Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tomorrow is prep day

How to Survive a Bowel Prep

Many of us have endured this process before and here is what we have learned:

  • Prepare yourself mentally!

  • Eat lightly a couple of days before the bowel prep. Eat more fruit and green vegetables and reduce meat and dairy products. This will make it easier for your bowels to empty.

  • Some find that the mixture tastes best ice cold. So remember to put it in the refrigerator the day before your prep.

  • You may want to drink the mixture through a straw so the taste goes as far back in your mouth as possible. Drink it as fast as you can.

  • As soon as you have drunk the mixture, follow up with something strong tasting, such as your favorite flavored chewing gum, hard candy, or a spoonful of chicken broth to get the taste out of your mouth. Make sure whatever you follow up with is on your physician's list of approved liquids.

  • At some point the mixture will begin to "work". This may take some time. It seems to help things along if you drink approved liquids in between the "cocktails". Liquids such as ginger ale, chicken broth, lemonade, apple juice, are usually the most appealing. Remember to check with your physician for a list of what liquids are allowed.

  • If you have a tendency to develop hemorrhoids, be sure to have a hemorrhoid cream on hand. It contains a little bit of "local anesthesia" to ease the discomfort. Or you can use the wipes, such as Tucks. You'll be happy you did.

  • If you feel yourself getting sick after drinking the umpteenth glass, try holding a sachet pillow to your nose, or a handkerchief scented with your favorite perfume or essential oil.

  • Station yourself near the bathroom. Make yourself a little nest that's a short dash to the bathroom. Have near you the TV remote, approved liquids, pillows, and blankets. The urge to go will strike suddenly and without much warning, so be prepared for this little adventure by doing some advance planning.

  • Fill a basket with your favorite, easy-to-read books and magazines. Maybe include little electronic games such as Boggle, Yahtzee, etc. This will help give you something to pass the time while in the bathroom. The basket can picked up and taken with you as you move from bathroom to your nest.

  • Watch your favorite DVDs while you do the prep, so when the urge strikes you can just pause the movie till you get back.

Best wishes! And remember: many have gone before you and survived!

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