Colonoscopy Prep

How To Prep For A Colonoscopy Or The Colonoscopy Eve Celebration Guide

As some of you following me on Facebook and Twitter know, I had to get scoped in both ends this month on the never-ending quest to solve my stomach issues. Here are the 12 steps to celebrating Colonoscopy Eve with style.

Step 1: A week before your appointment, read the packet your doctor gave you because if you don’t, you’ve already screw everything up and won’t get to celebrate anything.

Step 2: A few days beforehand, pick up a Colonoscopy Cake so the last thing you eat before you go on the clear liquid diet for Colonoscopy Eve is DELICIOUS BIRTHDAY CAKE.

I know. We’re all disappointed it doesn’t say Happy Colonoscopy Day on it.

Step 3: While you’re there, buy the fanciest toilet paper. If you can find ten-ply that comes with its own aloe plant and costs more than your colonoscopy, buy it. It’s a gift to yourself and your butt on the eve of Colonoscopy Eve. (h/t @SuzyQRVA for this gift idea)

Step 4: The morning of Colonoscopy Eve begins with a clear liquid diet. People will still call you on the phone not realizing you’ve begun celebrating. They will even say things like: Are you okay? You don’t sound so well. You will reply: WELL NOT EATING ALL DAY SUCKS AND I HAVE POOPING ALL NIGHT TO LOOK FORWARD TO AND WHAT IF THEY FIND SOMETHING TERRIBLE OR NOTHING AT ALL AT MY SCOPE TOMORROW. Wait, I’m sorry… BUT ACTUALLY I MIGHT NOT BE SORRY AT ALL. Your friend will have other friends pray for you, which is par for the course.

Step 5: Don’t answer your phone again or plan to do anything else but feel sorry for yourself. Briefly consider duct taping your mouth shut if you have to be in public. Self-pity is the patron saint of Colonoscopy Eve.

Step 6: There are two important times on Colonoscopy Eve. When 4 p.m. rolls around and the paperwork your doctor provided states it is time to drink 16 ounces of liquid that make you crap your brains out? Don’t tell yourself: It may not work. It will work. So if you are home alone with two young children, consider waiting until another adult is within twenty minutes of the house or you will be parenting from the potty for an hour wondering where you might have a spare diaper so you can run and turn off the stove.

Step 7: You are still on the toilet, but hopefully, your spouse is home because you called them and said, Um, I need you to leave work early and pick up fancy toilet paper. (This is why I’m writing this post. To save you from an extra step or two.) But come home first. Then go back out. I love you. I’m pooping. Perhaps think of the toilet as the Christmas tree of Colonoscopy Eve but less decorating involved. Also, less comfortable to sit on after a few hours. Probably.

Step 8: You will get a short Colonoscopy Eve reprieve just in time to set up your computer, Netflix, your phone, a glass of water, and fancy toilet paper in the bathroom upstairs. Your family will never see you again, but you will ask for your dog because you are SO LONELY.

Step 9: There are no Colonoscopy Eve specials on television. In fact, every show you watch for the next five hours is somehow about food. Character has multiple personalities? THEY ALL EAT. Character has a wacky family who was once rich? THEY ARE ALL STILL WEALTHY ENOUGH TO EAT. Your computer starts to resemble a taco.

Step 10: At 7 p.m., the second holiest time of Colonoscopy Eve, you will have to drink another 16 ounces of crapping juice. The first time was not so bad because you were just that hungry, but possibly because your body knows what will happen, you will cry trying to finish the second glass. The only way you will accomplish this feat of strength will be by being too prideful to imagine checking the box “did not finish prep” so you will reach back to your college self when you could chug a beer and a pint of whiskey like it was water and  YOU WILL FINISH.

Colonoscopy Prep
What? Taking pictures was distracting.

Step 11: Poop for 3-4 more hours in celebration of your victory!

Step 12: Wake up on Colonoscopy Day to get scoped and hurry home to eat the rest of your Colonoscopy Cake.

Important takeaways: Get a Netflix account, fancy toilet paper, a dog, and  a cake. Also, if anyone could recommend a good TV series with 12 seasons that has characters who never eat, we’d all be golden. Or brown but only for about six hours.

PS. I have written and performed several helpful “How To” posts in the past including:

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

23 thoughts to “How To Prep For A Colonoscopy Or The Colonoscopy Eve Celebration Guide”

  1. While I was getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist, the hygenist was talking about her husband getting one the same day. She was laughing the entire time. A secretary came in shortly after and told her that her husband was done and needed a ride. She said “Well you go tell my husband to make friends with the hospital toilet because I’m not leaving here until after lunch”
    Cold. Cold woman.
    I let her clean my teeth.
    So, did the cake stay in or did it roll on out?

  2. This is a perfect post. Well done. I wish that someone had told me about the ten-ply TP. That would have helped greatly. And the cake idea? Brilliant, brilliant.

  3. These are excellent tips. Everyone who goes through this totally deserves a cake! Also, I hope a tv writer/producer reads this post and makes a show with no eating.

  4. I couldn’t see the pictures… so imagined they were of you pooping and told myself that I really didn’t want to see that. Glad to see you still have a sense of humor 🙂 Btw, I asked our priests to pray for your ass at all of the masses THIS weekend (ass sounded classier than colon and I didn’t want to be vague)… seriously, only kidding!

    1. No pooping pictures. Just my Colonoscopy cake and me making a terrible face trying to drink that awful crapping juice.
      I am grateful I didn’t poop out my sense of humor but just know I’ll take butt prayers any day.

  5. While I am so sorry you had to go through this, it is so incredibly hilarious. I am still laughing over Step 6. I may be laughing all day.

    Hope it wasn’t all in vain, other than the great How-To post!

  6. Had a colonoscopy and Endoscopy about 11 or so years ago and I STILL remember how nasty that liquid is. BARF. Robby tried to drink some to prove to me I was being a weenie and he couldn’t do it. Glad you made it through…and that everything else did. :o) Teeheehee

  7. So, we had to take h to the ped gi, and he said kids don’t have to do all the crap (no pun intended) that adults do for a colonoscopy which is good since is probably going to have one. Hubby had one 11 yrs ago. Just terrible.

  8. After also checking out your other how-to posts, I sincerely hope you gave yourself a high-five for getting through this. You may also want to re-read the one about farting in public in case your system has trouble readjusting? Thanks for the laughs. But most importantly I hope all is ok.

  9. This should be copied and handed out to all patients getting ready for the big C.E. day. It’s funny as hell but also informative.

  10. Something else to add to the supply list: PERI BOTTLE or some other squirt bottle type of thing that can double as a bidet. For those times when even fancy toilet paper isn’t kind enough.

  11. First I love your How To Posts.

    Secondly. OMG.

    That is all.

    Also, i really have been thinking of you. in a not poop-imagining sort of way, of course.

  12. I really love this. Whenever I have to have my first colonoscopy, even if it’s 20 years from now, I will remember every bit of this post. Also, my cake will be a pound cake.

  13. I’m not sure how many seasons there are, but no one EVER eats on “24”. They also never use the bathroom, so it may be the perfect viewing for Colonoscopy Eve!

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