a horrible plastic tube in my mouth, gave me oxygen, which nearly choked me. And then we all looked at each other and absolutely nothing happened. If I could have spoken I would have said ok guys you can start giving me the sedative.

        Put the tube Down my throat and went for it. I can't even talk about the pain and choking I had.

        Then they told me to turn over and did the other bit. That pain was even worse as they took some biopsies. I was hysterical when both procedures were over and I slept for 5 hours in the hospital.

        Apart from a sore throat I was fine the next day.

        The consultant told me after that I was immune to sedation..... Thanks a lot..

        Don't mean to scare anyone, but that was my experience.

        My friend had one the next day with a different doctor, he only had to drink half the liquid that I did and sailed through both procedures.

        Not fair!!!!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        Thanks that's answered a few questions x

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        I'm 35 and my father has been treated for colon cancer and he lost both his parents from bowl cancer - i had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago and it really isn't anything to worry about- I would do it again tomorrow if i had to... so don't put off doing it...it could save your life

      • profile image

        vaileria123 

        6 years ago

        Colonoscopy is a secure, efficient technique of analyzing the complete coating of the digestive tract and anus, using a long, versatile, tubular device. It is used to identify digestive tract and anus problems and to execute biopsies and eliminate digestive tract polyps. Most colonoscopies are done on an out-patient base with little difficulty and pain.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        I had a gastroscopy and colonoscopy done today As people say the prep is the worst part. Disgusting flavour to the moviprep and difficult to finish second lot but best to hold your nose and just drink it quickly

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was just so worried, but thanks to you I have a much better idea of what to expect. I'm sorry you had to endure the 'ickies' with it~ that was sort of an ordeal, I'm sure. But thanks again for sharing your experience and your friends. Now I'm not as freaked out by the whole deal.. :)

      • AstroGremlin profile image

        AstroGremlin 

        6 years ago

        Wow, very comprehensive. I know someone who went through one and it's a breeze if you simply follow directions. It helps to keep in mind that the doctor and nurses do this all the time, and unless you have a very different and exciting colon, they aren't going to remember either.

      • savateuse profile image

        savateuse 

        7 years ago

        Great info, well-presented. a friend just had this procedure, and remembered nothing after.

      • playercoach profile image

        playercoach 

        7 years ago

        Okay-great job in terms of information presented here. Not a pleasant thing to go through--but necessary as we age.

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        7 years ago from USA

        @anonymous: Martha,

        Each doctor and each hospital has their own sets of rules. I would suggest that you give your hospital a call and see what they have to say.

        Normally the hospital has the last say in what you can and can not have in the days leading up to the colonoscopy so check with them.In many cases if you do not follow the hospital rules they can postpone your test.

        It's better off to get the answer as soon as possible so that you definitely know one way or the other. You should also let them know about getting your tooth pulled, sometimes this can also get the test postponed depending on how it was extracted ( was it impacted or infected) , if there was any anesthesia and if your dentist put you on an antibiotic or other medication.

        I feel for you. A tooth pulling and colonoscopy all within a week of one another. To tell you the truth, I'd much rather go for the colonoscopy than get a tooth pulled!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for all the info. I am 31 yr. old female and am going for my first colonoscopy tomarrow morning. I am very aprehensive, but this did help settle me down a bit. Nice to know that it's not as painful as I had feared. Still VERY scared though!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Just curious. I'm scheduled for my first colonoscopy next Tuesday at noon. But, having a tooth extracted in 2 days. I know i will be on liquids pretty much afterwards. Had 3 pulled last year and was on liquids for almost a month. I'm trying to avoid that jug of prep if humanly possible. Wondering if i could just get away with a week of liquids and magnesium citrate the day before with half the prep solution. Mainly, i just hate going to sleep, but it's required by my doctor.

      • profile image

        julieannbrady 

        7 years ago

        Oh gosh, may I be totally honest on National Honesty Day? I've had a colonoscopy a few years back, followed by an upper GI endoscopy ... and then a barium enema. Holy smokes! The big C was a walk in the park compared to the BE. It's good to know that it all works out in the end!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Drinking the poly now scope tomorrow at ten.. This stuff is gros, nerves still going. Just want it over with .

