Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure Diary

colonoscopy prep

Day before Endoscopy and Colonoscopy

6:30am – I struggle to motivate myself to wake up on my first day of holidays to begin my endoscopy and colonoscopy prep. It’s time for my last official meal for two days and while I had grand plans last night of eating everything in sight to prepare myself for the long days ahead, as someone who rarely eats breakfast, I find myself struggling to stomach two bits of toast with butter. Prior to this, I have a regular bowl movement and a shower, as once I take the tablets, I have no idea how quickly things are going to start happening.

Originally, I had wondered if I should just have nothing. Less to come out the other end during the endoscopy and colonoscopy prep, right? But since I’d already fasted overnight, I thought this probably wasn’t the best idea for someone who gets hangry at the drop of a hat.

7am – I take the two Dulcolax Laxatives I’ve been given to start the endoscopy and colonoscopy prep and get ready for the fun to begin.

8:30am – I feel like I could go to the toilet. My guts are grumbling and churning but I’m pretty sure it’s just my nerves making my stomach turn. According to the info, it should take 6-12 hours for the tablets to kick in, so I’m expecting nothing until the first powder drink later today.

11am – hunger pangs are starting already. Have to say, as a self-proclaimed food-a-holic, this was what I was dreading most about the endoscopy and colonoscopy prep. My life revolves around eating and between eating, I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat next. According to the foods to eat before colonoscopy list, I can apparently have clear liquids such as apple juice, yellow Gatorade and clear soup but I don’t have any of these on hand that are not in the banned colours of purple and red. I’ve read blue should also be avoided on my foods to avoid before colonoscopy research.

colonoscopy prep tips

To take my mind off it, I prep the Glycoprep-C solution (which is a colonoscopy prep drink) for later on and place in the fridge to chill. I read the instructions for the millionth time and pour the powder into a 1 litre Tupperware shaker then add the litre of water to it and stir with a wooden spoon. It looks revolting. A brownie/yellowie liquid, like a dirty lake. It does smell ok though, kind of like yellow Gatorade. We will see later if it tastes as bearable.

12pm – starting to feel a bit nauseous and headachy now from lack of food and possible water. I should probably try to drink a bit more fluids, although plenty will be required later during the colonoscopy prep drink.

1pm – time for the first dose of Picoprep. I prepare this second colonoscopy prep drink as instructed in warm water and taste a little bit. I’m pleasantly surprised as it tastes just like a really sweet Powerade sugar drink. I down it in a few goes, but notice some of the powder is left in the bottom. I’m thinking perhaps the water wasn’t hot enough. I add a little more water to my cup and mix to try get it all. This bit doesn’t taste amazing and its difficult to get it all to come out of the cup, but after a few goes, I get the majority of it into my mouth. It apparently takes 30 mins to 6 hours to work so I’m sticking close to the toilet now. Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Prep is about to get shitty (all puns intended)! Since about 12pm I’ve started having some light stomach cramping presumably from the laxatives I took this morning. Still feeling nauseous and headachy so I’ve just been watching Netflix and having naps. Within 10 minutes, I’ve already had my first bowl movement since my regular one this morning. It’s more like a gastro loose stool.

colonoscopy prep drink 1

2:30pm – pooped again, waterier this time.
2:50pm – spent a while just sitting on the loo as felt like I still needed to go. 3:30pm – toilet again.
4:40pm – have some tea. Starving.

5:40pm – going again.

colonoscopy prep

6pm – Onto the second colonoscopy prep drink for the day. This is the pre-prepared Glycoprep. First one was actually kind of like a super sweet Powerade and only a glass so not so bad. This one is kind of like lemon cordial with something not so nice but it’s still not as bad as I thought so I’m pretty happy besides the grumbling stomach. Only 24 hours till I can eat a pizza, large chips with gravy, bowl of pasta, 10 pack nuggs and sushi pack. That’s my list for now. You need to drink the litre of liquid over an hour. Half way through and it’s starting to get a bit sickly.

6:45pm – back to the loo.
7:04pm – closer together. Things are really ramping up now and burning.
7:25pm – and again.
7:49pm – tried to hold it for a bit, stomach cramps increasing, starting to feel like passing acid now. They’re all pretty much like a stream of wee that burns. I’m trying to just pat the toilet paper rather than wipe to reduce the agony.

Throughout the night is not to bad. I manage to get some sleep.

