Electrolite water: $3.59
Clean, healthy colon: Priceless!
The mere thought of ingesting something that could potentially make me feel crappy stresses me out. However, I know that emptying the contents of the colon is the first requirement for a successful colonoscopy. If the bowel prep isn’t up to par, polyps and lesions can be missed; the colonoscopy may take longer (increasing the risk of complications); or the whole process may need to be repeated or rescheduled. Sooo, proper prep is essential!
Here's how I successfully prepared for my first colonoscopy without cramping, vomiting, or other ill-effects. NOTE: This is what worked for ME; you may be different.
No red meat. By choice, my eating style is mostly plant-based, so not having red meat wasn't a big deal for me. I am not vegetarian or vegan, but do limit red meat intake. Leading up to my colonoscopy, I did not eat red meat for about two weeks. Fact: Red meat can take as long as 72 hours to digest.
Eat Clean. I started cleansing a few days prior. I believe this made the cleansing process much easier. Since my procedure was scheduled for Thursday, I decided to eat light and clean on Monday and Tuesday. My menu was: green smoothie for breakfast and lunch (kale, spinach, banana, 2 dates, frozen organic cherries and peach slices, wheat grass powder, water, splash of almond milk). For dinner on both nights I had homemade vegetable and rice soup and a couple slices of whole grain bread. I probably had a square or two of dark chocolate because, well, it's chocolate.
Water. Water. Water. Water is necessary for the body to function on a cellular level, so drinking a lot of clean, filtered water is always important.
24 Hours to C-Day
Too few calories make for a cranky Peggy. I like food. Solid food. Liquid cleanses make me cranky so they're not something I would willingly partake in. Knowing that fluids would be the "food" of choice for about 24 hours didn't appeal to me. No popcorn. No almonds. No apples. No chewing. Just clear liquids (no red wine, no beer, no smoothies). I know, get over it, right? It is what it is, so deal with it. Over-thinking it can be mentally draining, so a little mind-over-matter was necessary. I stayed busy. Instead of salivating over my husband's dinner, I did yoga. When I started thinking about food, I wrapped Christmas gifts. I slowly and mindfully sipped the hot, organic chicken broth for lunch (which wasn't as exciting in reality, but a lil' black pepper kicked it up a notch). Throughout the day I drank water, hot peppermint tea with honey, and white grape juice. I read. I worked. It was all good. What we think about becomes our reality. The mind is very powerful. I didn't continuously ponder the fact that I hadn't chewed a meal all day, and that was very helpful.
Relax, it's laxative time. I found Natural Calm at GNC. The store manager warned that it can work as a laxative. "Perfect! That's the plan." I chose this product because it is an all-natural laxative (non-GMO, vegan, no preservatives or artificial flavors/colors). I am very careful about what I eat and drink daily. I read ingredients. Why should I have to ingest something synthetic? Why don't doctors give choices? (Questions for another day. I digress.)
No additives = no ill-effects. Natural Calm doesn't have all the additives, which can act as stimulants and irritants and cause inflammation in the bowel lining. I did not experience bloating, incontinence, or cramping. I simply mixed 3 tablespoons of the powder in hot water (I used the electrolyte water) and sipped through a straw. Surprisingly enough, it actually has a good taste and it made me feel kind of full, but not bloated. It took about thirty minutes to "work". I drank a glass full at 6pm, another at 10pm, and the final one (drum roll, please) at 3:30 am. Gotta get it done!
Seeing the inside of the colon is cool. I wish I'd had the opportunity to see it. I don't remember anything beyond thinking how I'd like to watch the procedure on the screen (I mean, how cool to see the inside of your colon!). One minute I'm meeting the doctor and thinking how strange it is to meet someone who is about to insert a scope where a scope should't go, and the next minute I'm in recovery. Well, it seemed like a minute anyway.
While I didn't get to see the procedure on the screen, they did send me home with some cool photos, which are on the fridge of course. Just kidding.
I had the most awesome nap at home and awoke feeling pretty good. I was able to teach my gentle yoga class at 7pm. By the way, ladies in my class, did you happen to notice the two electrode things stuck on my chest?! If you saw them, did you think they were body piercings? Why didn't you point them out? I laughed so hard when my husband said, "What are those things on your chest?" I found a third one on my abdomen.
Go get your colonoscopy. It could save your life!
The Whole Foods electrolyte water and my laxative of choice.
I know. You were probably hoping for a pic of my inner intestine...
Wellness Lifestyle Educator
Possessor of a happy, healthy colon