Archives for: July 2011, 24
My horrible experience with a colonoscopy 6 years ago was 80% the doctor’s fault and 20% my fault. I made sure that a lot of things were different this time.
First I got a new doctor! He came highly recommended by friends, and he was wonderful.
Things the doctor did differently.
He used a different prep procedure.
Six years ago my last normal meal was in the evening two days before the colonoscopy. The next morning I was allowed clear liquids only. I tend to be a little hypoglycemic, and this was really hard on my system. I was hungry, irritable, weak, and had a headache.
This time beginning 3 days before the colonoscopy I wasn’t supposed to eat nuts, beef, or raw fruits and vegetables. I could have all of the poultry, fish cooked vegetables, and cooked fruit that I wanted. There were plenty of beneficial choices. The morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy I couldn’t have solid food, but I could have dairy products. This got enough protein into my system to sustain me until lunchtime. It was only clear liquids after that, but I was ok. No headache. No weakness. No snapping at my husband.
This doctor divided the colon cleaning medication into two steps. It took longer, but it was less violent and less stressful. He recommended adding crystal light to the preparation to make it taste better. I did not do that because of the aspartame. It tends to give me a headache and it irritates my digestive system. The goal was to keep my digestive system happy.
This anesthesia was milder. Six years ago I woke up groggy after the procedure. I slept most of the afternoon. My stomach was cramping. I wasn’t thinking clearly. This time the anesthesiologist said I would be fully awake in 9 minutes. I remember everything the doctor said in recovery. I slept for about an hour when I got home, but after that I was up and moving around. The one time I got a crampy feeling I walked outside, and it went away. I was thinking clearly enough to work on the computer.
Things I did differently
My instructions that said I could have dairy products, including pudding and ice cream for breakfast the morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy. Having ice cream for breakfast was tempting, but I wanted to keep my digestive system happy and dairy definitely makes it unhappy. I decided to make boiled custard with almond milk. Recipe is here . As I drank two cups, I knew the eggs were really good for me. I had more custard for breakfast the morning after the procedure. Delicious, filling, sustaining.
The best choices I made for clear liquids the rest of the day were Blue Sky Ginger Ale, Blue Sky Crème Soda, Welches White Grape and Peach Juice, and Vitamin Water Lemonade. All of those tasted good and kept my blood sugar steady.
I was allowed broth, and I got really excited at the grocery store when I found organic beef broth with no avoid ingredients. I thought that would be nourishing, but I really didn’t like it. It was salty and it didn’t have as many calories as the other drinks. When I have to do this again in 5 years, I will skip the broth.
Both doctors said I could eat anything I wanted after the colonoscopy. In my opinion this is very bad advice! Six years ago I took it literally. I was very hungry when I woke from my first nap. I had leftover beneficial food in the refrigerator. I ate lamb and sweet potatoes and broccoli. It tasted so good. It made me feel good…at first. But it was too much for an empty and irritated digestive system. How much of the cramping and fever were a result of this heavy meal and how much were a result of the doctor’s incompetence I’ll never know. But I wound up in the hospital.
This time I treated myself as if I had just gotten over a stomach virus. My first meal was apple sauce. I had rice flour bread to made toast with ghee. I ate vegetable soup mid afternoon and chicken & rice soup for dinner.
The next day I expanded my food selections, but stayed with easy to digest food. I had custard with applesauce and bananas for breakfast the next morning. Eggs and rice toast for lunch. By dinner time I was starting cooked vegetables.
I have a bottle of Type O probiotic. I took one on both the day of the colonoscopy and the day after.
By Friday I was eating everything but nuts, beef, broccoli, and raw vegetables. Even though I felt totally normal, waited another day before I started those hard to digest foods.
Maybe someday there will be a non invasive colon inspection. Until then, by following these steps, I won’t be afraid.