Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I Learned From My Colonoscopy

I asked myself if I really should post about this because it's so personal.  Then I thought it was something I would like to share with other people.  No, this is not an ad; I just wanted to let people know about it.

When someone is talking about a colonoscopy, they always say the preparation is the worst part.  Five years ago, when I had my first one that was true.  I had to drink about a gallon of awful tasting stuff.  However, this time it was "a breeze" to quote another woman who wrote about it on Yahoo News.  The difference was a new prep solution that was just approved by the FDA in July, 2012.  Thank goodness my doctor was up to date on such things!

The new prep is called "Prepopik" in the United States.  In Canada it's called "Pico Salax" (sounds more like Spanish to me) and in the UK it's called "Picolax" (sounds like a musical instrument).  

In the package you receive a plastic cup and two packets of powder, as well as an instruction sheet.  See the two lines on the plastic cup?  For your first dose you put water up to the bottom line (5 ounces)  then stir in one packet of powder.  You drink that, then fill the cup with plain water up to the second line (8 ounces) and drink that.  So, for each dose you drink 5 ounces of solution, then 8 ounces of water.  You have to drink a total of five glasses of water, at  your own pace, over the next five hours.  For the second dose, you do the same thing (I did the first one the night before and the second one the morning of my procedure; but I only had to drink three glasses of water the second time).  

It's not bad at all.  The solution doesn't taste bad (slightly citrusy) and the texture is just slightly thicker than water.  It's very easy.  It didn't give me any bad side effects, other than a little nausea during the night, that went away quickly.  

Apparently, this prep is not very well known yet.  When I did a general online search for prep solutions I found no mention of it.  When I looked up the specific name, there it was.  I'm glad my doctor knew about it.  This is just one example of how up to date I have found things here in Kentucky.  Since moving here, I have found health care to be very user friendly and efficient.  (As expressed by our Governor recently on the news.)  


littlemancat said...

Thanks for posting this. I just had the procedure in September and had to drink horrible Gatorade with the powdered mix as I had in the last two preps of past procedures. Ugh! I hate Gatorade,never drink it normally. As usual, I was sick. Very sick. I didn't want to go into it when I wrote to you before your procedure, but yes, so sick I almost decided never to have another colonoscopy ever! I just can't consume that much liquid, and what a liquid! So your prep is noted, will be filed with my medical notes, ha ha! And this is an excellent medical practice not far from Philly --- hmmm.

Pam said...

In Australia our government sends out random bowel function kits to diagnose for bowel cancer. My husband was a member of the public who received one soon after his open heart surgery and leukaemia diagnosis.
His results came back positive for investigation - waiting after the colonoscopy was awful for us.
When the surgeon declared that the public post test is notorious for returning false positives and my husband was indeed in good health in that respect we both burst into tears.
David's cancer is now in remission, but tests are always stressful - anything to make them easier is wonderful!
Wishing you good health Judy - it is such an important factor in our lives
My friend had bowel cancer and he is also now cured and in good health thanks to the wonders of medical intervention. x

judy in ky said...

Mary, I hope this information leads you to not dread another colonoscopy. I know I won't dread it so much anymore.

Pam, your husband has been through enough without getting a false positive. Thank goodness it was false, though. You're right, our health is so important. I wish good health for you and yours as well.