Lately, a lot of friends have written on Facebook that they are having, or recently had, their first colonoscopies and about how awful they were or seemed to be. I have shared many times on Facebook that I have Crohn’s disease and am subject to frequent colonoscopies. I have done many preps and I know many ways to make them easier.
I’m amazed at how many doctors’ offices are not more forthcoming about, or flexible with, their preps. Many of my friends are given one prep and told to do it – no ifs, ands, or buts. They don’t realize that they can often choose a different prep that will work just as well and maybe save them some discomfort. I’m shocked at how many patients just do as they’re told without questioning. (I’m the great bargainer and often go back and forth with my doctor until we find something we can both agree on.)
The first thing is that unless you have high blood pressure, there are many different preps you can take to get the same results. Currently, my preferred prep is the Miralax Prep. I mix about eight ounces of Miralax into 64 ounces of fluid. Although doctors often recommend Gatorade, I put mine in diet soda since that’s what I like to drink. Instead of shoving it all down my throat in an hour, like they tell you to do, I drink it slowly over many hours, sipping it really, so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.
Another good thing to get through the prep since you can’t eat is soup from your local Chinese place. Just take the broth and tell them not to put any of the stuff in it. This makes for a more hearty broth than buying basic chicken broth from the grocery store. It tastes like you’re actually eating something. Another trick for getting you through is chewing ice cubes made from your favorite clear liquid. Chewing seems to help.
Here’s another thing I will admit: I NEVER do the second part of the prep. I’m HORRIFIED by doctors who insist that their patients get up in the middle of the night to drink some more of the miserable stuff all over again. I can’t imagine that after all of your prep, you actually need this part. I’ve never done it, and I’ve always been fine. Once you’re down to clear or yellowish tinged liquid, you’re really done, and that always happens to me before that overnight dose. Ask about it. Find out if you really, really have to do it.
Remember that all of this is done for the benefit of the doctor. As long as you’re reasonably cleaned out, you’re going to be fine. The doctor has tools at his or her disposal to help if there are problems during the colonoscopy.
And lastly, ENJOY YOUR SEDATION.
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