SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - It's the part of the colonoscopy everyone hates. The prep. We normally don't talk about it... because, well, it's just not pleasant to talk about. But pleasantries aside... it's time to get down to business... and seriously talk about the dreaded colonoscopy prep. It's the reason many people put off getting a colonoscopy. But it's time to talk about it... and see if "the prep" is really that bad.
It starts 24-hours before the actual colonoscopy. And it begins with clear liquids. The day before the test... you wake up and start the day on liquids you can see through. "Just clear juices, water, 7-up, beef or chicken broth, things that you can see through," said Brenda Bolton.
The one thing to stay away from... red or dark colored liquids like grape juice or cola. That's because those colors can look like blood in a colonoscopy. But lots of liquids can get a little old fast... right? "If you get hungry, just drink more. And then you're stomach thinks you're not hungry anymore," said Brenda. And Brenda Bolton says if you feel the need to chew... grab some gum.
For Brenda that part wasn't bad. What she struggled with came late in the day. "It's a lot to drink. That was the part that was the hardest to me was just drinking that large volume," said Brenda. At 3pm.. Brenda drank her bottle of magnesium citrate... to get things moving in her colon. It didn't take long by 4:30... she was in the bathroom. "You don't want to be far from home when you do that," said Brenda. At 5:30... the real drinking began. "8 ounces every 10 minutes," said Brenda. And that's what Brenda struggled with... the polyethylene glycol.. often called "GoLYTELY." You have to drink 4 liters of the liquid to flush your colon clean. But Brenda had some great advice to help drink the gallon, that as a nurse she's given out before. Slow down. If you can't drink 8 ounces every 10 minutes... drink 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. "It's more important that they actually get it down and keep it down rather than to try and hurry the process," said Brenda.
Even with all the liquid to drink... and the every half hour trips to the bathroom. Brenda says, while the prep was the worst part of the entire colonoscopy, it wasn't as bad as some say it is. But she did come away from her first test with a lesson learned to share with others. "The one bit of advice I would give is start a little early rather than late. It takes a long time, and when you're getting towards the end you just feel like you can't drink one more glass and it's really hard to get it done in that amount of time in order to get to bed at your at your normal bed time," said Brenda. Brenda says the colonoscopy procedure itself was a piece of cake. And she got good news back.. her colon is healthy, so Brenda won't have to go through all the prep for another 10 years.
Healthbeat 4 Multi-Media Journalist: Christy Batien
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