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to be petrified about taking the bowel prep for my colonoscopy tomorrow....

(67 Posts)
swarskicat Sun 18-Oct-15 08:29:41

I have to go into hospital for a colonoscopy tomorrow. Need to be at the hospital at 11.30am. I am pretty sure the doctor said to take the first prep at 11am, but the leaflet in the box says 'for a morning appointment take at 7am and again at 7pm'.

Am so worried that have been in denial until now and have realised that if I take at 11am then I will need to take the second at 11pm and I want to be asleep by then and not on the loo.....

Think my whole not planning properly is that I am so worried about the whole thing and what they may find. Been having dodgy guts for months and most recently bright red blood and mucus passing without stools. I am 46.

Any experiences or hand holding?

My DH is supportive, but would rather boil his head in gravy than talk about poo...

Nepotism Sun 18-Oct-15 08:36:44

Went through this two years ago and the anticipation was far worse than the reality! Can't remember the timings, dozed through the colonoscopy and just had a bit if wind afterwards. Just try to relax today, feet up with a good book as you can't go far from a loo!

sandgrown Sun 18-Oct-15 08:39:05

I had one a couple of years ago and the thought was worse than the reality. I think I took the first lot of stuff about lunchtime then another lot was due at bedtime but DP accidentally threw it away! Luckily they had sent two.lots. They did tell me it had not completely worked so maybe the sooner you take it? The actual colonoscopy was slightly uncomfortable but not painful ( I did have the sedative). The staff were lovely and reassuring. They found a polyp which they removed straight away and all was fine. It was good to know there was nothing serious. Good luck x

exLtEveDallas Sun 18-Oct-15 08:41:08

I would split the difference at take them at 9am and 9pm.

Don't eat anything after lunchtime and don't drink anything other than black tea or water.

Stay close to a toilet and relax all day. Don't do anything except lounge on the sofa.

Don't expect to spend hours in the loo - it's very fast and very easy (kind of like being sick from the wrong end blush)

Most problems of the sort are harmless polyps, they can be removed at the time and will make a big difference.

Breath deep on the gas and air and try to relax as much as possible. The doctors have seen it all before and there is no shame. It shouldn't hurt, a little uncomfortable on entry if you are tense, but once it's in you should be ok. Slight stomach cramping as they go deeper, but the G&A helps with that. You'll probably bleed a bit after - take sanitary towels as the hospital bricks are uncomfortable.

Good luck.

TENDTOprocrastinate Sun 18-Oct-15 08:41:17

I too was very nervous about taking the prep. I was expecting it to be like diarreah. It wasn't painful like diarreah can be and because you won't be eating it becomes like passing water and feels clean by the time you take the second dose. I did manage to sleep and woke naturally when I got the urge to go.
Taking the prep really cleans out your system and I felt light and great afterward (I guess it's what a colonic irrigation is like!)
The thought of it is worse than the process. It's all over rather quickly.
Best of luck with it all.

cherrytree63 Sun 18-Oct-15 08:41:28

I've had three colonoscopies. I can't lie, the bowel prep is the worst of it all. Mix it with lemonade to make it less foul tasting! It seems like it takes forever to drink but you'll get there smile.
Have you got someone to pick you up afterwards and stay with you? The sedation is optional, I've always had it, and it helps you catch up on your sleep when you're home.
The procedures for me ranged from completely painless (I slept through it all) to mildly painful.
For my last colonoscopy I was still using the loo when I got to the hospital but they said that's fine and were happy to proceed.
Good luck smile

Potterwolfie Sun 18-Oct-15 08:44:02

Hi, you're doing the right thing getting any changes investigated, feel proud that you've taken that all important first step! It's probably nothing, bright red blood isn't usually an indicator of anything serious, it's darker blood which can sometimes mean there are issues. I had a colonoscopy years ago and my DH had one last year as we both have bowel cancer in our direct families. The prep isn't pleasant but it's not too disruptive, just stay close to the loo. Because of our family history,we talk about poo all the time, no shame in it!! Good luck for tomorrow.

SunshineAndShadows Sun 18-Oct-15 08:44:07

I too have been through this (joy!) and yes it's not too bad. I found the first dose had the biggest impact.

