How to Survive Your First Colonscopy

Unlike most of my posts, this one is not all too appetizing. I mean really, who wants to read about colon health? Id much prefer writing about making my first paleo Shepard’s Pie tonight but that’s not the reality of my life right now so here we go. (Don’t worry, the Shepard’s Pie post is coming soon!)

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014 there will be an estimated 96,830 new cases of colon cancer reported, 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer and roughly 50,310 deaths from colorectal cancer. The statistical odds of developing colon cancer during a lifetime is 1 in 20…. 1 in 20!!!! Its the third leading cause of cancer related death in Americans each year. Is that not insane?

We grow up hearing that early detection saves lives. But when it comes to maters of the bowels, Americans remain hesitant to discuss the issue…. Well not this American!

After struggling with stomach and intestinal issues for the last 20+ years, my symptoms reached a more than typically disturbing level of intensity a few months ago. After a string of visits to my doctor in December, she determined it was time to take our relationship to that next level. Time for my first colonoscopy.

In the weeks leading up to this procedure I goggled any information I could get my hands on.  I figured what better time to blog about “surviving” it than when I’m in the throws of preparation (supposedly the hardest part).

If you’re reading this  and preparing for your own  colonoscopy my best advice to start with is to make sure you take the day before and the day after off of work. Its not necessary so much as helpful.

In the week leading up to the procedure, pick up your prep day feast (see picture below) and your prescription.  Your doctor will give you a list of allowed/ recommended food to eat on prep day. My saving grace was Pedialyte popsicles. Funny I know, but it’s sooooo nice to have something solid to munch on when you’re hours in to a liquid diet day. I suggest Pedialyte popsicles over any other popsicle as it contains electrolytes your body needs to prepare for the cleanse.

Other items I found super helpful, Jello and beef broth. Never in my life have I enjoyed beef broth so much. If you are vegetarian, vegetable broth works just as well. You can also find meatless broth in the organic section at your local grocer.


My Shopping List:

Pedialyte Popsicles

Pedialyte ( I like mixed fruit)

Organic Beef Broth

Organic Chicken Broth

Gatorade (nothing red or orange)

Jello (I bought peach, it had the least coloring)

Coconut Water

I also bought all the ingredients to make my favorite Green Juice (see recipie) I left out the Kale because it would make the juice too green. It was comforting in the morning to have something hearty and filled with nutrients. The doctor suggested apple juice but since I started making my own juice 6 months ago, I don’t trust a damn ounce of juice you get out of a bottle at the store. When you’ve had homade juice, nothing compares. It is super easy to make and delicious. I recommend trying it.

So now what? Just prepping for that nasty juice drink. My landlord just showed up mid posting and asked if he could work on my pipes. (anyone whose visited me in the last year knows they leak like Niagra Falls) Flush faced I had to explain to him that I was 5 minutes from starting my colonoscopy prep so now was clearly not a good time. Yikes. He agreed and decided to come back next week.

I could not be more excited to chug this baby!

I could not be more excited to chug this baby!

I’m all prepared in sweats, have movies lined up, the heater on  in my bathroom and everything ready for the morning. I think it’s almost go  time.

As I prepare to start drinking that highly feared solution I’ve heard so much about, all I can think is “this is all going to be worth it”. At the end of this tunnel is answers. Answers to questions I have had my whole life. Answers that will hopefully help me improve my quality of living from here on out.   Whether its chrones, colitis, celiac or IBS, it will be a blessing to finally know for sure. And that, my friends, makes it all worth it!


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