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for this! I am only 23, and have to go for my first one next week. It is mainly due to having constant stomach and the doctors not having much of an idea on what it is, so they sent me to the G.I. doctor and she wanted me to get one done. I remember when my dad went through one, and he hated the prep. Reading this article help me put my mind to ease a little bit though, so thank you!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for this! I am only 23, and have to go for my first one next week. It is mainly due to having constant stomach and the doctors not having much of an idea on what it is, so they sent me to the G.I. doctor and she wanted me to get one done. I remember when my dad went through one, and he hated the prep. Reading this article help me put my mind to ease a little bit though, so thank you!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        The worst part of the actual procedure was that my Doc said he'd heard all the jokes before. I was especially proud of "well, this is no different than a day at at the office as someone is always up my a-- there anyway", Alas, he's heard that, and variations, before. The prep was actually not too bad. I guess I was not as full of s--- as I thought I was (my career is a type of sales). The solution tasted like saltwater and with a swig of Gatorade after, pretty bland. The "aftereffects" were annoying and caused me to miss most of my favorite TV shows but that was about it. The sedatives were lovely. I did feel some tugging and pressure during the actual procedure but didn't really care. The Doc said I have a "tortuous colon" and he found a polyp high up in the tortuous part that needed to be "snared" rather than cauterized so, of course, I am a basket case until biopsy results are in. He said there was a 99% chance it was nothing but as I am a rather negative person, that 1% looms LARGE in my mind. Other than that, I'd actually do it again tomorrow for the restful drowsiness it afforded me. My husband spent the time waiting for me trying to come up with a unique pun but no success. Ate right after but not hungry yet today. Boy howdy, though, when I am, look out. Someone here mentioned Waffle House and a pecan pancake sounds pretty good! Please, everyone, DO THIS.

      • ashroc profile image

        Jen Wood 

        7 years ago from Australia

        Very informative thank you. The rest of my family have all had one done as Dad has survived bowel cancer. Its my turn next for a colonoscopy.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        My husband had a colonoscopy today. It went well, the prep was bad, he came home and slept for 2 hours after the procedure. When he woke up he drank a cup of coffee then threw up. He's fine now but that was weird because he doesn't even get sick from general anesthesia.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        My dad is getting this hope he has fun durning this proeduce sigh. He is going to be so drarined its not going to be even funny.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I am getting mine tomorrow, But I was offered nothing to prep with?? I rang my doctor to make sure and he said if the hospital sent me nothing I was not to take anything?

        I will also be having mine without any pain relief or sedation as I am pregnant and breastfeeding so I don't want to risk any medications... my friend had hers done last week with no mads as she is alergic to most pain/sedation meds and she was okay, she found it a little sore, but she had preparation the day before, Any one been in my position before??

        I usually have constant diarreah (IBS) but today, just my luck, I am a bit bunged up because of the pregnancy!! :O

      • joykennel profile image

        joykennel 

        7 years ago

        I just read this while I am drinking the stuff, going in tomorrow. My Mom had colon cancer, so it is now a habit that I have to go every few years. The prep is unpleasant but it is not as bad as MANY other things in life. Small price to pay for keeping your health and peace of mind. Great info--thanks for writing. Gotta go.....................

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Great website :) I'm sure put many minds at ease with some humor added. It's all also very true. Thanks for documenting your adventure.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thank you so much for posting this, you really helped to ease my fears. I have been having acute abdominal pain with extreme amounts of vomiting and diarrhea for about two weeks now - and after having lost 14lbs in 13 days - I was referred out to the GI doc, and you guessed it... I get a Colonoscopy and endoscopy (Yay... :() I completely agree bowel prep is horrible and yes I made the same mistake as you by drinking blue gatorade... (hello, smurf water).

        I so needed this laugh, thanks again.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I am getting mine because of IBD, but this still really calmed my nerves!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Just had mine done today. Used Suprep, which was not too bad at all. The procedure went by with no problem; no pain, no bloating, smooth sailing. No polyps, no issues (yay!). Afterwards I was hungry and sleepy, hit the Waffle House on the way home and pigged out; then home for 4 blissful hours of sleep. Still a little "hung over" & moving in slow motion 9 hours later, but no big deal. Go for it!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thank you so much for this funny, down-to-earth information. I am scheduled for my colonoscopy tomorrow and feel slightly better, although still terrified! It was helpful to have a real-life account rather than clinical doctor-speak.