Don't worry about timings too much - as long as you're not eating after your first dose then the two doses will flush everything out which is the main aim. I started mine 24 hrs before my appt so around lunchtime the day before as I was worried about being completely starving if I wasn't able to have breakfast as that would be my only meal of the day.

I took my second dose a bit early (about 10pm) as I needed to get to sleep and had the same worries as you but think as I was already empty it wasn't an issue and I didn't have to get up til the morning.

Basically as long as you're strict with the not eating/only drink clear fluids, and the two doses are reasonably spaced, you'll be fine. It's not an exact science

YellowDinosaur Sun 18-Oct-15 08:44:39

Handholding here.

If you want to be in bed by 11pm take the first lot now and the next 12 hours later. It really won't make any difference.

I am a doctor and order this test often. People's response to the prep is very variable. Some are hardly off the loo, for others it has very little effect. Just don't go too far from a toilet today.

The next 24 hours might not be much fun but it's important to find out what's wrong and this time tomorrow it will be nearly over.

LumpySpaceCow Sun 18-Oct-15 08:45:08

Sorry you are having to go through this and it is understandable that you are worried.
Regarding the bowel prep, can you not just ring the ward and ask what you are supposed to do? That's what my sister did when she had one done. She didn't have the bowel prep as only going high as sigmoid so they gave her enemas on the day.
Regarding the actual procedure, she found it fine. A little uncomfortable but worth the discomfort for knowing if there is anything untoward.
I have always found the beating bowel cancer website and forums really good for information and support. It isn't just for people with diagnosed bowel cancer but for people like you who are worried about symptoms, tests etc.
It's really positive that you have acted on symptoms and are being taken seriously. I hope the procedure goes well and whatever the result, it is always better to know and face it (positive or negative) head on xx

ThreeRuddyTubs Sun 18-Oct-15 08:51:51

When I took my bowel prep I got a straw and angled it to the back of my throat to miss the taste buds and chased it with full fat lemonade. I didn't drink absolutely all of mine but the dr said my bowels were the cleanest he had seen (odd thing to stealth boast about!) If you're sedated you won't remember much about the actual procedure after a few days. You will be full of air afterwards which may be uncomfortable. They will give you food after I had a sandwich but threw it straight back up so maybe wait a while before you eat.

You will get through it and it won't be as bad as you are imagining

tilliebob Sun 18-Oct-15 08:55:13

I've done it 4 times now and drinking the manky stuff is the worse thing about it. I really thought I couldn't face it last time and the nurse said "no worries, we'll just give you an enema when you come in instead" eh that wont be happening so I just forced it down again.

Good luck tomorrow!

winchester1 Sun 18-Oct-15 08:59:58

I've generally found the prep to be first go is a bit like the day before totm and after that it was just water. Last time was esp easy as I'd had d&v beforehand.
The procedure itself is fine, I've had the sedative and even though I stayed awake chatting your kinda 'drunk' so don't really care and its not painful more uncomfy.
(I've had two with out pain relief / sedative and I don't recommend that at all!)

wtfisgoingonhere Sun 18-Oct-15 09:11:37

I've had this too and you'll be fine smile
The prep is defiantly the worst part but I had it mixed with some squash and got hubby to encourage me to down each glass. Think mine had to be drunk within an hour so we split it every 10 minutes or something but it was just a case of getting it drunk as didn't taste nice
Definitely just relax on sofa as like pp said when you need to go you need to go but will second that the actual 'going' isn't painful as it's pretty much water

A bit of vaseline was my saviour blush as my poor bum got rather sore keep going to the loo

Procedure was uncomfortable but not painful, I was with it enough to be able to move position etc when they asked but by the evening couldn't really remember the procedure

You'll be fine flowers

BalloonSlayer Sun 18-Oct-15 09:12:48

I think different areas have different bowel preps so I wouldn't take any of our experiences of taste/timings etc as what yours is going to be like. (I think mine was like Andrew's Liver salts, very fizzy, very sharp.)

You need to read the instructions given with the medication, NOT what the Dr said, and NOT what people say on here. (I wasn't allowed to drink anything but water, and would have been in trouble if I'd drunk black tea like the poster above suggested.)

So, yes, take it at 7am, well you haven't taken it, so take it now, and take the next one twelve hours from now.

