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What Is A Colonoscopy Experience Like?

My first colonoscopy


This really isn’t a topic that I’m like “oooooo so interesting”, but I am doing this because I’ve heard from multiple people that they’re scared to have this done, so since I’m, for lack of a better term, in the belly of the beast, I thought I’d document my experience hoping to encourage you all to get your health screenings done.


Day Before

8-noon

Not too bad. I did screw up a bit of my prep, but after a hasty search all through Google I did find out that it wasn’t anything that would highly screw up my procedure tomorrow. I did hurry to familiarize myself with the prep instructions so as to mitigate any damage I might have done. The liquid diet SUCKS. I’ve never been a detoxer (hello, you have kidneys & a liver) and I have a healthy relationship with food, so I enjoy my meals. Not eating is awful. I’m like a child in this process being told I can’t have something so naturally I want it even more now. I’m trying to drink something every hour, but it’s not quite the cheeseburger I’m fantasizing about. Thankfully I’m still working today so I have that to distract me…up to a certain point. Did I also mention it’s Opening Day for baseball? So I’m thinking about nachos and hotdogs and….IT. IS. AWFUL. I know I’m supposed to be encouraging you to do this, but I’m also going to be honest. Yeah, I’m hungry. Yeah, I’m dramatic. I’ll be able to eat tomorrow. Slightly uncomfortable isn’t a reason to bypass this screening.


Now…I’m off to drink some chicken noodle soup broth.

Chicken Broth
My sanity in a box

Noon-3

Had to leave the house to run an errand with my 20yo so was able to focus on something else than “I really wish I was eating right now”. Not sure if my blood sugar is dropping or I’m just cold…because I’m usually cold in anything less than 80degrees (it’s 70 here). My head is starting to hurt but it’s on me because I didn’t bring any bottled water, so lesson learned here.

After the haircut, went to the grocery store because of course I didn’t stock the house last night, so doing my best to get a variety. Picked up soda, Crystal Light, Italian ice, popsicles, and more broth…

Italian ice, Popsicles, Chicken Broth, Water enhancers
My Shopping Haul (many mistakes were made)

To which I realized how many mistakes I made with this haul. Pro tip: You can't have anything red or purple dyed due to complications that might occur in your colonoscopy. (Red dyes can make it look like there is blood in your colon...yikes)


3-5

Mmmm…nothing like a frost Italian ice while watching a baseball game.

Italian ice, Cardinals baseball
Having a frosty one

I’ve realized Roid Rage doesn’t even hold a candle to the rage I feel when I’m hungry. Driving? I’m a Mad Max character ready to bazooka away the slightest idiot on the road. The worst part about being this irritated is I don’t like being irritated. I hate me angry, so I must find some time to meditate these feelings away today.

I think the Italian ice helped…or just sitting down and relaxing worked. Either way, sitting, chilling, watching baseball proved to be a decent distraction


5p


Crystal Light water enhancer, measuring cup, Polyethylene Glycol
The concoction

Time to start the cleansing concoction. With some sweetener, it’s not awful. Certainly not the horrific tasting drink people warned me about. Setting the timer for 15mins and will work my way through this gym-bro jug. My brain just keeps chanting “you get to eat tomorrow…you get to eat tomorrow…”. Time to gather supplies for the bedroom. TV-check. Books-check. Laptop-check. iPad-check. Chargers-check. Now it’s time to live my night in 15min sections. Pro-tip: Get yourself some water enhancer. Make sure it isn't red dyed, and chill the drink. The only "terrible" aspect is getting full from drinking.


7p

I’ll spare you the gritty, but all in all…not horrible🤷🏻‍♀️ I honestly thought my night would be spent on the porcelain throne, but not so at all. I don’t ever have any issues in that department so it went pretty easily. I’m more tired of drinking every 15mins than anything else. Seriously….an excuse to lay around & read? This isn’t awful. Will I feel like this at 8p? Who knows, but all in all, not the horror show people make it out to be. I’m about 2.5 cups away from being done & then I get to broth it up.


