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I have to go in for an upper GI endoscopy and a colonoscopy next week.  I finally went to a gastroenterologist about all the abdominal pain I've been having, and he wants to see what's going on.

Has anyone had this done?  Any advice?  I'm mostly worried about the prep the day before, for the colonoscopy... 
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I had to have a colonoscopy done in October of last year and I was worried about the prep as well.  My advice would be to definitely take it easy while you're only eating clear liquids (I tried to keep exercising).  I had to do the prep that involves laxatives at noon and then the gallon of water and electrolytes from 6-9 (not sure if you're doing that one).  It was disgusting but drinkable.  It's best to drink the liquid very quickly (like you're drinking an 8 oz shot).  I would reward myself with a few sips of Gatorade afterwards to get the bad taste out of my mouth.  Don't make any plans that night and do your best to stay hydrated and you should be fine.  I hope it goes well!
Really, honestly, in my opinion the prep wasn't all that bad.

You'll hear horror stories but in my case it was just sticking near the bathroom for a couple of hours.

What was harder was I couldn't eat from noon on Sunday until after the colonoscopy on Tuesday. Since I was having surgery the day after the colonoscopy (on Wednesday), my doctor said sorry, but don't eat until after surgery. So basically I fasted from Sunday until Thursday (general anesthesia makes me VERY nauseous). I'm already small so not having the calories was not all that great for me.

I don't recall a THING about the actual colonoscopy--drugs are wonderful.

Do yourself a favor and eat more fiber between now and when you start your prep. You'll get a head start, so to speak. I think a lot of why the prep wasn't awful for me is because I already have a lot of fiber in my diet so in my case it was just ramping it up some.
Thanks for the replies.  :)  My doctor had me start taking Miralax yesterday, so that should help.  I can't go overboard on the fiber, or I get bloating and cramping.  I have to be on a clear liquid only diet from Monday night until after the test on Wednesday.
Jello is great! If you're allowed clear fluids, make a lot of jello beforehand, but no red or purple. This is a great way to get some calories into you while you're doing the prep. Clear broths, soft drinks, and juices are good, too. Your doctor probably gave you a list of approved foods. Read this carefully and stock up.

If the prep is a liquid you drink, make it as cold as possible. This improves the taste. Diluting it doesn't work, it just increases the volume of the nasty stuff you have to get down.

I don't know how many colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies I've had, probably about ten. There are different types of prep and some are far more thorough than others. It is far worse than the test itself. The package may say (depending on the brand) that it takes four hours to work, but this is BS! You need a bathroom all to yourself for the day - no going to work or school! Buy the more expensive toilet paper in advance. Trust me, just about anything will start to feel like sandpaper after your fifth visit to the bathroom.

For the test, they will take your blood pressure, put you in a gown, and lay you on your left side. Then, they'll give you some drugs to make you not care what happens next. The prep is truly the worst part and you get to do that in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

I really hope you get this sorted out. Having belly pain all the time is not fun. Good luck, and don't hesitate to message me if you have any questions. I've been there many, many times.
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I've both and they weren't that bad.  The prep sucked, but the worst part is drinking the bitter liquid stuff.  I just recommend chugging it down and having the strongest flavored clear liquid you can find sitting nearby as a chaser.  I didn't even think the bathroom part was all that bad.  Just expect to be weaker than usual since you will not be consuming many calories on the liquid diet.

As for the test itself, they give you drugs to make you loopy.  I don't remember my endo at all.  My colonoscopy I remember talking to the nurse in the procedure room and then I fell asleep.

The prep was AWFUL. My doctor had me drink the 'sparkling laxative'- I almost broke a glass because I was squeezing it so hard while trying to swallow. My mother wrenched it out of my hand because she was afraid I would get glass shards in my hand. I had to drink two bottles- I threw up the first.

HOWEVER the drugs they give you for the actual procedure are FANTASTIC. I was out of it all day. I don't usually 'go under' well but this was amazing. Don't worry- you'll live through it. 

Each doctor seems to prescribe a different procedure for the prep. I had to drink liquids (no reds) and then swallow huge quantities of pills later in the day. My scariest problem was getting the shakes and feeling freezing cold in the middle of the night. I was not prepared for that body reaction. The next problem could have been eased some if I had started using a squirt bottle of water at each toilet visit. The sprayed water allows you to just "pat" with the softest toilet paper you can find.

