Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Colonoscopy Diary

I just had my first colonoscopy. I figured I could put my notes here so that if anyone was planning on having one, they could find some info.
The day before, I got to eat nothing. I could only have liquids. I did fairly well of Popsicles, decaf coffee with Splenda, and beef broth. However, I took the day easy and did not exert myself and I could tell that I had not eaten, but I was not starving.
I had to start the bowel prep liquid about 4 pm. It comes in a gallon jug with about an inch of white powder at the bottom. You add water and shake vigorously, and put in the fridge. I used the lemon flavoring that came with it. It doesn't taste terrible, but it is not tasty by any means. You have to drink a class every fifteen minutes for 2 hours.
About an hour into the prep mixture you start having bowel movements. If you have ever had bad diarrhea, it is about like that. I went to the toilet about every ten minutes for a couple of hours. Be sure to "dab", don't "wipe" or your butt will get irritated. After a while I was passing mostly liquid.
The next morning, I finished the solution, and could not eat or drink anything other than a little water to keep from getting cottonmouth. I went to the doctor at 1:30 pm, and I was hungry and grumpy.
At the hospital, the put in an IV, and had me undress and wear one of those fashionable gowns. Once was in the colonoscopy room, they checked my ID about five times and started giving me sedation. I dozed a bit, but awoke a few times during the procedure to watch the screen. I saw them remove the one polyp that existed and then it was over. There was a little discomfort, but it was not bad. I would say it was like having bad gas, unpleasant but not terrible.
When I got home, I fell asleep on the couch for about three hours and then ate a whole bunch of food because I was hungry.
Overall, the colonoscopy was an inconvenience, but nothing to fear.