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Colonoscopy is not a Dirty Word – Tips for the Prep

Oh, so you’re getting a colonoscopy?

It’s not so bad. Whether it’s your first or your tenth, I think we can all agree that it’s better than uncontrollable bowels and never ending pain. At least you have an excuse to stay near the toilet. Here are some Colonoscopy Prep Tips.

Let’s look at the bright side of colonoscopies:

  • 2 days with a valid excuse to do as little as possible.  Perfect opportunity to ignore your boss and watch Dawson’s Creek from episode 1, and not feel lame doing a jigsaw puzzle.
  • colonoscopy tipsCleaning out your system.  Even though all preps are hard to get down, and the effects are unpleasant, once you get through, it’s nice to get completely empty and give your bowels a break from their full time job.
  • Post-procedure naps.  After it’s all done, you can head home and take pretty much the awesomest, most refreshing nap possible.
  • Your first meal back.  Two-Four-Six-Eight, who do we appreciate? Solid food. If you’re like me, this is what you dream of during the scope.
  • Showing off to your 50+ year old counterparts.  Oh, you’re putting off your first really important colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy? Toughen up, I’ve totally done that.  Seven times.

Tips to Survive the Colonoscopy Prep:

Plan ahead- we love 8 am Monday morning scopes. The earlier the better, so you can wake up, get it over with, and start to satisfy your hunger. We love Mondays for a lazy Sunday prep day, hopefully with company.

Food, er, Liquid Diet Ideas: Did you know that clear liquids include things such as root beer and black coffee?  Those silly doctors have a different definition of “clear” than the rest of the world!  Some things that are usually accepted as part of your diet include more than chicken broth, lemon-lime Jello, lemon-lime Gatorade, and lemon-lime hard candy.

Root beer is one of my favorite “clear liquids” to change up flavors.  It’s got an extremely sweet taste, and is a great contrast to all the citrus flavors you’ll probably consume.  It’s also my favorite chaser for the prep solution!

colonoscopy prep

Ready? Go!

Other sodas can include basically anything that’s not red or purple. Carbonation is an easy way to trick your stomach into feeling full.  Colas, along with black coffee (no milk or creamer!) can give you a quick caffeine boost, if, for some reason, you intend to do anything but sit on the couch.

Prep Preference can make your intake more bearable. If you’ve done multiple preps in the past, you probably know which ones are easiest for you to get down. Don’t be afraid to ask for your preferred method from your doctor.  We’ve had success with over the counter Miralax, and Osmo Prep pills in the past.

Colder goes down easier, we’ve been told.  Get your Gatorade prep cocktail super cold by putting it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, so it’s very chilled but not frozen.  The cold knocks down the bad taste.

Cold Jello + Hot Soup, in this order, I’ve been told, can also make you feel full.  The warm liquid will expand the Jello in your stomach, and you won’t be haunted by hunger pains.  Try this at your own risk and flavor combinations.

Soups without solids extend way beyond just chicken broth!  It might take minimal work to strain out some noodles or other objects, but it’s worth it to enjoy flavor beyond broth.  Try Miso Soup- this is what you get at sushi or hibachi restaurants- you can find packets in the Ethnic aisle at the grocery store.  There will be a few floating pieces of dried seaweed- easy to strain out.  Another good one is dried chicken soup, these aren’t too noodle heavy and you can pick out the noodles no problem.

Citrus overload solutions- Because lemon-lime flavoring to IBDers is like Tequila to anyone who’s ever done spring break in Mexico.  Thanks to a surge of all natural foods on the market, it’s easy to find berry, and other flavored grocery items without Red #40. (When will Jello get the memo?)  One of my favorites is pomegranate iced tea.

Frozen desserts without dairy, such as popsicles and Italian Ice, are one of the best ways to trick your mind into thinking its getting solid food.  Again, you can get the standard lemon and lime flavors, but also banana, green apple, and mango.  Just make sure you check for dairy ingredients and red dyes before consuming!

Flushable wipes.  Not to eat, of course.  But chill them in the fridge.  There are no words for this level of soothing during prep day. Calmoseptine ointment is another great tool for soothing your bum during the prep.

Ginger ale is another great clear drink that helps with any prep-induced nausea. And keep in mind, many people have a hard time keeping down the prep. A minor puke session isn’t totally weird (but call your doctor if you’re not keeping enough down or not moving anything through!)

Ways to Waste Away The Day: There are so many challenges during the time you are prepping: conserving energy, staying entertained, and of course, getting down the prep!  We’ve collected tips for getting through this successfully, none of which include a Food Network Marathon.

Movie Marathons are great.  You know you’ve been itching for an excuse to watch all 8 Harry Potter movies in a row!  Grab your favorite trilogy, genre, or guilty pleasure movies, and curl up on the couch.  Just no popcorn.

colonoscopy prep ideas

What you watch may also describe how you feel today.

TV Series are another great option, thanks to Netflix, DVRs, and the media section at Target. Start over an old favorite like Sex and the City, or catch up on something current like Dexter.  A bunch of 42 minute episodes strung together can make the day pass really fast.  If you’re looking for a show, there are about 243542 episodes of Law and Order available online.

Games have come a long way since Sorry and Scrabble.  Social games such as Words with Friends allow you to play against anyone, anywhere, and even from the toilet!  Online trivia like Sporcle can keep you busy for hours.  And you might even learn something!

Have a Prep Party with your best friends.  Other IBD friends make the best company, since they’ve done this before.  Sit around and watch your favorite movies, play a board game, or do a puzzle.  Turn your prep into a game- drink a glass every commercial break, or have your friends take Jello shots when it’s your time for prep.

Change the scenery without expending much energy.  Of course, this only works BEFORE you start your journey to laxative land!  Sit at the dog park, drive around a scenic lake, or find a local, low-key spectator event, such as a little league game or a concert in the park.  If you’re itching for an activity, a little photography can be done without much energy, and keep you near a bathroom if you need.

Start a new project.  Since you’ll have hours of time, you have an excuse to start something you’ve been meaning to do.  Learn to knit a scarf with the help of YouTube, hang some birdfeeders and watch the birds, make a friendship bracelet, start a blog, or write notes to your friends.  You know, to send in the mail.

Hang out with an animal. Pets such as dogs and cats have proven stress-reducing benefits.  Spending some snuggle time with your furry friend can be a great way to spend a chunk of time, and things like throwing a ball or playing with yard don’t take much energy on your part.  And who doesn’t love a happy animal?

We always want more ideas to help our friends get through colonoscopies, and even help newbies realize that it doesn’t have to be so bad.  Leave us a comment or post your tips on our Facebook page!

Disclaimer:  Your doctor will provide prep instructions before your procedure.  Please read them carefully and follow them.  If you’re not sure of something included here, or elsewhere, call your doctor to double check.  We don’t want you going through this twice! Also, this post was written during an actual colonoscopy prep.

Hey friend! We love hearing your comments and suggestions below, but if you have a question or concern about your prep, strange side effects, slow moving bowels, you’d best call your doc! Many clinics have a nurses’ hotline in your prep information, so don’t hesitate to call, that’s what they’re there for!

