Induction Into the ‘Club’

Posted on August 3, 2013 by


I have joined The Club – The Colon Club as it is called to those 50 and older who have experienced their first colonoscopy.  I will admit that I was in quite a tizzy about making the pre-operative appointment and put it off as long as I could, even though I know the importance of screening in the early identification and prevention of colon cancer.  My resistance was not fear of the findings or even the laxative.  My hesitancy was what I knew would be ‘prescribed’ in the clear liquid diet the day prior to the procedure.

I finally made an appointment with a physician I had previously worked with for many years and looked forward to an open conversation with him.  The assistant took my vital signs and handed me the paper instructions for the prep.  She then listed the clear liquids that I should drink the day before the procedure; jello, coffee/tea no cream, Gatorade, popsicles, broth, energy drinks, fruit juice, etc.  I promptly told her I do not eat sugar or artificial sweeteners.  She looked at me like I had 2 heads and said, “Well, you will have to make an exception for one day.”  Hmmm, I thought – that is NOT going to happen.   I let it go and waited to discuss with the doctor.

md_patientAfter chatting with the doc, he asked me, “So why don’t you eat sugar?”  Hmm, he had no clue.  We talked about inflammation, pain, addiction etc. and I could see he had no idea but he said – well do what you want for the prep but if your blood sugar drops and you are feeling ill, you may have to reconsider.  I told him since I don’t eat sugar now, I can’t imagine I will experience a drop in blood sugar that day but I would make sure I was prepared.

Next we discussed the actual colon prep – what were the ingredients?  Was there sugar or sugar substitute in it?  “No, don’t worry,” he said, “I remember when I drank it, it was not sweet at all.”  OK, I will do my own research.

Final discussion was where to have the procedure.  I had the choice of having it in the hospital with the gastroenterologist giving the sedation drugs or done at a free standing office, where an anesthesiologist would administer the sedation.  I chose the free standing office so that the sedation was immediate with almost an immediate recovery instead of one that would keep me drowsy and linger in my body for hours afterwards.

Green-JuiceSo the day before the procedure I pack my work lunch bag with green tea, Penta water, chicken and beef broth along with diluted homemade green juice.  (Ok that was not clear but neither is tea or coffee.)  I also packed a small amount of homemade apple juice should I experience an unexpected drop in blood sugar.  I drank something continuously and then started the actual prep at 5 pm.   First taste – OH MY – was that sweet.  WOW!  Ingredient: Sucralose.  Wow – that was hard to stomach. While I wish the prep had not contained any artificial sweetener I freely agreed to the ingestion and understood the consequences of detoxing that ingredient later.   I finished the first prep and prepared for second one at 3 AM.  Not a lot of sleep that night but all went well with no drop in blood sugar nor a need for the apple juice.

The procedure itself was a breeze and I got a clean bill of health.  I am grateful that I continue to be an integral participant in my health care allowing me open communication and decision making with my physicians.  I question what I know does not work for me such as a normal clear liquid diet, investigate and negotiate alternatives so that I am informed of what is going into my body allowing me to stay true to my value of health.

Peggi Ingram RN BSN CPT
Genesis Coach