The whole point is that your insides must be

a) empty
b) not dyed by any recently eaten foodstuffs.

If the 7am/7pm is a little early for the 11.30 appointment, it won't matter as your stomach will still be empty and in the right state for them to get a good look. What you want to avoid is any chance of taking it too late and there still being something in there.

The prep was OK, honestly. I had no tummy ache or anything. It was just like doing a wee from your bum TBH. Like a previous poster I was chuffed to read "bowel prep good" on my notes.

Re the colonoscopy itself, again it depends what hospital you are at. There was no gas and air when I had mine. I had painkilllers and sedation, although I did not feel sedated at all, I reckon I could have driven home. I didn't have any wind either. (With the gastroscopy a fortnight before I was as woozy as anything and had the most alarming wind!)

What I did find was that the "discomfort" hmm occurs when they are pushing the colonoscope up inside you as far as it will go. They then withdraw it and that's when they have a look. That bit was OK.

Good luck!

ThreeRuddyTubs Sun 18-Oct-15 09:13:45

My prep said I had to drink it within an hour too but I couldn't manage it that quickly it took me about 2 as I got so full of it I thought I was gonna chuck up. It didn't matter in terms of clearing me out it just meant I was miserable for longer

megletthesecond Sun 18-Oct-15 09:18:18

Oh, its not fun is it flowers. Just stay in your room or the bathroom all day. Lots of magazines to read and grit your teeth. The more effective it is the better the result they'll get tomorrow.

Just a word of caution. You might feel sick and faint tonight or tomorrow morning. When I had mine I was retching and couldn't lift my head up for a while, I tend to have low blood pressure and am hopeless without food. The hospital stuck me in a wheelchair on arrival and got me on a bed with my feet raised to perk me up. Actual procedure and recovery was fine.

Alohamora Sun 18-Oct-15 09:25:27

DH had this done a few weeks ago and said the prep wasn't anywhere near as bad as he thought it would be. We bought moist toilet tissue and Vaseline which he found helpful.

His prep stuff was only 250ml so he was able to take it quickly and he said it didn't taste too bad (Picolax). He even managed to leave the house for half an hour at one point smile.

Oldwestaction Sun 18-Oct-15 09:26:20

Hi, watching this with interest as I too have a colonoscopy tomorrow for very similar sounding symptoms. As some else said you'd probably be best ringing the ward to ask as it does seem the prep varies between hospitals. I have an evening appointment and need to take mine and 7am and 10am tomorrow. Very best of luck, hope it all goes well for you.

swarskicat Sun 18-Oct-15 09:39:17

Thank you for all your replies. It really helps.

The bowel prop I have is 'phospho soda'. It is 45 ml od liquid that I have to dilute to 250ml.

Oldwestaction - will let you know how it goes. Good luck for yours

I will take the first one now and then the second tonight before bed.

ModenaMan Sun 18-Oct-15 09:53:40

Agent Picolax, one of the funniest threads ever posted on the internet.

PagesOfABook Sun 18-Oct-15 10:01:44

It's really not that bad - I've done it a few times.

Ring the hospital - there should be someone on duty even on a Sunday that you can check any concerns with.

The worst part is drinking the prep as it tastes like seawater.

I found the actual procedure on the day fine. I was given the sedation and the next thing I remember is asking the nurse when the procedure was going to start and she said it was all over smile

queenoftheboys Sun 18-Oct-15 10:07:44

I found the bowel prep disgusting to drink but the actual effect wasn't bad at all. I was dreading it but there was no cramping like diarrhoea, just frequent and watery. You'll want to stay close to a bathroom. And like a pp said it felt really light and cleaned out afterwards.

The procedure itself (had colonoscopy and gastroscope) Inwas quite sedated and don't really even remember. I had no pain at all afterwards.

Good luck - it won't be as bad as you think!

PoppyFleur Sun 18-Oct-15 10:16:53

Your doctor would have suggested 11am because your admittance time is for an afternoon colonoscopy. Take it at 11am and take the second dose at an earlier time of 10pm.

Honestly, drinking the foul prep liquid is the worse part of the whole procedure, the rest is fine.

ovaryhill Sun 18-Oct-15 10:23:34

My Dh had a home enema kit sent to him in the post before his
I think he would have def preferred a drink!

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