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97 Responses to “Colonoscopy is not a Dirty Word – Tips for the Prep”

  1. sjt April 23, 2014 at 2:22 am # Reply

    Am 71 yrs old this Saturday. Had my first colonoscopy today. Dr. took out 6 polyps which he said looked normal, however sending them off for results. Scary!! Said if all is ok, I will need to have my next one in three years. My prep was doculax and miralax mixed in 64 ozs of clear drink, which I used warm tea, however after reading cold is better I will use ice tea next time and suck lemons, better than a gallon some of you had to drink. took two doculax at 4 pm, started my miralax drink at 5 pm to be drank every 20 min. apart,8 ozs each time.. needless to say, I got really sick when it hit and had to stop drinking until the cramping stopped, which after the bowels started getting more liquid, no more cramps. broke out in a sweat and just about passed out. Had to take two more doculax at 10 pm. nothing by mouth after midnight. my appt time was 8:30am.. was on a clear liquid diet the whole day of the prep which started at 4pm. Definitely the prep is much worse than the screening..i was not put to sleep, but gave me something to relax me and it is not that bad at all. The cramping and nausea with drinking all that stuff was the worse , but I did drink it all. finished it about 9:30 pm. So do the lemons help with the cramping? They were really bad. Was up several times during the night going to bathroom and still went again at dr’s before test..

  2. Gloria April 16, 2014 at 2:57 am # Reply

    I am 54 and have been having some concerning GI symptoms. I had my first colonoscopy this afternoon. The procedure itself was quick and easy but the prep was an ordeal. It took a gallon of TriLyte bowel cleanser (I drank the whole thing in a little under three hours early yesterday evening), four bisacodyl tablets at 8:00 PM, a 10 oz. bottle of magnesium citrate about 7:30 this morning and approximately 50 bowel movements to get cleaned out. The magnesium citrate had not been part of what was originally prescribed for me. I called the on-call gastroenterologist last night at 11:00 and was told to drink the non-prescription magnesium citrate this morning if my bowels were still not clear. They weren’t, I still had orange sludge. I made a quick and nervous drive to the pharmacy this morning.

    When I finally had the colonoscopy, one polyp was found and removed. I am supposed to go back in five years.

    At least I learned how to prep better next time. Two days before the procedure, I will not eat solid food of any kind and will drink “clear” liquids only, liquids that light can shine through. My doctor’s instructions said to avoid high-fiber foods, seeded fruits and veggies, beans and corn two days before. So I ate pizza. I am pretty sure now the cheese was a bad idea. To avoid eating the wrong kind of food next time, I won’t eat any at all.

    On prep day (one day before the procedure), I followed the tip I read on this site about straining soup and drinking the broth. I will definitely NOT do that again. The broth was not clear, and it likely caused me more problems. Especially when I drank strained French onion soup. It is just beef broth and onions, right? Nope. I should have read the ingredients first. French onion soup contains cheddar cheese.

    I am now due for some much-needed sleep.

  3. AJ April 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm # Reply

    To all that are afraid of the colonoscopy prep and procedure.

    I have had 4 colonoscopies with the last one being yesterday April 14. I have a family history of colon cancer so I need the procedure every 5 years. Needless to say after the third prep with golytely I decided never again. I waited 9 years for my 4th one. I spent most of last week sick to my stomach just with the thought of the upcoming prep. Boy………did I waste a lot of time.

    My prep consisted of
    10oz of Citrate of Magnesia or 4 dulcolax LAXATIVE tab
    Two 7oz bottle of MIraLax powder
    Gas-X tablets
    Two 64oz bottles of Gatorade ( no red, orange or purple)


    This is what I did for the prep prescribed by my doctor.
    3 days before I ate very lite and increased my fluid intake. ( no meat at all or carbonated drinks) This was my choice not the doctor.

    The day of the prep I only had clear liquids and I wasn’t hungry at all.
    I started at noon the day of the prep with 4 Dulcolax laxative pills.
    I mixed my MIraLax and my Gatorade of choice. Chose the flavor you like. MIraLax doesn’t change the taste. Place it in the fridge.
    Next I had some chicken broth and some water. It’s best to try to drink something clear every hour but I encourage you to stay away from carbonated drinks. It will cause added gas that you don’t want. I also cut up two lemons and placed them in the fridge. When 3 o’clock came I took the 2 gas-x tab prescribed by my doctor and at 3:30 I took one zofran 4mg. I asked my doctor for the Zofran because I had so much nausea with the previous preps. I started my Gatorade 1 hour early at 4pm because I wanted to go a little slower so I wouldn’t bloat or feel nauseated. I poured one 8oz cup of Gatorade/MIraLax mixture in the smallest cup I could find and I drank 4oz of it through a straw and then sucked one lemon slice along with a piece of lemon hard candy. Then I drank the other 4oz of mixture about 5-10 mins later. Instead of drinking the whole glass every 10-15 mins I took about 20 mins. Why the lemon? I was told that lemon cuts nausea and it really works. I drank the whole 64oz just a small bit slower and that helped with bloating and nausea. I never had explosive diarrhea just water. I had to drink the other 64oz of Gatorade/MIraLax mixture 4 hours before my procedure so I actually started at 1am. I had a 8 o’clock appointment. I drank it the same way as the first, without any problems. I Never Had Nausea, Vomiting or Bloating.

    So for the procedure. Never be worried about the procedure. It’s not painful at all.

    You must always follow what your doctor has prescribed for your prep. Alway ask your doctor before making any changes to your colonoscopy prep.

    I’m not one to respond on anything but I hope this has helped anyone that is looking to relieve their stress about the prep and procedure.

  4. The UC (not the university) Kid. April 15, 2014 at 12:26 am # Reply

    Prepping for my 25th colonoscopy (56 yrs old). The prep is the worst part but is a lot easier if you just relax and make it a movie day (DVD). Just relax and take it easy. The procedure is the best part, Nap time.

  5. Cindy April 14, 2014 at 5:53 am # Reply

    My procedure is in 2 days. I took my kids to a movie today, and mistakenly ate some popcorn. It was just automatic and I didn’t even think about it. It was probably about 1 cup – 1 1/2 cup worth. Did I blow it? I’m worried I won’t be able to have the procedure now.

  6. anthony April 8, 2014 at 7:50 am # Reply

    today is my big day 4/8/14 and its 4am I’m about to drink the rest of that good stuff.
    I did get sick last evening and did vomit a little , but once I did I felt so much better.

  7. Jennifer April 7, 2014 at 4:19 am # Reply

    I have to get up at 4 AM to drink more nulytely. If it is coming out clear in the morning do i have to drink all four glasses?

    • GBM April 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm # Reply

      You should follow the instructions for the prep based on what your doctor or medical team gave you. We’d hate for you to show up and not be fully prepped, and have to go through it all again! If you have a question or concern, your doctor or nurse should be able to discuss your specific needs. Good luck!

    • anthony April 8, 2014 at 8:16 am # Reply

      Jennifer, I’m sure all will be just fine…..

  8. Alice Walker April 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm # Reply

    Third colonoscopy after having a polyp removed on the very first one. (Don’t put it off. Get your screening!)
    This time I was asked to use Miralax. Someone online suggested mixing it in Coconut Water and sparkling water. I mixed the Miralax with the coconut water and added the juice of one lemon. Then I added sparkling water to each serving. I didn’t have to force it down at all. It’s still a lot of liquid to get in but apparently coconut water has some beneficial sodium/potassium/magnesium benefits. And the taste is fine.