7:50p

I finished the drank. I’m more cold than anything. Honestly. I hate being cold. I haven’t had any stomach cramps…I’m just constantly shivering. But I guess the worst has past and now it’s just a cleaning process from here until tomorrow. Still not awful. It’s been 3hrs since I started drinking it and the worst part was just feeling full. It’s weird to feel full and not eat.


8-10

Not much to do…had some more broth & ate another Italian ice. Again, nothing horrible. No cramps. Was finished with everything by 9-9:30. Laid in bed and read

Fire & Blood book, Italian Ice, sheets
End of the night "dessert"

Was ready for bed by 10. Not bad at all.


10-5:30

Horrible sleep, but only because of nerves. No waking up due to stomach issues. Dogs decided to go out at 12:30, which disrupted sleep, but can’t complain too much. Just tired and ready for it to be over. My sleeping habits before any big appointment (good/bad) is always terrible, so I’m definitely looking forward to my sedated rest and rest post-procedure.


5:30-6:30

Have to drink the last liter. This is has been the toughest part thus far. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I want this over. Not due to anything horrible, but enough is enough already. Drained from energy being zapped and terrible sleep. The countdown has begun. Today I will be able to eat. Chugging down this last bit of concoction is a source of pride and makes me want to hurl all at the same time. Lol. Nothing to hurl though. Pop some Gas-X, slurp down another bowl of broth and head back to bed. I have to finish consuming all liquids 3hrs prior, so I can feel the clock ticking in my head now. Pro tip: broth kept me sane. It was the closest thing to tasting like real food & instantly calmed me down once I had a bowl. Gonna consume another Italian ice while I can & read. (Insert pic)

Every gurgle of my stomach reminds me this is almost over. 6ish hours from now I should be able to eat….something. Anything. I’d take a cracker at this point.


6:30-8:30

I had to stop all liquids at 7:30 (3hrs prior to my appointment). Best thing I could do was try and get some rest. Turned on a podcast, closed my eyes and tried to ignore my stomach gurgling. Managed to squeeze out a few minutes of rest. I just kept thinking “Home stretch” and reminded myself that it hasn’t been rough at all. There’s only so much rest you’re able to get when you’re wired especially for a procedure that you’re not familiar.


8:30-10:15

Time to get ready. Worked wonders for distracting me all around. Up walking around, getting showered, dressed, feeling normal. I felt like I had crossed the hunger line. I was so hungry I didn’t feel it anymore. Lol. Now I just wanted to go, get it done, and get about the rest of my weekend


10:30-12

Time to check in, strip down, get prepped and ready. I can’t say enough great things about Mercy Hospital Endoscopy Center in Lake St. Louis. The staff was amazing, kind, patient…everything you’d want out of a delicate procedure like a colonoscopy. They put me at instant ease. Prep was easy. They happened to be ahead of schedule (seriously, when does that ever happen at a doctor’s office?) so no sooner was I checked in, I was on a bed, reading a book, waiting to be wheeled back.


Laying in a hospital bed with book on lap and IVs in hand
A little down time before procedure

My turn to go back, anesthesia kicked in fast & my last word’s were “Can’t wait to eat”. Your girl loves food. Loves it.

*Lights out*

Wake up after having an amazing nap. Recovery went quick. I knew I was READY to leave and get at some donuts 🍩 I was lucky that I had one done because a polyp was found & removed. Yeah, now I have to go back every 3yrs but I’ll do what I can to keep fighting this battle as long as I can. Now that I know how to prep and set myself up for next time, I get it will go even smoother…which is saying something because it really was a breeze. Can horrible things happen during these procedures? Absolutely. Can I be guaranteed smooth sailing each time? Nope. But I’ve been through it, I know it’s not scary and it quite possibly saved my life.


If you’re reading this in the St. Louis area, give Dr. Howe’s office (Mercy Hospital Endoscopy Center in Lake St. Louis) a call at 636-561-5450 and schedule your screening today

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2 kommentarer


Alan Quackenbush
Alan Quackenbush
03. apr. 2023

One of the best things you can do for yourself and the prep is easier than in the past…..every five years to guard against a disease that can be very insidious….good for you! :)

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And in my case because a polyp was found, I have to go back every 3 years…but now I know it’s easy breezy!

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