      • ben10ten lm profile image

        ben10ten lm 

        7 years ago

        Great Lens! I feel much better now that I am informed, as this is surely something nobody wants to go through.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I love this relaxed, humorous lens that tackles a very serious medical procedure head on. Well done from someone who performs these procedures!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        very good information waiting for urgent appointment

      • profile image

        JoshK47 

        7 years ago

        Very good info - it really wasn't nearly as scary as I was anticipated it being. Certainly wouldn't consider it something I'd look forward to again. lol

        Thanks for sharing! :)

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        7 years ago from USA

        @asiliveandbreathe: I know that this subject is not glamorous or fun and can be a bit delicate but it is very important. Thank you for sharing the link with those you care about :)

      • asiliveandbreathe profile image

        asiliveandbreathe 

        7 years ago

        Someone was just asking about this procedure on Facebook, so I have posted a link to this lens.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm waiting for an appointment as my doctor is pretty sure I have IBD. Need the colonoscopy to figure out which it is, crohns or UC. Hope it's neither but we will see. You have made me feel much better. I'm still really nervous but feel like I can handle it now. Will let you know how it goes :0)

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        This was really helpful- my colonoscopy is in 12 hours. Thank you for posting!

      • desa999 lm profile image

        desa999 lm 

        7 years ago

        Wow, what a detailed coverage on a very uncomfortabe topic. Well done.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        im 20 and had to have one. i woke up in the middle of the colonoscpy. they did my endoscopy first. i woke up said holy s*** that's my colon. and they gave me more meds bc i was trying to get up. the prep was hard. especially being a 20 yr old it was the worst thing ive ever experienced. they found pulps they r testing and other stuff. i took a s*** 2 days after and ever since ive been having rectal bleeding. so they may do another.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        My husband will have one next week so this is good prep for us. Thanks for putting this up here.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Had a colonoscopy last week, and I'm here to tell you IT WASN'T NOT BAD AT ALL!!

        The new prep, called "Pico-Salax" tasted good, and went down well. The result was much more gentle than previous preps I had done, and in fact after taking two doses I was still able to get a good night's sleep before my 10 a.m. colonoscopy. No stomach pains, no non-stop running to the toilet, no heartburn, no big deal!

        The procedure itself was nothing dramatic. I was given a sedative and then put semi-under. At some point during the colonoscopyI believe that I woke up feeling some pain, but it all became a blurr after the procedure was over.

        All of my fears were for nothing: a colonoscopy doesn't have to be a traumatic experience!

        Make sure that you get the humane prep, and when you are wheeled into the room, confirm that you will be getting something to calm you and put you to sleep. DO IT!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Glad you posted this! I had one last week and was terrified but it was soooo easy and no pain at all! the prep wasn't even all that bad either. Drink up and out it comes. Just be very very close to the bathroom ;)

      • rtsurvivor lm profile image

        rtsurvivor lm 

        7 years ago

        Lady Oz I know this may sound trite but putting the scoping off caused me a lot of grief. I ahd much the same symptoms you mention so I figured what the hey; it can wait. NOT!!!

        I had a stage 3 cancer growing in my colon that was about to advacne to stage 4. (A stage 4 will pretty much take you out.) The stage 3, if caught in time can, and in my case, save your life.

        I do have to wonder why all the problems with the prep. They are not fun but it should not have casued you that much grief. As for waiting 4 to 5 months for another go, yoou might want to check around to see if you can have that moved up a bit. I pushed my luck right to the edge and, lucky for me, it held. I wish you all the best.

        RT...

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Hi....I am lying on my bed right now....feeling and hearing my gut churn and bubble as a result of doing the prep for a scheduled Colonoscopy that was postponed by the hospital after I had been waiting for three hours to have the procedure AND that was after having to have an Enema due to not "cleaning out" fully! I am scheduled for the third time in 4 to 5 months (as my first attempt was not successful). My digestive system is sluggish at the best of times and the prep doesn't (so far) seem to work quick enough. When I read the stories of how "quick" the prep worked and how quick others are to recover I wonder if it is for me. I am still very physically uncomforable - every time I eat, it agrivates my digestive system (I can feel the bubbles of air moving through my, "what feels like my intestine"? I don't know if I can do it all again, but don't know what my alternatives are?

