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Part II: The Super Colon Lady Gets a Colonoscopy

February 23, 2011

Strange as it might seem, it is a good moniker to have if you travel with a 20 ft. long, 8 ft. high giant inflatable colon.  The Prevent Cancer Super Colon® exhibit helps bring colorectal cancer awareness, and a message of early detection, to communities all across America. 

If you read Part I: The Super Colon Lady Gets a Colonoscopy you know that, like many people, I had been dragging my feet about getting screened for colorectal cancer.  Now, I have talked with my gastroenterologist (G.I. doc) and her nurse, and scheduled the procedure.  Together we decided I would be completely knocked out and my entire bowel cleansing prep would include a couple of laxative pills to get things moving (really?), two 10 oz. bottles of magnesium citrate and lots of fluids. 

Many of us do not drink the amount of fluids we need every day for a healthy body, so when it comes time for a colonoscopy the fluid intake is intimidating. DRINK ALL THE FLUIDS THE DOCTOR TELLS YOU.   It’s important to have enough water in your system to avoid dehydration and it will help everything come out better later on (again, really?). 

Follow your doctors directions to the letter; you do not want to re-do the do-do.  Here are some helpful insights:

4 days before your procedure

  • Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses(8oz) of water a day
  • Up you fiber intake (vegetables and fruits)
  • Cut out the red meat
  • Try having soup for one meal a day
  • Stock up on clear fluids for “the day” and wet wipes
  • Buy a flavored version of magnesium citrate, preferably lemon-lime, and the rest of your prep kit.

“The Day Before” the following clear liquids are allowed (starting in the morning I had something every hour): DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING RED OR PURPLE!!!

  • Water
  • Clear broth such as chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth (these really help you keep up your energy)
  • Clear beverages such as sodas, tea, coffee
  • Juices like apple juice, grape juice, prune juice(a little overkill), cranberry juice, kool aid, lemonade (the grape juice helps cut the taste of the prep, so rinse it down with a glass)
  • Ices/Jell-O Italian ices, Popsicles without fruit, Clear Jell-O (I loved the Jell-O, it made me feel like a kid; an old wrinkly, cranky kid, but I wasn’t hungry)
  • Take your prep on the time schedule given to you by your doctor.  Do not leave the house for the rest of the day or night. (I’m going to be a standup comedian when I grow up.)

I started my prep at 3pm with the laxative pills and continued with my first bottle of magnesium citrate at 7pm.  The best way to drink this is chilled or over ice.  Do not drink it in one gulp (don’t think you could), but you can use a straw and the liquid will be automatically aimed to the back of your throat where there are fewer taste buds. I had the “pleasant sparkling” lemon lime flavor and I thought I was going to burp it up.  Big help here is to keep moving, do not lie down or sit down; there will be plenty of time for that later.  My prep did not kick-in for about 1 ½ hrs.  Be sure to get those wet wipes; otherwise your tushy will feel as sore as your nose after a bad cold day with lots of Kleenex.  Sorry for that extra-special image!  

By the time I took my second 10oz bottle, at around 12midnight, I was almost completely cleaned out.  The second bottle did not cause anywhere near the same amount of bathroom time and I went to bed and fell sound asleep.  The next morning I had nothing before the procedure and my husband drove me to the hospital.  Since I was going to be knocked out, I needed someone to drive me home.

The hospital was great!  I put on a cute gown (come on people, nobody looks good in this shade of green) talked with my G.I. doc and got my anesthesia through an I.V.; then I blinked and asked when we were going to start.  That was it, I was finished.  Lucky me, I was as clean as a whistle and do not have to another colonoscopy for 10 years.

Hope this helps!  The prep was relativity painless and I am going to be better at keeping hydrated all of the time; my skin loves me. I also like being the one in control of my colon health.

Just do it!  Go find a good G.I. doc you can talk with and decide what procedure works for you (take my advice, get knocked out, it was simple).

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