SDMB tradition - my colonoscopy thread

Yes, I’m having a colonoscopy tomorrow.
You might think I’m a bit young for this, but there’s family history of issues in that region of the body, so here I am.

Today is prep day. I’ve just taken bisacodyl, and will drink the solution stuff later today as directed.

I heard that prep day can be rough, so any suggestions can help. Thank you.

As everyone says, the prep is much worse than the procedure. But honestly, I didn’t think the prep was that bad either. Maybe there’s just no way it could compare to the horror stories I’d heard. It’s not exactly fun to sit on the toilet for a few hours, but it’s not the worst thing in the world either.

Grab a good book or watch a show on your device, and don’t sweat it. And although it’s too late for you, if anyone else is considering a bathroom upgrade - a heated bidet seat definitely makes the experience slightly more pleasant.

Haha, I have a slightly rocky toilet (in that it rocks from side-to-side,) but having had bowel issues, I think I know what long toilet sessions are like.

My landlord is a jerk who never wants to fix anything in my apartment, so he wouldn’t have done anything with the toilet even if I’d asked. It’ll be fun trying to explain to him that I might have to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He already hates it when I walk across the floorboards to the bathroom in the middle of the night, because it makes noise and he lives below me and is a light sleeper. But anyway.

I don’t really like the feeling of being hungry, even if it’s something I’ve felt a fair amount lately (I always have a limited diet, it’s hard to find food, and I sometimes run out of money for food.) I heard I can have ginger ale. And orange juice without pulp, but other sources say otherwise, so not sure.

I tried to mix the solution in the solution bottle. It’s very heavy and I’m not sure if it’s fully mixed yet, but I’ll have another shake at it. I was told to start taking it at 6 PM, so in 5 and a half hours or so.

By the way, TroutMan, I love your avatar.

Jello was a lifesaver for me. It has just enough substance that I could fool myself into thinking I was eating food, not stuck on an all-liquid diet.

I haven’t heard that OJ is OK. It would seem to me to fail the “clear liquid” requirement, but you should trust your doctor more than me. Definitely avoid anything with red or blue coloring, as it can stain the colon and look like blood. I went with lemon and/or lime jello.

(And thanks for the avatar props!)

I don’t have any jello, unfortunately. I’m drinking a ginger ale (and also water.)

Good luck with everything, EmilyG! You have my sympathy, the prep was really the worst part for me. I had trouble drinking the laxative drink, it was too thick and too sweet for my tastes. Drinking a lot of water, like you’re supposed to do anyway, helped a bit. Running to the loo every 10 minutes wasn’t much trouble though, I was accustomed to that because I got the colonoscopy for bowel troubles which were later diagnosed as IBS. The procedure per se was a walk in the park, I zonked out immediately after getting the sedative and woke up feeling relaxed with no pain at all about 45 minutes later.

I had my first (and only so far) colonoscopy a couple of years ago and really the prep wasn’t so bad. Supposedly it’s worse if you don’t heed the instructions, particularly about restricting your diet in the day or two before. And I really didn’t have hunger pangs, even after I got home from the clinic.

As for the procedure itself, I only remember the nurse asking me to roll over on my left side and then waking up in the recovery room. No idea what they gave me or how.

Probably a ‘roofie’ like Versed via IV. They take hold in seconds and also reverse or wear off quickly, keeping you goofy but responsive. Their added benefit is that they are an amnesiac-you were there but you remember very little.

Emily: my advice, having done this twice, 5 years apart (also IBS and family issues). My last one cleared me and wont have to repeat for 10 years, barring any new developments.

Follow the instructions to the letter. Each doctor/clinic does it a bit different ad each prep process might vary a bit, as might local custom.

In general, no, OJ doesn’t qualify as a clear liquid. Weak tea (without milk or cream), apple juice (not cider or unfiltered apple juice), 7 up, Sprite, ginger ale, that you can ‘see through’ does qualify.

Exactly one week ago, I was enduring prep with a newer and allegedly (I have some friends who are pharmacologists) kinder and gentler product called Suprep. Mine was for colon surgery, rather than just a scoping, so the method and end target were slightly different, but it’s still turning you inside-out.