    I’m two thirds of the way through the prep and I’m hoping for a “come back in five years” result tomorrow! But don’t let the prep put you off. My husband had a cancerous polyp removed on his first screening. No symptoms, no family history….just a routine 50 year old screening. They removed it and except for frequent follow ups he doesn’t need any treatment. No surgery, no drugs….nothing.

    Don’t be whiney! Check your hiney!

  9. Sue Dawson March 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm # Reply

    First colonoscopy–age 72. Decided to pray to be trusting the Great Physician, Jesus.
    The prep was 8 oz of PEG 3350 every 10 to 15 minutes until the 4 liters were gone.
    The liquid was a very little on the salty side but wasn’t bad and was easy to swallow–had
    a bit of yellow Jellow immediately following the swig. I used a timer to stay on track.
    For best results, eat no solid food for a day or two before.
    I was concerned about nausea but didn’t have any. Drinking Very Berry clear Gatorade and Smart Water with electrolytes helped deter dehydration. Also drank clear chicken broth. The pharmacist recommended Extra Strength Desitin to wipe on before starting prep to protect
    your bottom (found in the baby product area). It worked fabulously–no soreness–replenished
    twice to make sure.
    Following the procedure there was a lot of abdominal gas for several hours due to the gas
    they insert to increase visibility during the procedure. It gradually dissipated : )
    I thank God for the peace, and the guidance He gave through other people was so helpful–
    like all of your comments. God is good. He didn’t say life was a piece of cake but that He
    would be there!

  10. Mom March 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm # Reply

    I had a colonoscopy yesterday. I am 50 y/o. I believe this was either my 2nd or 3rd time. The day before was clear liquids, however, Pepsi was on the list, so I did some chicken broth, Pepsi, and water throughout the day and ate one lemon popsicle and had hard clear candies. At around 3:00 p.m., I took 4 Ducolax–it made my stomach somewhat queasy. I then started the prep of the split-dose Gatorade and Miralax around 5 p.m. Basically, it was 32 ounces Gatorade mixed with 1/2 bottle of Miralax (238 gram bottle size of Miralax divided in half). It was to be drank every 30 minutes (8 ounces), I was able to drink most of it–left about 1/2 cup that I just could not get down, and it took me probably until 8:00 or 8:30 to drink it down. However, my system had already started cleaning out before then. I woke up around midnight and also around 3 a.m. needing to go to the bathroom. I then woke up early around 5:00 a.m. (the day of the colonoscopy) and took my morning medicine with a little water. The doctor’s office will tell you what meds to take that day. I then started on the second half prep, which was to mix the other remaining 1/2 bottle of Miralax with another 32 ounces of Gatorade. I tried to drink every half hour and made it until around 6:45 a.m., at which time I officially was at the “if I have to drink any more, I’m going to vomit” stage. I was able to drink all but a cup of it. I had a drive of 1-1/2 hours to the procedure location. The procedure itself is very easy, compared to the prep. This time, the sedation put me out in about 2-3 seconds, and it felt like it was over in 2-3 minutes. Wish there was some way to make the prep easier–and it is much easier than the prep that they used years ago. Maybe someone will come up with something much tastier to drink–I don’t know. But compared to even 5 years ago, things have improved. My husband was driving home, but we stopped for lunch with the kids and I was awake the entire time home. Once home, I took a 2 hour nap and then went to a friend’s house for a get together.

  11. Mary Kay Stone March 12, 2014 at 1:21 am # Reply

    This morning I had my very first colonoscopy procedure done. Yesterday, at noon, I started the 1 btl. of the 10oz. cherry flavored Magnesium Citrate juice, plus a whole glass of orange Gatorade. It didn’t kick in til 2:30pm, then off and on to the bathroom. I sipped on a couple of hot cups chicken broth, some lemon jello, throughout the day. Then, at 10:00pm, I was to take the 2nd 10oz. btl. of Magnesium Citrate, with the Gatorade. So, it all started over again when I went to bed. Didn’t sleep soundly, up and down throughout the night, early morning. My friend took me to the hosp. for the 6:30AM app’t. I still had to get to the bathroom for last minute “flushing”. The staff there were very nice and compassionate. I explained to the anest. tech. about my getting sick, dizzy, hard to wake up from the anest. He assured me that they use a diff. anest. Before I knew it, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was in the same area where I started. I felt just fine. The whole procedure took 10 mins., and the preparation and waking up process, it took about an hour or so. I did take a short nap after I got home. My friend opted for a prescription prep., a while back, and he said he took his at 5:00pm, and he was cleared up by bedtime. I opted for the OTC stuff, which took longer. As long as I sipped on the chicken bullion, jello, it kept me from getting really hungry. I am happy to say that my report was that I had no polyps, everything was good. Except that I do have a touch of diverticulitis, which can be kept under control with fiber in my diet. Doc mentioned that a lot of older folks do have a touch of it. He said that I should come back in 10 yrs.
    By the way, I’m 71 yrs. old, never bothered having myself checked out for all these decades. I was lucky. I would have done it when I turned 50 or so, but never really heard that much about it being so critical to my health. I would advise you young whippersnappers to have it done while you are young, as a lot of our foods that we eat, have chemicals in them, more than when I was your age.

  12. B March 4, 2014 at 8:44 pm # Reply

    I’m 22, and found out my dad has stage IV colon cancer last month. I’ve been having blood in my stools and have a c-scope scheduled for Friday morning. I am very nervous as when I get stomach cramps I pass out with “seizure syncope” (mimicked seizures with no damage). I don’t want to pass out while drinking the golytely drink and making a mess.

    Some people say to drink until your poop is clear and clean, while others say to drink it all.. What is best? As well how long does the pooping last for?

    Thanks in advance!

    • GBM March 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm # Reply

      Hi B,
      You should definitely call your doctor or nurse team and let them know about your history of passing out. They will be able to work with your concerns and let you know exactly what is required of the prep to complete the procedure. Try not to get nervous though, it is not nearly as bad as you think! Our community has been through countless colonoscopies.

  13. cindy March 3, 2014 at 12:50 am # Reply

    its sunday, im 2/3 through my prep when i realized my appointment is tuesday and not monday like i had thought. so do i finish the prep and just have liquids tomorrow? i do not want to start over, but i will fast all day tomorrow if that will work. anybody else have a suggestion?

    • GBM March 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm # Reply

      Hi Cindy, It is best to call your doctor or nurse and let them know the situation. There should be a contact phone number on your prep information sheet from your hospital or clinic. Good luck!

  14. Leo February 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm # Reply

    My procedure will be this Friday morning, and I my GoLytely prep starts at 5 pm tomorrow. My question is, I understand that I’ll need to stay near the bathroom while the prep solution “does its work”, but will it be clear to me when its done and I can safely venture out of the bathroom? About how long on average would the runs continue? Is it safe to assume that once I finish the last glass, whatever comes out after that will be the end of it? Or is that unrealistic, as my body will process it in stages…?