You will do fine!  I agree with everyone about the prep and the procedure. My doctor gives me a product called "Golytely" (Go lightly) It should have a picture of Tony the tiger squatting on the label!  It's a nuclear laxative in a jug. DO NOT venture far away from the bathroom.  It's a gallon of liquid that you have to drink within a specific time period.  Experience has shown me that a gallon goes in and several come out!Surprised

The procedure itself is also easy.  I have had at least 10 colonoscopies in the past 15 years. The drugs are legal, amazing, and short term.  The doctor said I actually tried to help on several occassions.  I don't remember any of it.  The only bad thing I can say is to leave your vanity at home.  Some people pass up this important test because they are afraid to get embarassed.  Just think of the Nike saying "Just Do It"  As someone who has had stage 2 colon cancer I can not over state the importance of the test.  I am 100% positive that you need not worry about it being something really bad.  I'm sure the doctor will be able to figure out what's going on and you will be relieved to find out for yourself what's happening.  Think good thoughts and let us know how your doing.

Larry (silverdeer)


  1. Keep the evil stuff as cold as possible.
  2. In a very tall glass, mix ice, 1 /2 of your dose of liquid laxative and an equal part of lemon/lime soda.
  3. Place a VERY SOUR lemon drop in your cheek to mask the salty taste.
  4. Drink the liquid through a straw as fast as you can.
  5. "Chase" the liquid with a tall glass of lemonade.
  6. Now mix and drink the other half of your dose of laxative.
  7. Drink all the water you can handle between doses.
  8. Stay close to your bathroom. If you become inflamed, a coat of Vaseline helps. Cottonelle moist "flushable" wipes help too.
  9. Stock your bathroom with magazines, candles, and your favorite music.
  10. You may feel chilled or light headed. A warm bath or shower sometimes helps.

It also helps to keep your liquid diet Clear or yellow to prevent food coloring from staining your colon. Try chicken broth, lemon jello, Vitamin  Waters in clear, white, or yellow, lemon drops, lemon popsicles, or lemon life savers.

The prep and fear are the hard part. The colonoscopy is a breeze. How do I know? I have left sided UC which is now in remission.  I've been through this too.

I had to prep for 2 days prior to mine -- I found mixing the "golyetly" with crystal light lemonade flavor made it easier to consume.  Slam it down as fast as you can.

The procedure itself is a piece of cake - the prep can be hard.  I actually had more pain in my hands from taking off and puttin on my pants LOL -- oh and dry hands from all the hand washing.

I had an upper endoscopy in December (a lovely Christmas present, heh.)  Don't sweat the prep or the actual procedures - just follow ser25's advice above and you'll be fine. The toughest part for me was what came after the procedures.  My esophagus was so sore from the endoscope, I was eating applesauce and yogurt for a week.  (Anything else went down like broken glass and sandpaper.)  Not to worry, though - once this discomfort vanishes, it won't come back.

Good luck! :)

I have had several of both.  For me drinking that evil GoLitely was worse than giving birth.  My doctor told me to put it in some apple juice, well I don't drink apple juice anymore!  That stuff is nasty.  As everyone else has said, drink it fast!  I never had to RUN to the bathroom, but I did go more often.


Thanks so much to everyone for your responses! 

I made sure I had some jello and broth for the liquid diet day, and the prep was just as awful as everyone says.  But, I survived!  They should be calling me with lab results today, but he said everything seemed fine. 
Glad to hear things went well. And while the prep isn't exactly what I would want to do everyday, if that's what it takes for me to prevent colon cancer, then it's worth a nasty day every few years.

My grandmother died from colon cancer--one of the easiest cancers to cure IF its discovered. Sadly she ignored her symptoms and refused to go through the procedure until it was too late.

So yeah, I'll take a bit of yuckiness over cancer any old day of the year. Same thing for mammograms, ya know?

Contrary,  I have to prep every three months.  I do it, because it is necessary to make sure I will live, but geesh!  They can send a man to the moon, but can't give it a better flavor! LOL

WOO-HOO!!  Glad to hear things went well for you!  Now real quick....weigh yourself before you start to eat regular againInnocent

I wouldn't worry about the results especially if the doctor told you nothing seemed out of the ordinary.  Hopefully the tests will give you an answer to what's going on.  Take care.

Larry (silverdeer)

Oh Berrywrap, you have my complete sympathy. After just the one prep (Miralax not GoLightly), I was so sick of Gaterade that I know I won't be able to drink it again until I have to have another one.

And here's a slight tangent of a vent--when will more comfortable mammograms be developed? You can bet your bottom dollar that if men had to have their testicles flattened between two heavy sheets of plate glass a new method would be developed . . .
Original Post by contrary:

You can bet your bottom dollar that if men had to have their testicles flattened between two heavy sheets of plate glass a new method would be developed . . .

Wink LOL!  But....have you had your prostate checked? hmmm?

Barium enema trumps prostate exam!
Had the milky looking stuff put in the wrong end too!!  And I agree!Embarassed 
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