So now it’s my turn! Traveling all over the country with the Prevent Cancer Super Colon™ is my job. Working to bring educational awareness about colorectal cancer and preventive screening to different venues has allowed me to meet many wonderful people who have shared their experiences about getting a colonoscopy. Generally, you do not hear good stories when you are standing in front of a 20 ft long, 8 ft high inflatable colon. So, as much as my head knew a colonoscopy was a good thing, part of me was running the other way chased by horrible images in my mind. Then the New York Times published an article about fear being the #1 reason why people in the United States didn’t get a screening colonoscopy at age 50.
Okay, okay, I am not afraid; let’s do this! A call to a local gastroenterologist (G.I. doc), recommended by a neighbor, got me an appointment to learn about the colonoscopy procedure and make decisions, with the doctor, about what would work best for me. The G.I. doc showed me pictures of the inside of the human body and explained to me exactly what would occur before, during and after the colonoscopy. She told me that there were a number of different preps available, and gave me extensive instructions on what to do, what not do and what to expect.
Then I had the opportunity to talk with the G.I nurse who filled me in on great tips to get through the prep!
- To reduce any anal discomfort, use adult wet wipes or a water spray to clean off instead of toilet paper. Vaseline “down there” helps you not get irritated.
- Once you take the prep keep moving; “Okay, you’re not going for a walk in the woods”, but vacuuming, walking around the house, climbing the stairs all will help your bowels empty out sooner and get this prep done!
- Keep plenty of clear liquids on hand to drink. Water gets BORING and you need to stay hydrated. Fat-free bouillon or broth is good, but what saved me was Jell-O. It really filled me up. Other fluids, in any color except red or blue; strained fruit juice (apple juice really cuts the taste of the prep), Crystal Light, water, plain coffee, plain tea, diet soda (ginger ale is great for cutting the taste of the prep), popsicles in any color except red or blue.
- Be prepared to spend most of the day before your test on the toilet. Books and magazines are a definite plus.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. You wouldn’t want to have to do the prep all over.
- CALL the doctor’s office for help if you have any trouble or don’t understand the prep instructions.
Now I have the facts and I made my decision about what kind of prep and anesthesia I wanted. I am on the schedule and ready to go! (Ohhhh, bad one.)
Check out my next blog on the prep and the procedure itself!