      • darciefrench lm profile image

        darciefrench lm 

        7 years ago

        @darciefrench lm: The colonoscopy was no big deal - I wrote a lens about and am featuring this awesome lens, many thanks :)

      • darciefrench lm profile image

        darciefrench lm 

        7 years ago

        I've been on a waitlist for a colonoscopy for the past 10 months - now it's next thursday. I had one when I was a kid - woke up and remember the biopsy. I have some latent fear about the procedure - I do hope the drugs are better than they were 25 years ago. Thanks for sharing - your tips will come in handy :)

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        @Richard2 LM: Where was the tumor located exactly? Most polyps that can turn into cancer are found in the rectum and sigmoid colon. If that is where it was located, then a colonoscopy would not have made a difference. Doing it earlier, yes...so that it could have been caught in an earlier stage. I wish you a speedy recovery...God bless.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        This narrative is truly the best!! Thank you so much. It made me feel "normal" and not so scared, although still a bit worried about the actual findings, but not the test. Thank you, thank you!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        @SofiaMann: what is lotd

      • debnet profile image

        Debbie 

        7 years ago from England

        I think I'll be laughing all weekend at the thought of your experiences... well, not the actual experience of course but the down to earth way you've written it. Blessed by a Squid Angel ;)

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        8 years ago from USA

        @anonymous: Colleen, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. There is a good chance that it will help relax a person enough to get a colonoscopy and possibly saving their life.

        Having a colonoscopy is so important yet, most people are so scared that they avoid it for as long as they can.

        Like you had mentioned, it's the prep that's the hardest part & some research is now showing that it is possible that some of the prep that we have to go through may be over kill and that they may cut back a bit. Sure, it still will be annoying but possibly a bit easier.

        Unlike surgery where you hurt for days or weeks afterwards, a colonoscopy is just a diagnostic test and a day later you don't feel any after effects.

        A few hours of bathroom misery is worth it.

        Thank you!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        I read this two days ago..the day before my prep! Loved it. My prep was a bottle of magnesium citrate and 2 ducolax tablets at 5pm. Nothing much happened. 8pm, do it again. Finally an hour later things got moving. I wish I had known it would start so late and I would be up until 1:30am, still not clear though. Slept until 2:30 than back to the bathroom again and finally it's looking clear. At 3am take another bottle of the mag citrate and 32 oz of water. Wow. Back to sleep about 5 and up at 7. More bathroom time. Then drive 1 1/4 hours to the appt. Good thing I did the last bottle at 3 or I would never have been able to make the drive since things were still moving 5 hours later! (They originally wanted me to take it at 7 but I called questioning that since I was concerned about the drive. Good thing!) Of course, now I had a migraine from lack of sleep and couldn't take med for....The colonoscopy itself - I have no idea. Out like a light. Everything looked great. Now 12 hours later and I've only eaten a little, my stomach is uncomfortable but bowels feel fine! End result: the colonoscopy is not to worry about, the prep timing was horrendous but the prep itself isn't bad as long as you are close to the bathroom with nice soft toilet paper. :)

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        Hysterical. I read it to my sister who is having the procedure done tomorrow. Thanks a lot!

      • profile image

        pawpaw911 

        8 years ago

        Been there, done that. The prep is the worst part.

      • rtsurvivor lm profile image

        rtsurvivor lm 

        8 years ago

        I had a "Colonoscopy" March 12, 2010. On March 13, 2010 I had a bit over 80% of my colon removed. The Colonoscopy revealed that I had been invaded by a "Level 3" cancer. That was very dangerous. The actual exam is a walk in the park. It does not hurt and putting it off, as I did, can get you into a really tight spot. I am clean of cancer now so that makes me very lucky.

        You might get a bit embarrassed because somebody is looking where they do but if you put it off you will be more than embarrassed for neglecting having the procedure done. That type of cancer in nothing to play games with. I was fortunate. A lot weren't!

        RT...

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        This lens was very informative I am meeting with my doctor soon and I intend to raise this issue with him... thanks for the information

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        i am having a colonoscopy next week your article has put my mind at rest. i also thought it very

        funny thank you.

      • profile image

        JewelRiver 

        8 years ago

        Love the booty pic! Very funny!

      • PNWtravels profile image

        Vicki Green 

        8 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

        A very important topic presented in a fun and humorous way - I really enjoyed some of the photos you chose - the red carpet with waiting paparazzi was hilarious. Blessed by a SquidAngel and featured on my angel lens.

      • Sensitive Fern profile image

        Sensitive Fern 

        8 years ago

        I had my first colonoscopy (and serial endoscopies) about a year ago. I'd been terrified of it but really it wasn't that bad other than the horrors of getting the IV in and the obligatory bout of projectile vomiting after. Whatever that drug is they use to put me out is WONderful. I feel like I can conquer the world for the 24 hours after. (And then the crash comes, which sucks.) I had been dieting for about a month prior to the colonoscopy, eating small amounts of meat and lots of vegetables and I think that made the elimination round a lot easier. I only almost threw up the stuff you have to drink once, but I tipped my head back and hung on until the nausea passed. And I'm happy to say I don't have to have another one for nine years. Awesome, funny lens, by the way.