As Ms Boo just said, “clear liquids” means liquids you can read a newspaper through. No dairy at all, no OJ, prune, or grapefruit juice. Black coffee or tea are fine. I was a bit surprised that soft drinks were OK on the pre-op plan, so I got a fair bit of my caloric intake from Coke. There is a significant carb-loading aspect to the surgery prep that doesn’t exist for colonoscopies, so check with your doc. Just because I had to pound a quart of cranberry juice four hours before surgery doesn’t mean you can for a scoping.

Thanks, everyone!

I was told no coffee. I admit that I had a sip of watered-down orange juice at around 7:30 (they said pulpless OJ was okay, I wasn’t sure, so I watered it down.) I was told to have 2 slices of white toast for breakfast, which I did shortly after waking up at around 6:30 (a bit too early to be awake, as my landlord doesn’t like me making noise at that hour, but I figured I had to take care of myself.)

The past hour or two I’ve been feeling a bit nauseous and headachey. Would it be good to keep drinking water, and maybe ginger ale as well?

So far, actual pain/cramps aren’t so bad. Not as bad as menstrual cramps. Though it’s possible that that may happen around this time as well (sorry if TMI.)

2 and a half hours until the solution-drinking, yay.

If I remember correctly, I was also told no coffee and no black or green tea, but herbal or fruit tea, with the exception of anything red. So I drank a lot of peppermint tea.

I do have chamomile tea. I might have that in the evening.

I hope that one sip of watered-down orange juice in the morning was okay.

Possibly not if it was juice from a blood orange.


Had mine three weeks ago. All clear.

Following advice on here, mixed the prep powder with 7up / Sprite stuff, rather than water. Made it reasonably palatable, and it did the business (!).

Good luck!

Sedative thro’ a cannula. Didn’t knock me right out, but I wasn’t fit to plead. Whole process reasonably pleasant.

ah, I’ve been told not to mix it with anything but water. I mixed it already. Should probably shake it up a bit more.
Drinking ginger ale around that time might help?

Two more hours until solution time, woot.


Yes shake it up frequently, even during pauses in swallowing a glassful.

One sip OG of won’t hurt that early in the prep day (but diluting it with water wouldnt make it less pulpy, for the future)

Water, seven-up, sprite, ginger ale, herbal or mint teas (avoiding any roobious, which can add red tint or coloring which royally screws up the exam). I was always able to eat jello as long as it was not red or orange. Jello at least gives you something in your tummy and some calories. Calories in also might stave off weakness or nausea. So lemon jello or whatever color your instructions say is ok. If the instructions says to stop drinking even water at a certain time, still drink a big glass of liquid just a few minutes before the cut off.

I always carried a snack with me to eat the minute I got the ok because the fasting left me starving and didnt want to have to wait til I got home.

Hope it all goes bearably.

The OJ didn’t actually have pulp in it. I wasn’t trying to make it less pulpy.

I don’t have jello. Maybe I should’ve gotten some. I guess I didn’t want to get any because I don’t really like it, but I’ll know for next time.

This is a stupid question, but can I do some cleaning? I’m wondering if the cleaning chemicals would somehow affect test results or interfere with things.

And I just gave the solution jug another shake. It’s heavy! I seriously might keep it around afterwards to help with fitness.

No, cleaning is fine. Basically what matters is what goes into your tummy and from there into your intestines.

Any oj has pulp/fiber unless it is specially labeled ‘no pulp’. But one gulp that early shouldn’t be a problem.

I dont like jello either. I only eat it before colonoscopies or after surgeries but I get so hungry that even I will eat jello then. My doctor didnt want me eating blue jello either so banning red and blue didnt leave many flavors I was able to choke down but even jello was better than nothing. Your instructions may allow clear broth or bouillion so check. That may be a possibility too. I know that gluten free foodstuffs are hard to find. Clear consommé is another thing that might be allowed. Campbell’s sells consommé in a can in the US. Maybe up where you are too.

Yeah, I don’t have many options, in between gluten-free things and things that won’t trigger my food aversions. And no ability to get any extra food or groceries at the moment, as I’m supposed to limit my contacts before the exam.
(I tried depending on grocery delivery, and they never came and it was a disaster and someone had to get groceries for me.)
I do have food for afterward. Trying not to think about food at the moment.