    • Anell February 27, 2014 at 3:34 am # Reply

      Having my 6th Colonoscopy tomorrow morning. Family history of Colon Cancer for several generations. DAY 1: Gastroenterologist prescribed 2 Bisacodyl tablets (Ducolax – over the counter) to be taken at 2:00pm the DAY BEFORE the procedure. A gallon size plastic jug is provided and you mix the powered packet of PEG-3350 into a gallon of water, shake well, and place in refrigerator overnight. DAY 2: At 4:00pm…begin drinking 8 oz. every 20 minutes of the chilled PEG-3350 Solution (I made a schedule of the times and checked off each one as I drank a glassful) The solution does not taste bad because it is chilled. Does NOT cause cramping…..but you will have frequent bowel movements. So just plan to dedicate a few hours for the process. If you are fearful of not getting to the bathroom in time and having an accident you can wear a “Depends” disposable underwear. Drink the entire gallon to ensure a clean prep. Dr. provided a list of approved foods to eat on Day 2: Water, Apple Juice, Chicken Broth (clear), Jello and Popsicles (No Red), Clear Hard Candy, Ensure Clear (no mixed berry), and G-2 Variety of Gatorade..has protein and carbohydrates. The more you drink the better you will feel and the better your prep will work. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight of Day 2. Use really soft toilet paper, a baby wipe or wet washcloth, and apply a little Vaseline after each movement. Good Luck with your procedure and wishing you a positive and good report. I’m hoping for the best too.

      • carletta March 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

        Thanks Anell for all the assistance on the prep and the tips for a smooth process. I am having my first colonoscopy tomorrow and fortunately for me my daughter has Crohn’s and knows the procedure well. She said to get some limes and slice them up and after every 8 ounce glass suck on a slice of the lime like you’re taking tequila shots and that will make help so you don’t have the aftertaste.Hope all went well with your test.

      • Anell March 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

        Carletta…my test went very well. No problems discovered…YEAH. Your suggestion about the lime slices is a great one. Will remember that tip for next year’s test. Wish they could improve the taste of that giant jug of fluid. I also used a straw placed to the side of my tongue to sip the prep fluid… can avoid a few of your taste buds. Wishing you good results with your test.

    • Jane February 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm # Reply

      You won’t need to worry about when to stop and when to go. Nature’s call will be clear as a bell! The prep is a bad case of diarrhea induced for a good purpose. You don’t have to sit on the toilet when the urge is gone. You’ll just want to stay near because the urge will be sudden and strong. You’ll be fine!

  15. Austin February 18, 2014 at 5:18 am # Reply

    Hi my names Austin I’m 15 and have had this procedure done at least 12 times it really hard for me because I’m starting to become prep intolerant and it makes me really sick got any ideas to help me out

  16. Tom Nolan January 31, 2014 at 5:41 pm # Reply

    Since people in their 50s or kids with pooping problems and going to have their first colonoscopy done . I have some ideas for any toilet book reading . The books I recommend are :” Outhouse Humor ” by Billy Edd Wheeler , ” The Porcelain God ” ( Social History of the Toilet ) by Julie L. Horan I read on the toilet , Time , Newsweek , National Geographic magazines , Hustler and Playboy and newspapers ( for men ) , Redbook , Southern Living and local magazines ( for women ) , comic books , Nook , and Gameboy ( for kids ) . Happy hourly toilet reading !

  17. Tara January 30, 2014 at 1:39 am # Reply

    Hi I am having a Colonoscopy tomorrow at 2:00 PM. I am a little confused over the directions. I was told to drink 10oz of magnesium citrate 2 days prior to the procedure. I did just that yesterday. Then the directions say to take 2 dulcolax at 3:00 pm today, then do a Miralax split starting at 5:00 Pm today, Then take 2 more dulcolax at 8:00 pm today, then wake up at 5:00 am to finish the rest of the Miralax split. Let me just say after the magnesium citrate and 2 dulcolax, I haven’t seen much other than the bathroom!! In fact, It has become extremely painful (burning). Has anyone ever had to take this much stuff??? Seems a bit much to me!! If anyone can advise I would appreciate it!!

    • Tom Nolan January 31, 2014 at 3:31 am # Reply

      Hi Tara ,I am 50 and I had my first time colonoscopy which was on the 15th of January at 9:30 am in Athens Georgia . I took a split dose of MoviPrep ( 7:00 pm on the 14th and 4:00 am on the 15th ) . It was not bad , but I chased it down with water . It worked better than the Miralax and the Dulcolax . It kicked in around 7:45 pm and the second one kicked in after 4:30 am . I spent about 2 hrs. on the toilet around 7:45 on the night before . I had a burning rectum too , but I just found out that I had to repeat it again in 5 more years ( found a polyp ) . I wish you luck .

  18. Lina Foster January 28, 2014 at 12:10 am # Reply

    Tomorrow, I’m going to have to my first colonoscopy test, I’m a bit nervous. I do have a question that left an phone message to the clinic, but nobody calls me back today. My appointment is at 2:00pm, do I have to get up early tomorrow morning to take my second dose at 5:00AM?
    Thanks in advance for your advise.

    • Tom Nolan January 29, 2014 at 10:33 pm # Reply

      Hi Lina , My name is Tom . my suggestion is yes . You do may need to get up and drink the stuff , be on the toilet an hour or two , shower completely , dress lightly but be warm for the cold , and have parent , friend , or boyfriend to take you to the clinic .

  19. Tanya January 22, 2014 at 3:33 am # Reply

    Just started my prep a couple hours ago..feeling a little nauseous now. Loved the tip about cooling the wipes in the fridge. Gonna just go to bed…..

  20. Melissa January 14, 2014 at 3:38 am # Reply

    I am currently doing my prep…I have my 1st colonoscopy in the am…just wondering if any of you could give me an idea of how long i will be in the bathroom tonight after doing the dulcolax and miralax prep. So far it’s going on 6 hrs and I’m soo exhausted.

    • Tom Nolan January 14, 2014 at 5:07 am # Reply

      Hi Melissa , My name is Tom Nolan .I just turned 50 in June . It is my first time for this and I am a little scared . Especialy being worried about pooping on myself or poop on the floor on the night before . I do have a bedroom that is close to the bathroom being planned . I’m also planning to do an enema in the afternoon after eating Jello at lunch time at 1:00 pm . . Question though , do you think an enema is a right thing to take care of any poop in my lower intestines ?

      • GBM January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        Hi Tom,
        Good luck on your first colonoscopy! Whether or not you should use an enema is a question for your doctor. There may even be a nurse’s hotline that can answer this for you. There are many prep options out there but your medical team will prescribe what they believe is best, both in their experience, and considering the individual. Good luck!

  21. Tom Nolan January 4, 2014 at 11:18 pm # Reply

    This is my first time for a colonoscopy . I am 50 years old and live with a parent . I am a little scared about this . Any help ?

    • GBM January 4, 2014 at 11:29 pm # Reply

      Tom, don’t get yourself too worked up! It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Once you get to the procedure, you’ll probably get an IV, start counting backwards, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a nice nap! We think it’s easier than things like getting a cavity filled!

      • Craig January 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

        LOL @ GBM, you said “cavity filled”!

      • Leo February 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

        Hah, Craig I was thinking the same thing: you ARE having a cavity filled!

