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  1. #1
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Let's Talk Colonoscopy!

    I learned over the summer that my brother Ger had cancerous polyps removed from his colon; he only *just* turned 40 in October 2021.

    They would never have caught those if he hadn't been to the ER for what he thought was a different issue, as current colon cancer screenings don't start for people without a 1st-degree relative with cancer/abnormal colonoscopy until 45.

    I'll turn 44 in March, but with his colonoscopy & polyps being cancer, this accelerates my timeline to get screened. I'm not interested in a fecal sample test.

    I will check my insurance to see what kind of paperwork I'll need (i.e. - will I need a prescription/referral before I make an appointment? I'm used to not having referrals because we have an open-access plan.)

    What should I know about the prep?
    What should I have on hand to be sure I'm comfortable?
    What kind of sedation do they offer?
    How long will it be before I'll be allowed to drive?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by lizzywednesday; 01-18-2022 at 09:53 AM.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    There are a lot of different kinds of prep. My dh has annual colonoscopies and it doesn't restrict food except 1 day before/prep day. He had other ones that stepped back intake a few days before and he hated those. They do recommend limiting beans and greens in the days leading up but that's easy enough.
    I found a lot of the timing on the prep assumes that you are older and go to sleep early. You don't want to still be up in the middle of the night working through the prep but you also likely don't need to be done at 8pm (or whatever you would consider early) and just sitting around feeling crappy and waiting to be tired for bed.
    Get a morning appointment so you aren't crazy hungry for any more time than needed.
    No idea on type of sedation. It's like a twilight thing for dh- he is aware of the procedure- he can give me a status update before the Dr. comes in to give it but definitely a bit out of it.
    No driving that day.
    Get a variety of "foods": consomme, broth, protein water, jello (not red), popsicles (no reds, purples...) and some tea. Sometimes he rejects all the cold stuff. Some years he rejects the hot stuff because it makes him miss food.
    You will need your dh to actually be helpful on prep day and the day after. You should have no responsibilities on prep day except your prep. It would be a low blow to be expected to prepare meals for dd and him, for example. Dh feels terrible on prep day. He's hangry and then super uncomfortable once he starts the meds. Sorry I couldn't sugarcoat that!

  3. #3
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    I've only had one but my biggest take-away is that the prep was the worst part but make sure you do it correctly. Buy moisturizing wet wipes and don't plan to be far from the toilet. I spent most of the time in my bedroom/bathroom once everything was rolling. You will want your DH to take responsibility for your DD at that point. The actual procedure wasn't any big deal and I don't remember much at all. They used propofol and I had a nice nap. I hung out at home the rest of the day but didn't need any help. In fact, DH went out of town late that afternoon because DS2 had a sports event. DS1 and DD were home and my parents live 15 minutes away if needed. Ultimately, it's not a pleasant experience but just one to get through!
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  4. #4
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    My mom always struggles with drinking the prep liquid. Both times she's had hers done they give an rx for something that you mix with gatorade (clear or green/yellow variety only). She can't stand the taste of gatorade and so drinking all that with the prep makes her nauseous and she's vomited it both times. She asked for alternatives but was told this is what her doc uses. I know of others whose prep has been different.

    My mom's recent procedure was twilight sleep. She was with it enough to be able to respond to some basic questions and to roll on her side or otherwise move with assistance from them. She claimed immediately after that she could feel the procedure and that she kept telling them it hurt and she could feel it. But the doc said she said no such thing during...so perhaps in her head she was saying it but couldn't get the words out?

    Definitely will need a driver to and from and they usually prefer you not be home alone for the next 12-24hrs.
    Mom to two amazing DDs ('07 & '09) and a fur baby.

    Gluten free since Nov '11 after non-celiac gluten sensitive diagnosis. Have had great improvement or total elimination of: migraines, bloating/distention, heartburn, cystic acne, canker sores, bleeding gums, eczema on elbows, dry skin and scalp, muscle cramps, PMS, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue. I'm amazed.

  5. #5
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendibird22 View Post
    My mom always struggles with drinking the prep liquid. Both times she's had hers done they give an rx for something that you mix with gatorade (clear or green/yellow variety only). She can't stand the taste of gatorade and so drinking all that with the prep makes her nauseous and she's vomited it both times. She asked for alternatives but was told this is what her doc uses. I know of others whose prep has been different.
    That's frustrating that they won't change it because dh just mixes his with water. There are so many versions out there- I find it hard to believe that they don't all work equally.

  6. #6
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    DS1 has ulcerative colitis, so even though he's only 18 he's already had 3 colonoscopies (last one right before leaving for college). It never seems to be that big of a deal for him and I've even done the prep with him before because that's how fun I am (and clearly need more hobbies! ) His prep has always been an entire small bottle of Miralax in a 1/2 gallon of Gatorade plus 2 Dulcolax tablets. The last time he didn't even want to bother with trying a bunch of different clear liquids and I think he only asked for some jello. He's not into drinking broth, teas, or juices. All his procedures have occurred in the morning and we have to be at the hospital by 7am. All the check-ins, waiting around, getting situated, changing into a gown, starting the IV, etc seem to take forever and the actual procedure doesn't ever seem to happen till 10am or later. The procedure itself is super fast (under an hour) and I usually have just enough time to go grab a coffee in the hospital Starbucks and by the time I'm done drinking it he's already done and it's time to head back to the post-op area. He normally takes a long time to wake up (30 minutes), but once he does he drinks the juice he's offered since he's hungry. It probably takes an hour to get out of there and by the time we do the 25 minute drive home he's perfectly fine and ready to eat. We're usually home by 1pm or so.

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  7. #7
    jgenie is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I had my first this year. Pay attention to the box on the Dulcolax that you buy. I had to run out to get the correct box because I just grabbed the first one I saw. I used the premixed Target brand. First bottle was fine. I struggled with the second bottle. I looked up old threads here and one tip I saw was to eat light a few days prior. I made simple soup for the two days prior - tomato soup and butternut squash soup. The clean out wasn’t bad at all. I bought the medicated wipes but ended up using baby wipes instead. Just double bagged the trash can in our guest room and threw the bag out when I was done.


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  8. #8
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Thanks everyone!

    I can do the consommé thing but cannot do Jell-O for texture reasons, so it'll be a bland couple of days.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  9. #9
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzywednesday View Post
    Thanks everyone!

    I can do the consommé thing but cannot do Jell-O for texture reasons, so it'll be a bland couple of days.
    Days? My son's preps have always just been 1 full day. Clear liquids and prep the day before procedure and then eat the next day immediately after the procedure.

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  10. #10
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    If it were me I'd probably do miso soup broth.

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