There is nothing fun or sexy about this post. If you’re young and/or your health is great, then you might want to skip it because I’m going to talk a bit about colonoscopy prep. For those of us who are getting older and need check ups like this, I hope this will help you think about some things before hand…
I plan ahead for almost everything – especially all things food related. When we go on vacation, I cook in advance so we will have food once we get there. For everyday life, I cook every Sunday so we have food for the week. But when I realized I was getting a colonoscopy and would not be able to eat for a day and a half, I thought, huh, I guess I don’t need to plan for a change. WRONG.
Anyway, as some of you may know I have an inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), so I am suppose to get a colonoscopy every few years. Since it’s been 10 since my last, I figured it was time to suck it up and get it done. The hardest part for me is the inability to eat for a day and a half. I may eat healthy, but I eat a lot. Lately I haven’t been that hungry, so thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to just not eat for 36 hours. SO wrong! After waking up really hungry the first morning of my fast, I made a quick trip to Whole Foods. Standing at the smoothie bar, I made a desperate call to my doctor’s office to ask about whether green smoothies were in bounds. They weren’t 🙁 and I am told I can only have clear things like Jell-o, Gatorade , Sprite, apple juice and hard candies. Yuck! But, I needed to do something to keep my blood sugar up and my head clear throughout the day so had to figure out some options.
The first thing I got was something to drink because I didn’t want let myself get dehydrated. Coconut water is great because it has more potassium than a banana. This stuff is also great for long runs or bike rides. It doesn’t taste great, but it is MUCH better, and more efficient for our bodies than a sports drinks!
I think George has been watching the kids hop in front of the camera too much lately…
Unfortunately, the prepping process can strip much of your good bacteria, so it’s good to do all you can to boost your bacteria prior to the procedure. Kevita drinks are a great way to get extra probiotics. There are about 5 different flavors at Whole Foods.
By late afternoon, I was so needing more nourishment so I ended up melting some coconut oil in hot water and drinking that. I think I ended up ingesting about 4 tbsp throughout the day. That helped clear my head almost instantly each time.
And my biggest savior was bone broth. With a zillion nutrients, enough salt to make you want to drink more water, and a little fat to fill you, this was the perfect thing to have around. Just make sure you strain it well, so it really is just a clear drink. Unfortunately I had to wait until I got back from Whole Foods to start cooking the thighs I bought (thought it would cook faster than a whole chicken) so I didn’t get to drink that until 4:00 but later afternoon and evening, I felt REALLY great.
The procedure went well, but I wasn’t able to eat until after 2:00 on Tuesday, which felt like forever. The good news is the doctor said, “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep it up, your colon looks great and shows no signs of your disease!”. That was really nice to hear, especially since prior to (and post) the procedure he stated again that I really needed to be on those 6 pills for the rest of my life. Phew! I haven’t taken them in 5 years and don’t plan on ever taking them again!!
In the wake of the procedure though, I have really upping my probiotics. I really believe it’s true about our good bacteria keeping our immune systems strong. Before the procedure, aside from being hungry and light headed in the morning, I felt totally and completely well. About 2 hours after the procedure, I began feeling like I was coming down with something. And now, still a week later, I have crud in my chest for the first time in YEARS. It’s so frustrating!! I am off to the drugstore to get some VSL-3 (a super strong probiotic) right after this write up. I think the whole thing really messed up my bacteria, maybe along with having to ingest more sugar (from the coconut water) than I normally would. Regardless, I suspect that the prep or the procedure lowered my immune system, which just goes to show the importance of having good bacteria in your gut!
One extra thing to add to the list for prepping next time…take extra probiotics!!!
It’s not a fun procedure, it’s not even fun to talk or think about, but as we are getting older, and our nation is getting sicker, I know more and more of us are having to get this done, so hopefully these tips will help. I wish I would have planned ahead but maybe now you can!