  22. Doug D. December 27, 2013 at 9:07 am # Reply

    Ok, choosing to do the procedure on 12/27 was the worst idea ever. Never schedule a colonoscopy when your home is full of holiday food!
    Other than being hungry I have done pretty well. My prep consisted of the chilled Gatorade mix. I got it all down in two hours and the taste was not that bad.
    The waiting game then started. My experience was no real issues or urges but became gassy. An hour or two went by. Then when it hit, it hit fast. Be ready to get to the oval office.
    Well hours have passed and my system is empty. Chicken broth and 7-up has been my diet of choice.
    So now I am five hours from the procedure and awake after a few hours sleep. More nerves and hunger than anything with my system.
    I know all say the prep is the worst part. Not a real fan of the “exposure” and invasiveness of the procedure but it is what it is. I have fortunately never had anything like this in my 46 years but digestive issues for a look inside.
    Thanks for all the tips and humor as we all age and have to face medical issues. This is nothing compared to what many people face daily and definitely a small price to obtain an answer about one’s health.

  23. Nicole December 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm # Reply

    Tomorrow I’m having my third colonoscopy, at the ripe old age of 23. My doctor gave me Prepopik, which is new to me.. I can’t do the copious amounts of Gatorade anymore. I just get too nauseated and as much as I’m not a wuss about medical stuff, I just can’t toss back more nasty fluid. How’s the Prepopik? Love the lemon chaser idea and the wipes in the fridge to cool! Thanks for the great suggestions :)

    • Michelle December 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm # Reply

      Thanks for the info : ) I called the doctor on call and they recommended 2 Ducolax suppositories. He said drinking Magnesium Citrate would cause too much stomach pain. Not pleasant, but it worked! I sucked on lemon drops after each 8 oz drink and I didn’t have any problems. And my colonoscopy came back fine and not another one for 7 years : )
      Thanks for all the great posts.

  24. Michelle December 18, 2013 at 1:22 am # Reply

    I just finished my “day before prep” and I am on a two day liquid diet (sluggish bowels. ) My procedure is tomorrow at 2:00 pm and I take my second dose at 6:00am How long did it take for the bowels to start moving? I’m an hour in and still nothing. A few rumbles but I feel fine, just full from the drink.
    Thank you

    • Nicole December 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm # Reply

      I think it just depends on what your prep is. I was instructed to drink a bottle of magnesium citrate before bed last night (my colonoscopy is tomorrow, today I do my split dose of Prepopik.. And WHY do they say drink Mg Citrate before bed?! LOL) and it started working an hour later… And 12 hours later, at 11:47 am my time, is still working (you can guess I’m a little sleep deprived). Good luck, if you feel your prep isn’t “kicking in” I would recommend calling your doctors office and leaving a message for the doctor, or another option is to call the nursing advice line. I believe leaving a message for the doc is better since he/she knows your individual case. Good luck! :)

  25. Rusty December 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm # Reply

    thanks so much for the tips…i start drinking prepopik in 6 hours and have the procedure at 6:15 am tomorrow morning

  26. Racquel December 9, 2013 at 10:36 am # Reply

    Thanks all for the tips – I’m doing a split-dose Suprep and googled for help after desperately trying to choke down the 2nd dose (at 4am, thank you very much!) Lemons and warm water chaser are helping me choke it down. I just don’t remember the prep drink being this nasty during my first procedure 4 yrs ago!

  27. Lizzie December 4, 2013 at 12:48 am # Reply

    Overall, it was not that bad. I had my first colonoscopy on Monday, 12/2, and getting a good report was worth it.

    I did the low residue diet, and ate more lightly, for several days before my prep day; prep was Miralax and Gatorade in a split dose. For me, drinking the liquid at room temperature was easiest. For the first dose, the cold liquid made me cold and I did spend some time shivering. Second dose was room temperature and I didn’t get the chills. Taste your Gatorade/PowerAde before mixing it up. I got a white in color “Cherry Frost” Gatorade and, when I tasted it, I nearly gagged. I used orange G3 instead and the stuff was palatable. My first dose was lemon-lime, which I am not crazy about, but it was tolerable. I had lots of jello, vitamin water, PowerAde, chicken broth, etc. I didn’t do anything carbonated and had little feeling of being bloated. Push the fluids. I must have gone to pee at least 25 times, but lots of fluid is important.

    I was worried about having an accident, so I bought Depends. It was worth it for peace of mind and I did have a few close calls. I woke up several times during the night to run to the bathroom. If you are worried about an accident, just buy the Depends. No one will judge you :)

    The procedure itself is a breeze. I was feeling a little weak from the “cleansing” and not eating or drinking. One day after, I am more tired than usual, but otherwise well. I got a clean report, which would normally net me a 10-year return, but because of my family history I have to return in 5 years. It’s okay…I can do it again.

  28. Lizzie December 4, 2013 at 12:30 am # Reply

    Your second round will take less time to clear because most of the stuff will be gone. I did Miralax/Gatorade and had my scope on Monday. My sister did SuPrep about two weeks ago. The Suprep started to work in about an hour…mine took a few hours. Second dose, for both of us, was much quicker. If you are going to be on public transportation, you might want to take the dose a little earlier, just for your piece of mind. Overall, it’s not that bad. The prep truly is the worst part.

  29. Jean Stratton Barto December 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm # Reply

    I am having my first colonoscopy tomorrow (noon) at age 58. I haven’t had one earlier because I didn’t want the VA to do it. I am glad I found this website, because it allows folks to tell “what really happens.”

    Anyway, I just came from my neighborhood Chinese take-out with a quart of won-ton soup that I’ll have now before starting the prep at 5 PM or so–earlier than my Dr. said–because I am concerned about the prep working in time, and completely.

    I have been prescribed the Suprep in two doses. First dose is to be 6 PM, the second at 6 AM. My hospital check-in is at 11 AM, with the procedure at noon.

    My issue is that I must take the bus and Metro on my own to the hospital–a 35 to 40 minute commute–so I must be cleaned out with a “calm” lower bowel prior to leaving my apartment. At least GW Hospital is right next to the Foggy Bottom Metro stop, so I will have minimal walking at my destination.

    I’m inclined to take the second prep early as well–maybe as early as 4 AM–so that there is no risk of an “accident” while enroute to the hospital.

    A co-worker/friend will “sign for me” after I’m done, and I suppose we’ll go to Whole Foods so I can eat a little something prior to returning home.

    Anyway, sure hope my “prep” kicks in like it’s supposed to later today . . .

  30. Samson Jones November 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm # Reply

    Idiot hospital gave me bad prep advice. I used Movi-Prep which worked properly and produced major movement. But I eat a very healthy diet with lots of salad and other roughage. The prep didn’t come near clearing out; the scope showed lots of little green pieces of romaine lettuce and watercress, so after going a foot or so the doctor said he couldn’t do a proper exam and we canceled and rescheduled. I’m mad at wasting several days and paying a driver, etc.

    WARNING: if you eat healthy with lots of vegetables, talk to the head nurse in that department ahead of time! I learned after the aborted exam from speaking to the nurse: “Someone like you should quit high residue foods like that about a week before the exam. Didn’t anyone tell you that?”

