Before and After a Colonoscopy
Well I've put it off long enough, it's time for a colonoscopy. Since I can't drive myself home from the procedure, I had to schedule this during my husband's Memorial Day week vacation. So instead of enjoying barbecue this past Memorial Day, I was fasting and preparing for my colonoscopy which was scheduled for 7:30 am Tuesday. Here are some of the instructions I received.
- Description: A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon for abnormalities by inserting a flexible tube into the anus and advancing it slowly into the rectum and colon.
- What To Expect: You will need to arrive to the GI lab 30 minutes before the procedure starts. You will spend approximately 1 to 2 hours in the hospital.
- What To Do - Preparation: You will obtain TriLyte and 4 Bisacodyl tablets from the pharmacy. (prescription) The day before your procedure, prepare the TriLyte according to the instructions and be sure to refrigerate for use that evening. (It's like making Kool-Aid)
- Medications: (This is where they list aspirin and other anti-inflammatory products you cannot take starting seven days before the test and where they give further instructions if you are a heart patient.)
- Day Before The Procedure: Drink only clear liquids for meals and throughout the day. No Milk or Cream. Italian ice, Popsicles, Jello and Hard Candy are acceptable as long and they contain no red or purple dye.
- At 12:00 p.m., begin your preparation by taking 2 Bisacodyl tablets with water. Do not crush or chew the tablets. Do not take within one hour of taking an antacid.
- At 2:00 p.m., take 2 Bisacodyl tablets with water. Do not crush or chew.
- Between 5:00-7:00 begin to drink the TriLyte solution as instructed. Drink 8 ounces every 10-20 minutes for a total of 8 glasses. Be sure to drink at least 2 liters of the solution. Drinking with a straw may help with the taste. You will begin having watery bowel movements. Initially, you may feel slightly bloated but will become more comfortable as you continue to have bowel movement. It will take approximately 1 hour to finish the solution. Diarrhea may continue for at least 1 hour afterward. Save the remaining 2 liters of TriLyte solution for use in the am.
- Day of Procedure: Three hours before your appointment time, drink an additional liter of Trilyte. If after this dose your stools are still not clear, or have fecal material or solid particles, drink the remaining liter.
- If you take cardiac or blood pressure medication, you should take it on the morning of the procedure, with a small sip of water. Other than this, you should have nothing to eat or drink except the Trilyte after midnight the night before the colonoscopy.
Now doesn't this sound like fun? I'll give a report after it's all over and let you know just how much fun I had.
I heard noise in the kitchen and smelled coffee and toast. My husband must have fixed himself a little breakfast. I was not hungry at all, even though it had been over 24 hours since I had eaten. To tell the truth, I was nervous. What if they find something.
I barely remember the trip over to the hospital, walking in, signing a document and sitting in the waiting room. In a short time the nurse came and guided me to the lab room where I was instructed to take everything off except my bra and put on the hospital gown she placed on the bed. I did so and placed all my belongings in the plastic bag she left for that purpose. When she returned I was on the bed ready for her. She pricked a needle in my right hand and started an IV drip. I had expected this since I knew I would be given drugs to place me in a "twilight sleep."
Before I knew it, a male nurse came into my waiting room and said he was taking me to the procedure room. He wheeled me down a small hallway into the room where I met another fellow on a computer. They explained that they would be continuously monitoring my blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturations. Soon the Doctor arrived and asked if I had any questions. I couldn't think of any at that point. He told me to relax and roll on my side. The nurse adjusted my body in the correct position.
After that I only remember the nurse telling me to take a deep breath and blow. He told me to do this a couple of times but I don't remember why. When the procedure was over and I was in the recovery room he told me that I should talk to my GP about sleep apnea. He said he is pretty sure I have this condition and that I will need to be tested for it. Then another nurse came in and explained that I need to follow up on the sleep apnea as it could eventually effect my heart.
My husband joined me in my recovery room and the Doctor came in with paperwork that explained what had transpired during the colonoscopy, complete with colored photos. I had two small polyps and a few diverticula. (Diverticula are small pouches in the colon caused by stretching from particles getting stuck. Drinking more water and eating more fiber will help to avoid this.) He removed the polyps and sent them to the lab. He said "No worries, see you in five years." (The next day the lab called and confirmed the Doctor's conclusion stating that the polyps were not cancerous and I don't have to come back for five years.)
After we left the hospital we stopped in our favorite cafe for breakfast. It was the best breakfast I have ever eaten.