Colonoscopies for Dummies

Let’s face it, no one wants to have a colonoscopy.  The bowel-cleansing prep and procedure are no fun, waiting for the results is nerve racking, and asking someone for a ride home is embarassing if you have to share the reason why.  Further, if you don’t have Medicare or private insurance, colonoscopies (and other screening tests) can be expensive.  So why should you have a colonoscopy? Because it is a proven lifesaver.  According to Dr, Sharon Orrange, “Colon cancer deaths dropped for the first time 4 years ago and that is because of screening colonoscopy.“  A colonoscopy  can lead to the detection and removal of polyps, some of which may progress to cancer.

A colonoscopy is one of the most common procedures doctors use to detect and prevent colon-rectal cancer.  Other methods are discussed in Do You Really Need a Colonoscopy? Most doctors recommend having a colonoscopy when you turn 50, which is when I had mine.  I did not discuss the procedure with my friends for many of the reasons mentioned above, but I had an idea that it would not be pleasant.  So, based on the fact that I knew I had to cleanse my colon of waste, I developed a plan.  My methods are not doctor approved or scientifically proven, but this is what helped me breeze through my colonoscopy.  (Your results might vary greatly so please, consult your physician.)

1) Limit your solid food intake.  Three days before I purchased the purging liquid I stopped eating meat, potatoes, bread and other solid food.  I lived on soup, yogurt, jello, juices and smoothies.

2) Be near a toilet.  If you are going to have the runs, then make sure you don’t have to run far – and use baby wipes.  Set yourself up in a comfortable chair and be patient – it will come.

3) Wear comfortable clothes.  Do not weatranything that is difficult to unzip, unbotton untie, etc. as you make your way to the bath.

4) Set up your appointment for a Monday.   This will allow you to spend the cleansing process resting on Saturday and Sunday in front of the TV, with a good book, napping, listening to music, etc.

5) Chill your cleansing fluid.  I believe that I was prescribed Coylte and it tasted better chilled then at room temperature.

6) Rest after the procedure.  You will feel a bit whoosy and/or dizzy, so get plenty of rest and be sure to keep your head above your waist when you stand up.  I also didn’t feel like eating anything, but that lasted for only a couple of hours!

I don’t remember the actual procedure but after I was done, I was told by my friend that I appeared ‘out of it’ and was wise to arrange for a ride home.  Now that I have had my procedure,  I feel much happier knowing that everything is ‘ok’ (for now) and I am not fearful about having another. I readily share my tips with anyone who asks, and encourage them to go into the procedure with an open mind vs. fearing the worse.

Do you have any recommendations for breezing through a  colonoscopy? Your comments and articles are welcomed.

Here are some other articles you might find useful:

Preparing for a colonolcopy

How to prepare for a colonoscopy

Colonoscopy – and how to enjoy drinking the foul tasting purging fluids.



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