    No. No one told me that. It’s disgusting that you can’t trust the hospital to give thorough and accurate and complete instructions. But that’s how it is, and if you the reader are looking up this topic on the net you’re smart because you can’t trust the hospital to tell you what you need to know.

    • GBM November 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm # Reply

      Samson, we’re so sorry you had such a terrible experience, just because of your diet! Sounds like your medical team didn’t do their job in preparing and informing you. Please keep in mind that many hospitals and teams are very good about relaying important information. I don’t think they want to have a do-over any more than we do!

  31. Amanda November 25, 2013 at 11:06 pm # Reply

    I have to agree that the colder the better. But also chasing it down with a full cup of warm water helps tremendously.

  32. Sandra November 19, 2013 at 3:17 am # Reply

    I’m having my 3rd colonoscopy tomorrow. My dad had colon cancer that was found early. I started the prep (magnesium citrate) at 6pm and could only keep it down for an hour. Then I threw it all up. Now I”m worried the prep won’t be complete. But the thought of taking the 2nd dose of magnesium citrate at 5 in the morning is making me sick to my stomach all over again. I eat small meals and have a very small stomach how can I drink 39 oz of liquid (15 oz of prep washed down with 24 oz of water) without throwing up? The pills were much easier but they won’t let me use that method anymore. This is really gross.

    • GBM November 19, 2013 at 3:24 am # Reply

      It is hard to do, we agree! Your clinic might have a hotline or nurses’ line, if you can, call them and tell them what’s going on. They might give you an alternative, or tips to help you drink enough! Good luck!

  33. Linda A November 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm # Reply

    I am going in for my first on Monday and I am on a 2 day prep. I have a slow digestive system. Just looking at the gallon of “yuck” in the fridge turns my stomach. Its great reading the comments and know I am not alone, :)!

    • Ga November 17, 2013 at 3:16 am # Reply

      I am having my second colonoscopy (had my first one 8 years ago) on Monday morning at 11:00 and must have second dose of Suprep ingested by 7:00a.m. Will start first dose Sunday at 8:00p.m. I am extremely apprehensive about drinking this stuff. I have read some comments on other sites that Suprep is tolerable with very cool or cold water. Glad that I have read also to make sure I have baby wipes on hand for the many bathroom trips throughout the day. I am hoping I will be successful with the prep and procedure. I am 51 years old and I hope I can wait 10 years before the next one based on the results of this one on Monday.

  34. Kim November 12, 2013 at 1:52 am # Reply

    I completed my first colonoscopy last month, using Dulcolax and Miralax with Gatorade. Other than feeling the food deprivation, it wasn’t too bad….so I thought. I went to bed at about 11pm, woke up at 2 and headed for the bathroom. I started getting the worst nausea I have ever experienced and a really bad stomach ache, breaking out in a sweat. I woke up as my forehead hit the bathtub from fainting. I pulled myself back up to sit on the toilet, and the next thing I know I am waking up on the bathroom floor in a puddle of blood. I fainted again and landed on one side of my face and split my lip wide open.
    Apparently I experienced a vasovagal response, which creates a drop in blood pressure and not enough blood to the brain.
    I had to go to ER at 4am and get stitches in my lip, but I was only worried about missing my colonoscopy procedure at 10am that morning – after all of the prep work. I made the procedure and thankfully all was fine.
    When I do this again in 5 years, I will immediately lay down on the floor if I start to feel nauseous and tingling in the head. It would have saved me a pretty big scar on my lip!
    One thing I will add to the great prep comments here…have a towel in the bathroom in case you get cold or need something to hold onto. The baby wipes are a must!

    • Myohmy November 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm # Reply

      Why did your doc not give you some anti nausea medicine along with the other prep stuff? I have my first colonoscopy on Monday and my Rx for the prep includes anti nausea medication – taken 30 minutes before the start of drinking the prep stuff.

      • Kim November 25, 2013 at 1:37 am #

        That is a good question! It wasn’t offered and I didn’t know to ask. I will next time. I hope all goes well for you.

  35. Linda November 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm # Reply

    The nurse at the Doctor’s office said I can have chicken noodle soup the day of the prep. I am having mine tomorrow. But not really sure if I should do that. Any suggestions?

  36. Jan November 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm # Reply

    I can’t overstress the importance of lemons during the prep. Get a bag of lemons and cut them in quarters. Suck on the lemon quarter, drink the solution, suck on the lemon, drink the solution. You will not even taste or smell it. Also, schedule your exam in the afternoon. You will be able to drink 1/2 of the solution the night before and 1/2 in the morning. Very tolerable way to get through this!

    • CAnnie November 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm # Reply

      Thank you for this comment..not looking forward to this procedure(4th time) but first with this type of prep..will certainly try it this way…Ihave lemons in fridge!

  37. Juanita Matthews November 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm # Reply

    I have had 3 colonoscopies. When it was time for the 2nd one, I bought some Knox unflavored gelatin. It has 2 g of protein per packet. I mix it in hot chicken broth. Sometimes 2 packets. Doesn’t sound like a lot of protein but it helps w/the hunger.

    • ddbno November 21, 2013 at 3:43 am # Reply

      That sounds like a great idea. It would also add some texture to the broth.

  38. Amy October 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm # Reply

    I’m 41 with IBS and in a few hours I’ll be having my 2nd one in 12 years. The first time they found some large polyps & removed them. The prep at that time was 3 bottles of the most vile tasting liquid I’ve ever had. What I struggled with, besides the hot arse water that you shoot out is the wiping. After awhile that can bring you to tears as it burns & gets super tender. This coming from someone who has diarrhea more often than not.
    So last night that fluid they gave me, while not awesome, was more swollowable than the last. But again, I’m in tears with the wiping. Are there any suggestions for what to use to soothe the wiping pain? The hole is so raw. I’m really shocked that in neither time have I been given helpful hints about that in my instructions.

    • GBM October 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm # Reply

      Yes! Get some baby wipes, or flushable wipes (they are usually found in the toilet paper aisle) and put them in the fridge in preparation for your bathroom time. Use 2-3 at a time, or layer them on top of your regular toilet paper. The cold is very soothing and the wipes get it cleaner than just toilet paper! This is tried and true!

      • Amy October 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

        Thank you! It did help

    • Tiffany November 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm # Reply

      Jpouch people experience something called “butt burn”. All the acid from the digestive process does not get filtered out anymore (as there is no colon). They use a product called “Calmoseptine” It is awesome. It is barrier and cooling agent. Put it around your bottom area after a cleaning up. It will protect the skin from the next bathroom episode. I’ve never used it during colonoscopy prep, but have used during other bottom burning times. It works really well! I found it at Walgreens (it’s not carried at CVS).

    • Cynthia L December 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm # Reply

      Amy, I have dealt with chronic diarrhea for some time (until I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance) and what has really worked for me is using the pre-moistened Cottonelle Wipes followed by toilet paper to dry the area. I also find taking a quick shower after a particularly bad bout of diarrhea really helps, as does moisturizing that area using (and this will sound weird but it really works) Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (get the unscented version). Just a dab will do nicely. It is made of mainly glycerin, which is very soothing, and is a very thick formula that will moisturize & calm the inflamed skin.