Day of the Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure

4:30am – drink the last Picoprep colonoscopy prep drink. Again, it gets stuck in the bottom so I’m left trying to swirl water around and drink the last awful tasting part a few times. I go to the toilet while I’m up but only to pee. Back to bed, I toss and turn a bit as I’m scared I will need to go urgently but manage to sleep on and off

7:40am – Go to toilet again and manage to have a movement this time. My mouth is dry and tastes like the powder and I have a headache so I keep trying to sip more water before I try get some more sleep.

8:50am– go twice more after lots of stomach pains. Seems to be a lot clearer liquid which is what the doctor will want. Still feels like I need to empty a bit more but I can move around a lot more without feeling like I’m going to poop my pants.

colonoscopy prep keep hydrated

10:30am – go once more and drink my last fluids. Still have a headache so I’ve tried to drink as much as possible.

11:30am – go again. Worried I’m still not empty and it’s only an hour till I need to leave for the hospital for the endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure to take place.

12:10pm – and again. Am I even going to be able to leave for hospital in half an hour?

12:25pm – I reluctantly get off the toilet to shower and dress before we have to leave for the hospital.

Arriving at the hospital for my Endoscopy and Colonoscopy procedure

We check in at admissions and head to the day surgery where they check details again and then we wait for about half hour in the waiting room. At this point a nurse collects me to weigh me and go through lots of medical questions. Then it’s time to gown up and I’m left alone in a small room to relax and watch tv. The anaesthesia assistant comes in to check a bunch of details and lets me know I’m first cab off the rank for my endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure so shouldn’t be long. Not long after, the anaesthetist comes in and asks some similar questions. Finally, the assistant comes back and takes me into the surgery room.

Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure 1

I’m asked to open the back of my gown and lay down on my left side with my back against a plastic wall attached to the bed. A blood pressure band is put on my left arm while the anaesthetist inserts a cannula into my hand and starts the drugs. Within seconds the room is becoming a bit fuzzy and not long after that I’m out.

Waking up after Endoscopy and Colonoscopy

I wake up from my endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure about 40 minutes later in the recovery ward with an air mask on and some fluids rehydrating me via my drip. I’m told it all went well. I feel a bit out of it, dizzy and nauseous but overall pretty normal for having just come off the anaesthetic.

After a while, they remove my mask and IV drip and roll me into a curtain to get dressed. After this I am allowed to walk to a small room for some sandwiches, juice and tea which are just heaven after fasting so long. The anaesthetist checks on me to see how I’m feeling and the doctor comes to see me and says the endoscopy and colonoscopy all went well and we will have my biopsy results in a few weeks due to Christmas break. I’m moved to a lounge area to relax and watch tv while they monitor me for another half hour and then finally my husband is bought in to collect me and sign me out.

iv drip for endoscopy and colonoscopy

I’m still feeling a bit dizzy and nauseous. I’ve been told to hydrate this afternoon and eat as normal. I’m so happy it’s over and the procedure part itself was easy peasy. I’m not in any pain anywhere which is great too.

On the way home, I eat a 6 pack of nuggs and a cheeseburger from Macca’s. I’m feeling a bit nauseous still so spend the arvo lying in bed. After some spag bol for dinner and milk and cookies for dessert I’m feeling a lot better. My stomach is very bloated however and feels like my guts are twisting. Not sure if this is from eating or the anaesthesia or the air they pump into the colon to see better. Feels like air or gas when I prod around and is causing some discomfort.

Post Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Care

Feeling ok when I wake up. Bowl movement wasn’t painful but was not back to regular yet. Still feel nauseous and have stomach cramps.

Day 2 after endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure – no bowl movement today although feels like I need to.

Day 3 – yay!!! finally a normal movement and feeling like things are back to normal.

Day 4 – had a bunch of gastro in the evening and wondered if I had a tummy bug.

Day 5 – feeling fine again. For the next few days only one small movement which was a struggle. After this I have 4 or more days pass without success. Apparently if I have no discomfort, it’s fine not to have a movement and just the bowel refilling. On day 10 I start getting a little pain in tummy after lunch and feel like I might be able to go soon. I finally have a movement that night.

A few weeks later my gastroenterologist calls with the good news that they found no serious problems with my stomach during the endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure so I’m in the clear for things like stomach cancers which is great. Not so great is that they don’t really know why my stomach isn’t absorbing vitamins as it should and I am diagnosed with some type of autoimmune deficiency and told to keep taking my supplements through pregnancy to ensure I’m getting enough vitamins. Time to get back to the business of baby making.