      • Joyfulmusic90 profile image

        Joyfulmusic90 

        8 years ago

        I recently had my first colonoscopy. No big deal - except the night before stuff wasn't so hot. Oh well, it can save lives. - I wonder if it is more awkward for the patients or the medical staff?

      • BarbRad profile image

        Barbara Radisavljevic 

        8 years ago from Templeton, CA

        i've had two of them. I never look forward to it, and agree the prop the day before is worse than the procedure itself. The best thing about it is that if they don't find anything serious, you probably won't need another one for ten more years.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        I do feel better about the procedure now after reading you lens, thank you for sharing it with all of us. I just need to make that phone call now.

      • profile image

        Deeishere 

        8 years ago

        Thanks for writing this lens. I went for my consultation and plan to have a colonoscopy next year (when I have the money for the co-pay). I am so glad you wrote the details of your experience. It does seem more scary than what it really is. The biggest problem according to a friend of mine, is the preparation. When you have to clean out b4 the procedure.

      • asiliveandbreathe profile image

        asiliveandbreathe 

        8 years ago

        Hi. There is now a link to this excellent lens on the LINKS PAGE of www.asiliveandbreathe.co.uk

      • mskaylay profile image

        whatnextk 

        8 years ago

        You had me lol, until you felt in the restroom. Hope you did not hurt yourself. I learned a lot from your lens, keep up the good work.

      • joeties profile image

        joeties 

        8 years ago

        Wow! unbelievable graphics and pics. really brave of you to put your insides out there so to speak. I guess it's something you shouldn't fear. As I get older those kind of treatments are routine.

      • profile image

        milleetary 

        8 years ago

        I don't know about a walk in the park, but this article has certainly let my nerves settle a bit. Come to think of it, I should probably go in for a colonoscopy soon, never had one before.....

      • missbat profile image

        missbat 

        8 years ago

        Although I've never had one (still too young yet to be required to get one) I've known lots that have had colonoscopies. Unpleasant yes but a very simple preventative measure that could save you so much trouble down the line! Congratulations on your LotD!

      • lasertek lm profile image

        lasertek lm 

        8 years ago

        This is very helpful and informative. It is good to know much about this through a personal experience. It makes people understand why it is necessary.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        Glad you shared your story. I just had one on Friday. I wasn't too nervous about the procedure except what they might find. I have had endoscopies before so I was familiar with the medicine and day of procedures. The prep is what got me. I was not told I could mix the solution and it was the most awful stuff I have ever had. And of course the fear that it had to be finished and within 2 to 3 hours or I would have to reschedule (or have an enema) didn't help.

        About an hour into it (having barely drank any of it) I started throwing up. The instructions didn't mention this as a possibility anywhere and I have some other issues that caused some slight panic. Then the phone number we were supposed to call for help didn't work. A little more panic. We finally called our Dr. at home (only the 2nd time in our life) and she couldn't be much help other than the throwing up was unlikely to be an allergic reaction and I just had to finish the stuff.

        Finally, we got a hold of my surgeon and she said you just have to finish it, but said don't worry too much about the time frame. She did say I could drink it along with juice so I would take 3 sips of the solution and then a sip of Apple Juice. I did that for about the next two hours and finally finished.

        I would love to have just mixed it ahead of time with the juice or something so that is what I would suggest you ask your surgeon. Because, you will have to finish the solution (mine was a gallon).

        For me nothing major was found so that is good, but it was important to make sure nothing major was there.

        Now that you know the prep will probably be the worst of it, you can prepare and get psyched. Hopefully, your surgeon tells you, you can mix it with something palatable.

      • TerriLynnC profile image

        TerriLynnC 

        8 years ago

        Diverticulitis is what landed me in for a colonoscopy. I am considered "young" for one but because of the multiple bouts, my doc wanted to just check things out. I wish I had this information before I had the colonoscopy done because I was terrified! I had just seen Harry Smith have his done on CBS and I wasn't convinced. LOL

        Praising GOD! everything came out alright in the end...(no pun intended of course!) There were no polyps to be found and to be honest with you...the worst part of the entire process was the cleansing the day before. No one likes to have to poo uncontrollably.

