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What Having A Colonoscopy Taught Me About The Food I Eat

Posted May 03 2013 4:32pm

So, having turned 50, it was time for that rite of passage known as a colonoscopy. My appointment was at 10:30 this morning. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday eating a “low residue” diet , which basically consisted of applesauce, bananas, eggs, chicken noodle soup with some mushy carrots (homemade, but still), cottage cheese, white bread (I had a medium-sized onion roll with butter), and saltine crackers (edit: and a couple of turkey/spinach meatloaf muffins I made with breadcrumbs instead of oatmeal).

By the end of the first day I felt foggy and exhausted! By the end of the second day, I was foggier, more exhausted, and achy, and I had wicked cramps, gas, and the runs, and I hadn’t even started the “prep”!

From 6 p.m. Wednesday until after the procedure today, I was on a clear-liquid only diet, which, when I looked at the list, seemed to be mostly made up of sugar-laden beverages (sure, artificial sweeteners were also on the list, but eeeww). I purchased some Pedialyte, as “sports drinks” like Gatorade were recommended to replace electrolytes (but I’ve never liked Gatorade), and in addition to that, I drank lots of water, had a couple of mugfuls of low-sodium chicken broth, a couple of cups of chamomile tea, a bowl of Jello, and a couple of popsicles.

But go figure, I felt A LOT better once the low-residue foods were out of my system…hunger wasn’t much of an issue at all.

And, as far as colonoscopy preps go (at least based on everything I’ve heard from others), it was a cakewalk. Due to my anxiety around vomiting (which usually causes me to pass out), I asked the doctor (during the initial consultation) about alternatives to the dreaded GoLytely . EVERYBODY I know who has taken it said made them nauseated and/or caused them to vomit.

He recommended OSMO Prep, which consists of 32 laxative tablets, 20 of which are to be taken the night before (four at a time, every 15 minutes), and the remainder to be taken five hours before the procedure.

I was able to go to sleep around 10:30 last night, as the tablets seemed to have finished “working.” I woke up around 2:30…got some water and “went” some more, then fell back asleep until the alarm woke me at 5:00 so I could take the rest of the pills. And as I write this, I am remembering a weird dream I had! In it, I had overslept to about 7 a.m. and tried to the take the rest of the tablets but couldn’t find them all…weird.

Anyway, I lolled around in bed reading in between “going.” I didn’t have any cramps, and the procedure itself went well (I was blissfully asleep).

What truly amazed me is how absolutely crappy I felt after eating the rather innocuous “low-residue” food. Could it have been the lack of fiber and the addition of “white” processed carbs? All I know is that most of the foods on that list are foods I rarely eat!

And what it taught me is that I want to be even more careful about what I put into my body!

Have you ever had an experience in which you drastically changed your diet, even just for a couple of days, and noticed a significant difference in how you felt?

Feeling a little loopy, but good, afterwards. I think the Propofol and Versed (which, by the way, were administered by a very handsome and kind anesthesiologist), was the best part of the whole experience!

Feeling a little loopy, but good, afterwards. I think the Propofol and Versed (which, by the way, were administered by a very handsome and kind anesthesiologist), was the best part of the whole experience!

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