So what happens after the dreaded day? I’ve got a few tips for that, too!
I’m linking up with My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to let you know what you might expect after a Colonoscopy.
1: Phone a friend
You have to have an adult come sign you out and pick you up — it can’t be a taxi driver. This kind of seems absurd (that you just can’t take a taxi, what if you live alone?), but there it is.
2: When can I eat?
Your doctor will give you instructions on when and what you can eat, but usually it’s anything you want.
I wasn’t hungry, although some people claim to be starving. It’s a good idea to continue to eat lightly, slowly reintroducing higher fiber foods that first day. Maybe for a couple of days. Your digestive system has gone through a lot. I had Mr. Judy bring me some tea that I prepared before I left, and I had scrambled eggs & yogurt for my first meal.
3: How will I feel?
How you feel is individual, and may depend on whether or not you had any polyps removed (I didn’t). You may feel gassy. In fact, before and after you may sound as if an alien wants to break out of your stomach — I certainly did. They put air in your colon to see better, so that’s part of it. It’s all normal. So is minimal bleeding, especially if you had polyps removed — I didn’t and there was no bleeding.
4: When can you expect to actually “go”?
As I started to write this it’s two days after and still nada, which is normal, apparently. I’m usually a very regular person, but I’ve just completely emptied and didn’t eat much for the 3 days around the procedure. I’m slowly introducing more normal food, but still eating my carrot soup and still taking my fruit in the form of smoothies.
By the third day there was movement. It wasn’t much, and the color wasn’t normal, but that is all normal. Once there’s movement I quickly get back to normal.
5: Have Probiotics on hand
I’ve tried probiotics over the years, but I never found they really did anything for me. However I just completely wiped out that microbiome I’ve been so carefully building for almost 60 years, so I decided probiotics sounded like a good thing.
I chose Ancient Nutrition Gut Restore Probiotics (Amazon Affiliate link here). Yeah, it’s pricey but it just so happens it was on sale at Whole Foods at the time. I’ve continued to take it for a while, not sure if I will continue to take it forever. Did it make a difference? Well, how can you tell?
In general you do want to choose probiotics that are refrigerated, because otherwise the probiotics may not survive. Always hard to tell if something like that is doing any good!
Bonus Tip: Insurance is Tricky
Mr. Judy had done the ColoGuard test for a few years, and this year it showed there might be a problem, which is why we both had our first colonoscopies this year. That meant that we actually had to pay for his, while mine was preventative, so it was covered by insurance. I’m sure insurance varies in what it covers, but always good to know that you could be on the hook for a rather large bill if a problem prompts your colonoscopy — Mr. Judy is fine, by the way.
One thing I didn’t mention is you will get color pictures of your colon. No joke! You will get a very detailed report of how well you prepped and what the doctor found. If they find a suspicious polyp it may have to be biopsied.
I have a cousin who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer not that long ago. He is fine, but he did have to go through chemo. According to cancer.org:
A polyp can take as many as 10 to 15 years to develop into cancer. With screening, doctors can find and remove polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer
A colonoscopy may just save your life, and prevent you from needing surgery or chemotherapy. It’s worth it.
Think you’re ready for that first Colonoscopy now?