      I am having my first colonoscopy this week & will definitely be using the wipes & hand cream during my evening & night glued to the toilet. I am taking Suprep, which my husband says tastes like very sweet cough syrup. I drink a lot of water normally so I’m not anticipating issues with drinking the 32 oz. of water that goes with each of the 2 parts of my prep. I hope the tips above give you some comfort during your next prep or bout with diarrhea.

  39. Anell October 29, 2013 at 2:05 am # Reply

    Tomorrow will be my 6th procedure……thanks to everyone for the tips and advise. I hate that nasty tasting liquid…makes me queazy just thinking about it. Wish I had known about all these great ideas before. But, will be taking advantage of them for this go-round. Im 68 years old….and so far so good…no signs or symptoms. Family history causes my Doctors to order this procedure for me.

  40. emily October 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm # Reply

    Can jello and clear liquids still be consumed after taking the Golytely solution at 5:00 pm?

  41. Jane October 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm # Reply

    So I am having endoscopy and colonoscopy Nov 1. Start to prep with 2 laxatives Oct 30 and oly clear fluids. Then I have 2 mysterious packets that I have to mix up with water at 6:00pm and then 6:30am day of procedures. My only fear is that I have raging diverticulitis, on antibiotics and in tremendous pain. Just fear the laxative at the best of times and then the majic formula because of the pain assoc. with it! Agggg! Guess it is the Chardonnay chilled just right. :(
    Any suggestions? Hey in closing; do u realize that we were all full of crap and this is our journey to change that! J.T.C.T.C. INC.

  42. k89 October 11, 2013 at 4:52 am # Reply

    This makes me feel better. I am 24 and have to eat frequently… And the prep diet scared me. But realizing other options are out there other than water, apple juice and chicken broth, has made me not as worried. And realizing maybe I should not go to work on prep day….

  43. Lamia October 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm # Reply

    I came across this blog after google-ing many other sites. This blog seems to explain what to expect prior, plus what to expect the day leading up to/day off the procedure. SO… With that said, I have 6 days to prepare!! I am completely freaking out!! I am 37 & am having my first “Endoscopy and Colonoscopy” done in only 6 days to prepare!! I know I am not supposed to take “ibuprophen”etc, for 7 days prior. What about using “Slim-Fast” type shakes?? I know better than to drink alcohol prior so I don’t become dehydrated. (Is 2 days ok?) My Doctor said to drink LOTS of Gatorade? (I assume it’s because of the electrolyes? So Can I use Pedi-lyte instead?? So many questions and worries!!! The last thing I want to mention is something I am needing an un-biased answer… I know it’s never ok, but what effects could cocaine have to do with my days leading up to my tests? Thank you all for any advice you can offer? Thank YOU!!

    • Jane October 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm # Reply

      Hi Lamia….I believe pedialyte is for children so not enough of required electrolytes no alcohol and no slim fast. Drugstore carries ensure or boost or Carnation instant breakfast. And no cocaine. I am not judging you Lamia by any means, but this is only 6 days out of yout of your life and u seem to have problems with giving up alcohol and cocaine……maybe be best not to know if u r sick cuz seems like u would not change your lifestyle anyway. I will pray for u my sister.

    • Adam October 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm # Reply

      Hey Lamia! You began prepping quite early. My doctor told me to eat a normal (whatever is considered normal for you) up until the prep day. On prep day you switch to a “clear” liquid diet and stick to that until a few hours before your procedure. If your 6 days out, a “Slim-Fast” shake should be fine. I have however heard that if you switch to semi-liquid diet, with no meat, the prep will be much quicker and a bit more comfortable. In response to the cocaine, you should probably ask your doctor. I’m a medical marijuana patient and my doctor approved of me smoking it the day before the procedure, as well as right after the procedure. However, marijuana and cocaine are quite different, so once again, refer to your doctor’s advice. And don’t be afraid to ask, I work in the medical field and honesty is always the best policy.

  44. CHRIS WHITE October 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm # Reply


  45. Chad August 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm # Reply

    I found this website and want to thank everyone for their contribution. It sure made

    going through the process a lot easier. I’m 35 and had a colonoscopy yesterday. For

    my experience, the worst part of it was going through the bowel prep (and the IV

    needle cause I’m a big sissy). Everything else was easy. Once they throw in the

    sedation cocktail, life is awesome. And it takes about 5-10 seconds for it to kick in.

    Luckily I didn’t have any discomfort. I felt bad for my wife though, because she had to

    wait for my 45 minute nap before we went home. Then I farted all day, it took most of

    the day to get back to say 80% functional (that doesn’t mean to go out to the garage and start a carpentry project). It might be different for everyone though,

    due to the doctors using different types of sedation. Like the author says, just sit back

    and enjoy the day, you won’t have a care in the world until the sedation wears off.

    • mary major September 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm # Reply

      you guys had the best suggestions of anything I have read! I want to say thank you, sincerely, Mary made your

      • GBM September 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

        Thanks Mary! We’ve done this too many times :)

    • Sue October 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm # Reply

      Chad (and everyone): This is my 1st and I’ve found that laughter and/or humor is working great for me! A friend suggested Won Ton soup (w/o the won tons) worked great for her to avoid hunger, so I ordered two quarts of it at lunch today (after Jello for breakfast at 10am), one for lunch and one for dinner. About 5 minutes after I swallowed the last of my lunch, I got an unexpected preview of “the prep.” Now, I’ve started on the dr. ordered prep and I don’t think there can possibly be anything left to “remove.” There’s nothing worse that pooping at work, but some things can’t be avoided. Anyway, I’ve done Round 1 of the official prep, waiting for it to start, and I read your input, which made me keep on laughing through this whole thing. Just the name of the site cracked me (a serial farter) up. Did I mention that chardonnay is a clear liquid?

    • nickmbb October 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm # Reply

      I actually stayed awake and watched the whole thing on the screen and I found it very interesting and educational. I mean, really, how many times do we have a chance to see what we look like on the inside, I was not gross at all.

  46. Jenny July 15, 2013 at 3:33 am # Reply

    I’m losing track of how many colonoscopies I have had. With my Crohn’s diagnosis I have them every two years now. I do the Osmoprep pills because I can’t tolerate the GoLyte. The key is drinking plenty of liquids! Right now I am enjoying apple juice slush–I just froze some juice in a cup this morning. Mint tea with sugar soothes my stomach when I don’t think I can drink another cold thing. Warm chicken broth helps too. I’ve sucked on some mints today too which was a nice break. Someone mentioned beef broth in their post. It is too dark and will not help you get a good prep. My challenge is keeping my blood sugar from dropping too much, resulting in a migraine. Prepping for a colonoscopy is not fun, but well worth it if you can avoid cancer.

    • Angeldancer August 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm # Reply

      Thanks. I definitely understand. Diagnosed with something else but it can cause cancer. I guess I will have to keep up with these screenings every once in a while. I have been trying to have a colonoscopy for 3 years because of blood in my stool and my doctor refused, finally switched doctors and he plans on doing one. God help me with the prep. I will ask about the pills because my body doesn’t even tolerate oatmeal at times.