Endoscopy and Colonoscopy – When trying to get pregnant becomes a pain in the ass

Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure

The decision had been made. We were going to have a baby. We would do our thing, get pregnant and voila baby is born nine months later right? That is until we faced our first roadblock. My blood results were back and I was low in Vitamin D and Iron. So What? You may be thinking, but apparently a normal, healthy 32-year-old with a healthy diet containing red meat isn’t normally this low in iron and again a healthy 32-year-old who spends lots of time outdoors at work and on the weekends apparently shouldn’t be this low in Vitamin D.

The dark and scary news is that this could mean I have stomach problems that could dramatically increase my risk of things like stomach cancer down track if we don’t sort it out, so its time to investigate further and that means an endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure for me, also known as a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. I head straight to see a gastroenterologist and book in my endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure as soon as possible so we can get straight back to our goal of trying for a baby.

What is an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure?

Endoscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure 1

An endoscopy procedure also known as a gastroscopy is a test that allows doctors to look at your stomach and part of your small intestine via your oesophagus. To say I was a little freaked out about a tube being put down my throat was an understatement but rest assured you are sedated and if your lucky like me knocked out altogether so you don’t remember a thing. A colonoscopy procedure looks at your colon aka large intestine and you guessed it, it enters via the other end – your anus.

Endoscopy Cost/Colonoscopy Cost

Hopefully you have private health insurance to help cover your endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure but be aware that not all levels of private health insurance cover these procedures. I was caught out by this as even though I had top level health cover in preparation for obstetrics costs, I had only recently changed my cover level and was told I was not covered for my endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure and learnt an expensive lesson. To rectify this, I had to go through a long process of proving that this was not a pre-existing medical condition and show that I had only started going through the blood testing process and the actual endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures after I updated my cover. In the end I got most of my money back but be aware it would have cost me around $2000 per procedure and even with cover you will still have to cough up for your excess and out of pocket expenses which are usually a couple of hundred dollars depending on your excess level.

colonoscopy prep tips

Its super important to follow the colonoscopy prep that your doctor gives you. If you don’t and your bowel is not empty it can make it very hard to conduct the procedure and you may even be sent away to do the colonoscopy prep all over again for another day. Trust me, you do not want to do this twice.

Colonoscopy prep starts a few days before when it’s a good idea to start eating a low fibre diet and definitely avoid things like nuts, grains and seeds.

The day before your Endoscopy and Colonoscopy procedure you need to start full on colonoscopy prep by fasting but can still consume clear drinks such as light-coloured cordials and juices, black tea, clear soup and of course lots of water. During this time, you will start your bowel prep for colonoscopy by preparing and drinking the colonoscopy prep drink that was given to you by your doctor. A few hours before your procedure you will be told to stop drinking as well.

Endoscopy and colonoscopy prep can be uncomfortable but there are some things you can do to make it more bearable.

colonoscopy prep tips 1
  • Keep hydrated with lots of the allowable liquids to prevent headaches and dehydration during your colonoscopy prep
  • Make sure you are at home and dressed comfortably to spend lots of time in the toilet
  • Organise some Netflix and books to keep you occupied or just rest on the couch or bed
  • Pre-prepare your colonoscopy prep drink and stick it in the fridge to chill as this will make it much nicer to drink
  • Free yourself of any responsibilities such as work or children during your colonoscopy prep so you can just relax at home between bowel movements
  • Buy some premium toilet paper, the softer the better as things are going to get rough

Foods to Avoid Before Colonoscopy Procedure

Part of your endoscopy and colonoscopy prep will be fasting and avoiding certain foods in the lead up to the procedure. When keeping hydrated, ensure you stick to light coloured drinks and particularly avoid those that are red, blue and purple. You should also avoid things like nuts and grains and generally stick to a low fibre diet in the days leading up to your colonoscopy procedure. Make sure you don’t eat any fruit or vegetable skins or seeds and don’t forget things like popcorn should also be avoided in the lead up to your colonoscopy procedure.

Foods to Eat Before Colonoscopy

Foods to Eat Before Colonoscopy

It’s really important to stay hydrated during the endoscopy and colonoscopy prep. I had terrible headaches and nausea during the fasting period and really should have tried to drink more fluids. Just make sure they are clear fluids including water, juices, cordial, black tea, clear soup and sports drinks in light colours like yellow. In the lead up week to your colonoscopy procedure you should stick to a low fibre diet such as white bread, pasta and rice, seedless fruit without skin, vegetables without the skin and well cooked, eggs and lean meat such as chicken and fish. Switching to soft foods a couple of days before your colonoscopy procedure may help with the prep when you need to empty your bowel.

Want to know all the gritty details of endoscopy and colonoscopy prep? Click here to read my minute by minute diary of the prep and procedure.