12 Steps to Find a bit of Joy in Your Colonoscopy

đź’©Finding Joy in Your Colonoscopy Journey đź’©

Download of supplies is at bottom of post!

Before hand

  1. When scheduling – look at my timing idea (on page 3) to help plan a good time.
  2. Ask your Doctor about the PILL option for prep day.
    1. Some people find it less gross than drinking the amount they need to with the other prep option.
    1. It may cost more – but worth it!
  3. If you need to do the drinking kind, ask for the one that requires less liquid.
    1.  It may cost more, but it will be worth every penny! 
  4. Don’t plan anything big for the prep day (day 1)
    1. You will be fasting (liquids only) and might not have lots of energy
  5. Don’t plan anything for the actual day (day 2) 
    1. You can’t drive for 12 hours afterwards
    1. You may be tired and not have much energy to do anything
    1. (some people feel fine right after…. I was tired)
    1. Give yourself some space to take a nice nap when you get home.

Supplies to have on hand BEFORE you start.

  1. Whatever the doctor prescribes for the cleaning out portion
  2. This is important — it is worth paying the extra money for the one that requires less drinking.  It cost me an extra $100, but worth it. 
  3. Something to mix the powder with —- usually Gatorade of some kind is suggested
  4. Also ask about the pill version – it also may not be covered completely by insurance, but I hear it is more pleasant.
  5. Sustenance
    1. Broth
    1. Life savers
    1. Green Jell-O
    1. Herbal Tea
    1. Clear drinks
  6. Comfort
    1. Vaseline (big jar with lid that comes off)
    1. Baby Wipes
    1. Stool softener (NOT Dulcolax Pink— that is the wrong kind)
    1. Preparation-H (in case you get hemorrhoids)
  7. Preparedness
    1. Garbage Can with Liner
    1. Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Brush
    1. Poo-pourri
    1. Old Towel
    1. Adult Diaper
    1. Comfy Chair
    1. iPad
    1. Small table

Prep Day –

  1. Liquid Diet ideas
    1. broth (helped me feel like I had a meal)
    1. life savers to suck on was more satisfying than another drink
    1. green jell-o blast from the past tasted familiar and added a little fun
    1. hot herbal tea – was super, especially further along in the process when I definitely wasn’t hungry, but needed a little warm support
  2. When you have to drink the prep stuff
    1. Make sure it is cold
    1. Use a straw
    1. Have hot tea handy… it was a nice thing to have a sip of that in between the long sips of the prep
  3. Have an iPad and be prepared to stream some shows
    1. Definitely can’t focus on reading during the cleansing portion of the day
    1. I streamed Schitt’s Creek, which felt very “in theme” for the experience
    1. Have a charger cord ready, because you may watch so long your battery will run out!
  4. Bring in a tiny table to the toilet area
    1. To put the ipad on, so you don’t have to hold it
    1.  I also put my Vaseline and wipes there so they were handy.
  5. If you can, put a comfy chair near the bathroom.
    1. It was nice to be set up all comfy near my bathroom
    1. So, between pooping I had a quiet, comfy place to wait until I had to poop again.
    1. Have a blanket handy in case you get cold.
  6. Line a small garbage can with double plastic bags
    1. This is where you will put the baby wipes after you wipe and also the Vaseline covered TP
    1. This will protect your plumbing, so flushes go down easy
  7. Baby wipes
    1. These feel nice and cool on your bummy. 
    1. Use to dab clean after each poop
    1. Then use your best friend Vaseline to protect
  8. Vaseline is your new best friend
    1. Use liberally starting with your very first poop!
    1. I found it most helpful to get a big jar and use toilet paper to scoop some out and then apply on the pertinent area.
    1. Use it EVERY time and use a lot!  I did this and never got any burning.
  9. Have Toilet bowl cleaner and brush handy.
    1. I cleaned it 2 or 3 times throughout the pooping experience.
    1. It somehow made things seem a bit better also cut down on lingering smell
  10. Poo-Pourri may be nice to have on hand.
    1. Give a quick spray or two after you flush, so it is ready before your next poo
    1. Cutting down on the smell.
  11. It is nice to lay an old towel down on the ground between your comfy chair and toilet
    1. Just in case you don’t make it to the toilet in time.
  12. Underwear is optional!
    1. Makes it faster to get on the toilet
  13. OR – use an adult diaper
    1. In case you feel you need them during the prep day
    1. Or sleeping in the middle of prep day/night
    1. ALSO, some people feel a little nervous getting in the car to drive to the procedure.
    1. Having an adult diaper to wear for the drive may give you confidence

The actual procedure

  1. If you are a lady, wear skirt and flip flops…
    1. Sometimes you can wear the skirt for the procedure, and it is super easy to get redressed after.
  2. The procedure is the easy part. 
    1. You get checked in and they take you back,
    1. They give you anesthesia and within 20 seconds you are asleep. 
    1. You wake up and all is done. 
  3. Don’t plan anything for this day either – except to rest.
    1. since I didn’t get much sleep the night before I took a LONG nap and then just chilled. 
    1. I wasn’t supposed to drive for 12 hours after, so luckily I had an extra person to drive Bryson where he needed to be later that afternoon. 
    1. For some reason I thought I just couldn’t drive home and would be ok after a few hours. 

My overall impressions of my colonoscopy experience.

It wasn’t fun. 

But it was doable. 

I would say a 4 out of 10 on the discomfort scale. 

It was more just kind of gross than anything.

*** Timing Idea

  • And tiring, since I had a 6:30 am appointment, I had to finish my second set of drinks by 1:30 am, which had me pooping until 4. 
  • In retrospect, I think I would have preferred a later appointment and been able to sleep after my first pooping round, which ended around 11pm.
  •  I could have slept until 5 am and taken my second round of drinks, giving my body a bit more of a rest between pooping. 

Having something to watch really helped and the Vaseline was a life saver!

I think that the poop in a cup is a good option, if you just really refuse to do the colonoscopy.  It is better than nothing!

However, for me it was worth 2 days of my life to make sure my colon is healthy. 

The uncomfortable part was only 6 hours or so and it was very manageable.

Super glad I don’t have to do it again for 10 years, but when it is time, I feel prepared with my tools to make it easier.