No! But what can you do when prepping for a colonoscopy?

This is not the easiest topic to cover, so forgive my nurses humor. This might be titled, “Does my colonoscopy prep qualify as a cleanse?” It was interesting that after a morning of only clear liquids, I had no appetite. Is this why everyone wants to do a cleanse? I noticed that there’s a lot of them on the drug store shelves. The Acai berry cleanse, the 3-day cleanse, the ultimate cleanse. I need to make the Nurse Barb cleanse. I know just what I’ll use, but it’s a trade secret that we use in hospitals when things are really backed up.

Be prepared

I was just joking about the Vodka, but it is clear liquid. However, it’s not a good idea to have any alcohol while having your colonoscopy prep. That’s because you haven’t eaten any solid food and drinking or using any recreational drugs can impair your judgment.

Do:

  • Prepare for diarrhea with lots of soft toilet paper
  • Have some diaper cream on hand – Yes, diaper cream with zinc, it’s very soothing
  • Avoid drinking anything that has blue, red or purple dye, this makes it much harder to visualize the colon
  • Have lots of variety available from different kinds of clear liquid juices such as white grape and apple
  • Have Italian ices and popsicles, plus sports drinks and gelatin available

 
Pre-colonoscopy Prep

Let me tell you, the pre-colonoscopy prep is like a Navy Seal, Special Forces Cleanse. The instructions say, “If possible, be close to a restroom.” I would modify that and say, “Don’t plan to leave the restroom for the next 3-5 hours and forget about sleeping through the night.” I was so tired that I was asleep before they gave me the IV relaxants, which if you haven’t guessed already, I’m still under the influence of. 

All in all, it wasn’t as bad as people say. And guess what? A screening colonoscopy can save your life. And, my colonoscopy very likely saved mine! I had 2 polyps that were small and seemed to be non-cancerous, however if I had skipped this and not had a colonoscopy for 3 more years, guess what: They would more than likely have grown and changed into a pre-cancerous or cancerous lesion. 

Most people are surprised to learn that about 50,000 people die from colon cancer in the US every year. It’s split 50/50 among men and women. Just for context, about 39,000 women die from breast cancer each year. 

It’s good to be screened after age 50 if you have no family history, and earlier if there’s a family history.

The bottom line is, sorry I can’t help myself with the puns, GET YOUR COLONOSCOPY. Have lots of clear liquids available for your prep and save the vodka for afterwards.

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