Monday, February 16, 2009


Warning: the following may be considered TMI:
I had an attempted colonoscopy done in December. The sedative didn't work at all and in fact only eroded my own pain control abilities, so the inordinate (in my case) discomfort of the procedure caused me to, uh, vocalize.
My added discomfort was likely because previous surgeries have left some fairly serious adhesions. To compound my difficulties, the pre-procedure preparation included Gatorade, which has high levels of vitamin C and citric acid. I have since learned any amount of citric acid and moderate amounts of vitamin C give me severe colitis up to and including the shedding of the intestinal lining. Youch.

Avoiding Vitamin C as much as possible, and citric acid completely has gotten rid of most of the colitis symptoms, but other abdominal pain lingered. My doctor asked that I get a colonoscopy, under general anesthesia, as soon as possible.
Since my family has a history of polyps, I agree it's a good idea. The general anesthesia has me a little worried, as I tend to stop breathing, and not rouse when they expect me to. Still, there will be highly trained professionals there to help me get started breathing again, should it happen this time.
I did some research to see if altering my diet, above the "no nuts, seeds or salads three days before" and "liquid diet day before" rules could make that last (purgative) day before the colonoscopy easier, and I found a good resource at Johns Hopkins.
"Colonoscopy Tip 1: Get a head start. Consider lightening up on your food intake two days before the test, avoiding hard-to-digest items such as meat, eggs, nuts, and leafy greens. Instead, eat lots of fiber in the form of vegetables and fruits, or start the liquid diet early, so there will be less to purge. "
I decided cheese was right there in the hard to digest arena, so I am going mostly vegan (no meat, cheese, eggs) as of yesterday. I will still have beef and chicken broth, just no solid meat. I will eat brown rice, tempeh, tofu, apples, and steamed green beans, and lots of other lovely veggies.
I will also start the liquid diet a day and a half before the procedure, instead of one day.

The earliest available appointment is a week from today, the day after Convocation. Yah. The weekend will still be fun, but NOT what I had planned. No solid food from say, Saturday afternoon on.
And I will be going home early on Sunday to drink my gallon of GoLytely (hah, talk about a misnomer).


AlisonH said...

I am so sorry. During the prep, keep a glass of plain water right there to swish the taste of the crud out; it helps.

Anonymous said...

My colonoscopy was (inappropriate pun coming!), the shittiest experience of my life. I thought I was literlaly going to die before and after. The actual thing was easy for me (no problems inside). I can't imagine going through that and having adhesions, and the meds not working. Super hugs and an extra Xanax!! -Marietta