So, you need to get a colonoscopy. You are dreading it to say the least, but you know you have to get it done. Ass cancer is nothing to sneeze at. The whole idea of what’s going to happen makes you clench your cheeks, but once the procedure is over and done with, you’ll be a better man for it.
But before the “big day,” you have a bit of prep work to do. If you don’t follow orders for your colonoscopy prep, your doc will not be able to administer the test properly. You can’t “fake it” on the exam table, so we created this short guide to help you get your game face on.
Remember, we’re not doctors (we only play them on TV), so this is not official medical advice. Talk to your butt doctor if you have any questions.
COUNTDOWN TO COLONOSCOPY
According to Kaiser Permanente, the bowel prep work starts three days before the procedure, so you can’t exactly “cram” for a colonoscopy.
Three days prior to the procedure, eliminate high-fiber foods from your diet and do not take anti-diarrhea meds like the over-the-counter Dulcolax or MiraLAX. If you get “the runs” just let ‘em flow. Call it your annual “clean out.”
When there are two days to go, stick to the low-fiber diet and go all-natural when you can. Foods with added dyes can mess up the test.
The day before is the biggie. Clear liquids only, and no alcohol. You can choose lightly-colored drinks too, like white grape juice, Crystal Light, Gatorade, and other sports drinks, but don’t pick bright blue or red. The neon colors are a concern to begin with.
Vodka may be part of your “clear liquid diet,” but not today. No solid foods either. Boring, but a must. Obviously, lay off the drugs.
Then there’s the kicker. You will be prescribed a pre-colonoscopy “drink.” It is not delicious but it should come with a flavoring you can add. You’ll drink ½ the night before and the rest in the morning of your colonoscopy. If your exam is in the afternoon, you can drink it all that same day, as Cleveland Clinic notes, but the last sips must be in two hours before your colonoscopy.
Simply follow the prep instructions and mix your laxative beverage and guzzle it down in portions. You can guess what comes next. Bowel preparation is no walk in the park. Be sure you’ve stocked up on wipes my friend.
WHY IS FIBER FORBIDDEN?
The more fiber in your colon, the likelier the colonoscope will get clogged while inside your large intestine poking around. You want to make this as easy as possible, so don’t add roadblocks to an already tight situation.
Some high-fiber foods to avoid include nuts and seeds, skins of fruits, whole grains (breads, cereals, pastas, etc.), leafy greens and raw vegetables, and beans/legumes.
Knowing that a doc is going to be up your rear is anything but relaxing. Remind yourself that you’ll be in good hands and you’re protecting yourself by being proactive about checking for colon cancer. You’ll be given a sedative, so the experience won’t be so stressful.
As WebMD explains, “The entire procedure should take between 20 and 30 minutes. You’ll stay in a recovery room for about 30 minutes to an hour to wake up from the sedative.”
For safety, have someone pick you up from the doctor’s office or medical center.
Plus, you can go back to eating and drinking normally once you are all done, although you’ll probably feel bloated. You may pass wind on the way home, but that’s nothing new anyway. If anything, be proud that you’re taking care of your ass, someone has to.