Tips for a better Colonoscopy Prep
This isn’t my first rodeo. I have had a colonoscopy before, and a colectomy. Both times I suffered through prepping for the procedures. This time around I vowed to try and get through it as easy as possible, so I put together a plan based on my past experiences.
- 7 days out – eliminate processed foods and Dairy
- 2 days out – Low residue diet
- Day before procedure – Clear diet and start prep
Below is how it actually went down-
7 days out-
Prep for me starts about a week before. My colonoscopy is on a Tuesday, so the Tuesday before I cut out all processed foods. I barley eat any as it is, as they all cause some kind of gastro issue for me, but as time goes on things creep back in, so I make sure there is nothing processed. If you do dairy cut that out as well. It wasn’t that hard to get rid of processed foods and dairy for me, since it was just a little tweaking to my diet, but it was so weird, as soon as I decided I couldn’t have it, I absolutely needed that frozen pizza, or bag of potato chips. Since I have been feeling pretty terrible, and knowing prep day was looming, I stuck to the plan.
During the week prior I make sure I have all the supplies for my prep day so I don’t have to run around last minute. Click here for my Prep must haves.
Friday- 3 days prior to starting my prep
I am only eating a low residue diet. The idea is that nothing is going to stick around and cause me problems during my prep. This is really the best idea for every one with IBS, or any IBD at least during flares. It includes some grains, fruits and vegetables.
Saturday and Sunday-
I stuck wit the low res diet, but started replacing some meals with soups to prep my self for the clear liquid only day on Monday. I wasn’t feeling that well, so I stayed home all weekend.
Monday – prep day
Clear Diet only. You can have any thing clear, but since I am still not trying to do processed I stayed away from he jello and sodas, and stayed with tea and veggie broth.
The night before you start the prep solution remember to put it in the refrigerator! This stuff tastes awful no matter what you do to it. My first few go rounds I followed some posts I read on adding crystal lite, and all sorts of things, but it didn’t make a big difference to me, its still just awful. I have found the best thing to do is drink it as cold as you can get it, it really helps the taste. I also have a big glass of water there for a chaser, to get the taste out of my mouth. My other tip for drinking this vile solution, use a straw, I feel like I don’t taste it was much using one.
I woke up around 4:30 am, not because of the prep, but because I Think I own the naughtiest Jack Russel’s that exist. But I love them, and when I don’t feel well, there is nothing like cuddling up on the couch to make me feel better. I got them outside and took some time to get ready for the day.
- Make sure your prep is chilled, I can’t stress this enough it made a big difference for me. Drinking it cold is the way to go. The prep is notoriously bad tasting, and for me instead of adding flavors the coldness makes the taste way more palatable.
- I got my straws out, Drinking the cold mixture through a straw to helps avoid as many taste buds as possible.
- I get my water for the day ready and stick it in the fridge as well, I measure mine so I don’t have to worry about being hydrated enough. I am doing the split cleanse, one dose tonight one dose in the morning. I need 16 oz of water while i take the prep or after, then over night I need at least 32 oz more.
By the time my kitchen is set up my dogs were back in and we napped together on the couch.
- Sleep, take care of your self today and tomorrow, if your tired, rest. If you work, consider taking the day off. Your body is basically going through a deep cleanse. The first two times I did not do this step, and I felt terrible. This time I am making sure to listen to my body and get every bit of rest I can.
My prep started at 5:00pm. My doctor prescribed that split prep solution, he last time I did it all at once, this was MUCH better. I drink half tonight and half in the morning. The prep starts working pretty quickly, by about 30 – 45 minutes in you will start feeling it. Pretty much the rest of the night I stayed in my room as close to the rest room as possible. About 4 hours later, I was able to rest and get a little sleep.
Tuesday Procedure day –
5am wake up time, this time because I had to take my second dose that early due to my colonoscopy appointment, my two JRT’s snored away as I got out of bed to start drinking the solution again. Having just went through this last night I really didn’t want to even take that first sip. I started with using a straw, and switched to a shot glass to get it down faster. I am not kidding, it worked really well.
The morning prep wasn’t that bad, compared to my other preps, I think all my planning really did help. I was feeling pretty good when I got to the hospital to check in.
One thing to remember – drink lots of water, I drank the recommended amount, but I would up that. I got really dehydrated, and they had a hard time getting my IV in.