        The colonoscopy also helped to break free whatever was causing me so much pain from my diverticulitis! I haven't had a problem with it since! I am eating plenty of fiber and drinking tons of water! (good for you anyway!)

        Thank you for sharing this! Congratulations on LotD!!! Great job!!

      • tvyps profile image

        Teri Villars 

        8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

        Cool lens, my time is coming VERY VERY Soon! ha!

      • Mrplant profile image

        Mrplant 

        8 years ago

        Wow sounds like you had a hard time, had to giggle a bit. Great honest, informative lense thank you

      • profile image

        AdriennePetersen 

        8 years ago

        Congrats on LOTD! Feel a little better about a colonoscopy now, but I'm making my hubby get one first!

      • GODis4me profile image

        karen vance loudermilk 

        8 years ago from charleston wv

        really good lens, informative, I have had a colonoscopy so I know its not a big deal but I would have lliked to read this before I had it. good work.

      • profile image

        jgelien 

        8 years ago

        I think all of my questions and concerns have now been addressed in glowing detail. Great lens on a very important topic.

      • SandyMertens profile image

        Sandy Mertens 

        8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

        Congrats on your LOTD! This is a very informative and helpful lens for those planning on going through this experience. Very important for those over 50 to get off their butts and take care of.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        Congrats on lens of the Day! I can see why it was picked; a humorous view on something everyone needs to go through at some point. I've had one of these when I was in the hospital for two days with on-going severe stomach pain. And yes, I was in the bathroom most of the night. Don't remember a thing about the procedure though.

        People really shouldn't be such a chicken about this. Just read the comments in here from those who had cancer found. Especially the ones who waited to have this procedure done. Just suck it up and get her done - YOU CAN DO IT!

      • nebby profile imageAUTHOR

        nebby 

        8 years ago from USA

        I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. Although talking about your Colonoscopy is not the easiest of subjects, there are several who have shared stories about loved ones who may have died had they not had a colonoscopy. Their can cancer was caught just in time. I especially want to thank those who were brave enough to talk about loved ones who may have been saved had they found the time to have this procedure done.

        I personally don't have any health insurance and it can be quite expensive without it - but even if you do not heave any insurance please -please find the time and the money to save your life.

        They say that more women then men have this procedure done --so men get off of your butts (no pun intended) and make that appointment.

        If you won't do it for yourself -do it for your family.

      • cherylsgifts2go profile image

        cherylsgifts2go 

        8 years ago

        Before I check out your other lenses I wanted to tell you what a great job you did on this one. I know I should go to get this procedure done this year and, was not looking forward to it at all. You conviced me with your lense in fact, it sounds easier than getting all my teeth pulled. LOL. Thanks so much for much for this down to earth description of what will happen. Loved it.

      • profile image

        Gail47 

        8 years ago

        Very important topic - thank you for sharing your personal experience. Angle dusting you lens today!

      • profile image

        DebMartin 

        8 years ago

        Thank you for sharing the facts and the intimate details. This lens was very informative and well written. I'm off to visit some of your other lenses. I like your style.

      • Richard2 LM profile image

        Richard Rossbauer 

        8 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA

        Don't put off your colonoscopy procedure. I did.

        Here's my brief story - 10 years ago I has a Sigmoidoscopy. The results were satisfactory and all thoughts of a colonoscopy left my mind until this past June when I experienced rectal bleeding - resulting in a fast rip to the Doctor's office and even faster to the ER at my local hospital. Procedure scheduled, wasn't easy but I was able to drink all of that stuff and then a stretcher ride to the procedure room. The prep took a few minutes, the anesthesiologist explained that I'd be asleep, put breather tube in my nostrils and next thing I knew, I was awake ad the procedure was finished.

        Results- a tumor was found that looked threatening and the pathology report confirmed that the biopsy showed cancer.

        Next was a surgery to remove the tumor and enough of the colon to determine if there were any cancerous lympth nodes - there were. So today I am a Stage 3 Cancer patient doing Chemo-therapy.

        I have to wonder if this could all have been avoided if I had pursued a colonoscopy 4 or 5 years earlier (by the way, I am in my mid eighties)

      • profile image

        huvalbd 

        8 years ago

        Been there, thank heaven my doc preferred one of the gentler cleanout routines--gentler except it starts with a clear liquids diet for 3 days instead of one. Much much better than undetected cancer would be!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        A great narration and I hope it would not be the same tedious experience for people who have to undergo it now.

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