The long and the short of it is that the prep work is the worst part and the actual colonoscopy was a breeze.
The Prep Instructions
There are several prep solutions used to clear the digestive tract before a colonoscopy. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have the HalfLytely prep. The instructions were to stop eating solids by 9:00 am, take two Bisacodyl pills (poop pills) at noon and then drink a ½ gallon of the HalfLytely prep starting at 6:00 pm. The instructions were to drink 8 oz every 10 minutes.
During the day I could only drink clear liquids such as tea, broth, coffee (without milk) and no red or purple liquids (so much for my glass of Merlot). All liquid intake must halt at midnight.
The Prep Lowdown
The instructions were pretty straight forward and not difficult to follow. If you tend to eat a lot, then you’re going to have a difficult time. Some folks are absentee eaters. In other words, they eat all day without realizing it. Other folks are just big eaters. If they go beyond 1 hour without food, their personality starts to change. If you fall into either of the above categories, advise your family to leave town whilst you undergo the prep. You’re going to be ornery.
I didn’t have too much of a problem with the prep. The HalfLytely Prep tastes bad no matter what you do with it so I recommend you refrigerate the prep the night before. Drinking it cold does seem to help a bit.
The Never Ending Bathroom Trek
My bathroom and I became fast friends. The HalfLytely is like the rinse cycle on a washing machine. It rinses all of the excess soap and softener for perfectly clean clothes. You can tell how clean the clothes are by the clearness of the rinse water. Think of yourself as going through a rinse cycle by the time you’re about done with HalfLytely. It’s amazing how clear things get.
The Actual Colonoscopy
First of all, I said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t understand how anyone would voluntarily choose a career in looking in people’s rumps. That being said, I know for sure I was good and clear for the viewing. My appointment was at 11:00 and I’ve got to say that the procedure lasted all of about 15 minutes.
After confirming insurance and medical information, I was told to strip down to my skivvies (well less than skivvies) and put on one of those attractive hospital gowns with the opening in the rear. They strapped on a few monitors, told me to lie on my left side and then told me I would get sleepy in a few minutes (because of the anesthesia). I remember replying “This stuff works fast,” and the next thing I knew I was waking up from a most fantastic restful sleep.
My sleep was so sound that I asked, “When can I come back for my next colonoscopy?”
I was fortunate to have a clean bill of health, got dressed and went home. The whole procedure from check in to check out was about an hour.
Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
There is nothing to be afraid of. Not going and not knowing is much worse.