    • Jane October 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm # Reply

      Hi Jenny! Just wanted to laugh at the sarcasm of the guy who named the product GoLyte! are u kidding me! Every time I had to use that stuff I would swear at him lol! Go lyte….like to see him go lyte with that potion and so much of it…OMG I almost felt like a cement truck that needed to start rolling! Dwonder what ever happened to him?. Lol

  47. July 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm # Reply

    Awakening at midnight after a couple hour’s nap, I naturally ponder plaguing mysteries, like the modern practice of medicine.  I wrote recently that the gastroenterologist I saw yesterday practices not medicine, but only the one procedure.  To me practicing medicine involves diagnosis of patients’ ills.  Colonoscopy is called a screening, not a diagnosis, for good reason (and I do not refer to the monetary angle).  
    I flunked the preparation despite not my eating for 45 hours and my doing the two-stage purging laxatives for 22 of those hours.  Most striking is that the failure was mine, not the gastroenterologist’s who did not appreciate my saying she should keep trying until she got it right.  Georgetown University Hospital Medical Center’s expertise must be as good as it gets.  If I had the strength, I might have refused to leave.  Now, I likely will start the preparation all over again for another try, surely going through 50% added hours of agony or more.  
    An old saying is one must walk a mile in another’s shoes before judging.  Well, I hereby acknowledge I erred in dismissing too lightly the notion that colon cancer may be easier to bear than colonoscopy preparation.  It’s rather like the common cold, without a cure unless it become pneumonia.  For me the natural consequence of messing up my diet is not to sleep for nights in a row.  My circadian rhythm and diurnal/nocturnal cycle depend upon regular food intake, not too much or too little and exactly the right blend of food groups and preparation.  Lack of sleep is the most potent enemy of my mental wellness though for 73 years my psychotic bent is exclusively homicidal not suicidal. 
    Also,my wife says she has had enough.  I must stop or go away.  Our 51st anniversary is tomorrow, and I made dinner reservations at a fancy as usual.  Whether we make it remains to be seen.  An old wives’ saying I’ve heard is that they marry for better or worse but not for lunch.  In her case it was in sickness and in health but not in colonoscopy preparation.
    So, the issue on which other bloggers are invited to opine is how I may manage my diverticulitis since my gastroenterologist declines to advise me, as it falls outside the scope of her colonoscopy practice.  Absent managing it, my inflamed Sigmoid colon will be the death of me because of the aging effects of lack of Slow Wave Sleep. 

  48. wendy christman June 26, 2013 at 1:13 am # Reply

    doing my prep now. used the miralax and is wondering how will i know when i am done in the bathroom and can go to sleep?? I almost fell asleep waiting for it all to start! took the laxatives at 2:30, drank the mixture at 4:30-6:00, been in bathroom for about 3 hours off and on, mainly on lol. Sooo how long will i be doing this?

    • Angeldancer August 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm # Reply

      I am so not looking forward to mine. I have to do it and don’t know how I will get to the office when I don’t have anyone to take me. This is definitely a problem. Thanks for the prep tips.

  49. Erin June 24, 2013 at 12:00 am # Reply

    I am a 29 year old newbie to the not-so-lovely world of colonoscopies, and this website has been my favorite read thus far. My diet today has consisted of boring chicken broth, jello, 7up, and an unbelievable amount of H2O. My prep (Suprep) was not as bad as I expected, but I added a packet of lemonade crystal light and drank through a straw to make consumption a bit easier. Hopefully I won’t have to endure another colonoscopy for a while, but I guess that all depends on what they find tomorrow. Thank you for sharing and also helping this first timer not feel so anxious :D

    • Lisa Taylor September 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm # Reply

      Did the lemonade mix help it go down easier? I am starting mine tonight and freaking out about it. The last one I had was in 06 and they had me mix stuff with apple juice and it ruined apple juice for me. this time they gave me a big jug with powder that you fill with water and I am so scared to start tonight.

  50. lsoderling June 22, 2013 at 3:26 am # Reply

    I just had my 4th colonoscopy this morning. The prep they suggested was MoviPrepp. Drink 8 oz ev 15 minutes starting at 6pm and then the other liter 2 hours later starting at 9pm. That was a break of drinking for about 2 hours. I chased it down with a swig of Sprite. It wasn’t that bad, citrus tasting. But I will be honest, the 2nd liter was bittersweet as I wish I could have only had the first only but you have to chase each liter with 16 oz of water afterwards. But it’s true the prep can be stressful if it’s your first time. MoviPrepp was easier than the other preps I’ve tried. The colonoscopy is a breeze. You check in, they get you ready, give you an IV and wheel you into the procedure room. Had a great doctor and staff waiting for me. I was given Propofol (a sedative) and I was out in 5 seconds. When I woke I was a little sleepy but then fully awake. Not like in the past where I couldn’t keep my eyelids open and only wanted to sleep all day when I got home. I was able to eat later that day when I felt like it, but have to admit the bottom was quite sore when I had to go, so I used vaseline and that helped. But here’s the real secret. About 4 days before my prep I really watched what I ate, drank a lot of liquids, especially water and the day of the prep I was on a clear liquid diet all day. I think that really helps.

  51. Shay June 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm # Reply

    Reading all these tips didn’t soothe the anxiety one bit for this first timer. I am told the easy part is the colonoscopy…its keeping the NASTY prep down that makes it so hard. I have a very intolerant stomach so this is undoubtedly going to be a shower run….not the toilet. Its kinda hard to sit on the throne when its coming out both ends!! I hope that I never have to have this done again. I feel VERY VERY sorry for those who have had to do this numerous times.
    May God Bless You All.

    • Nickmbb June 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm # Reply

      To me the prep was not as bad as everyone makes it sound. To me the prep solution tasted like alka-seltzer without the fizz. If you chase it down with white grape juice or root beer or anything else it really works to soothe the taste if its bad to you. As for the bowel movements – I only went 4 times in the evening and once when I woke up before the test. First bowel movement is the one that will rid of the solid stuff – all the others were just squirting liquid – no pain, no irritation – just wet and pretty clean actually.

      Another tip is – if you can not handle the taste – get some HALL cough drops (Honey-Lemon) and have it in your mouth tucked up in you inner check roght before you drink – that will kill the taste too.

    • lsoderling June 22, 2013 at 3:32 am # Reply

      Hey Shay, so very sorry you had a very hard time. Me too when I was told back in the day you could eat the day of the prep and had to swallow go-lightyly. Although the prep can be hard on some, the outcome is the best when you find out that all is well in your colon. I would rather go through one night of unpleasantness than colon cancer. I just had my colonoscopy this morning and my prep was MoviPrepp, much easier to swallow and didn’t make me sick, plus I was on a liquid diet all day before I took the prep. I think that helped.

  52. sabretruthtiger May 5, 2013 at 11:09 am # Reply

    what about the night before the colonoscopy, is it ok to have strained noodle soup or has that got too much fat in it?

  53. jenn April 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm # Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! I was so anxious after reading so many horror stories about the prep. I just started mine and I’ll keep reading this post to help me get through the rest of the night. I appreciate your optimism and helpful tips!

  54. holliebarnett February 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm # Reply

    What an awesome idea to put together for newbies and vets! I wish I had this years ago! Great info, ladies! Kudos, as usual :)

    • dawn August 31, 2013 at 11:52 pm # Reply

      Im having a colonoscopy and endoscopy next tuesday im intolerant to bowel prep was very ill last time so they are taking me in monday also having general anaesthesia really scared


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