Removing the Stigma - My Experience with SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit for a Colonoscopy during COVID-19 ~ Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Monday, August 10, 2020

Removing the Stigma - My Experience with SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit for a Colonoscopy during COVID-19

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. Please seek advice from your doctor. When preparing for your colonoscopy, follow your doctor's instructions exactly. Instructions may vary based on your situation and doctor.

If you follow regularly, you may have noticed that I have written many posts related to healthy recipes and running. Something that you may not know is that one of my main motivators is to reduce my risk factors for cancer. I had cancer genetic testing that reveals my higher risks for certain types of cancer. I'm far from perfect, but after a recent colonoscopy where polyps were removed, I have further cleaned up some of my bad habits. In the coming months I'll share more information about colon cancer and prevention tips such as having a colonoscopy. 

There has been a surge in colon cancer among younger people in recent years. No one knows why. Chadwick Boseman is an example of a 43 year old who passed away from cancer. It was shocking and it's hard to understand because no one is supposed to pass away in their 40's. It's too young. Unfortunately, colon cancer is striking many younger people. Again, no one knows why. There are risk factors that increase your chances such as genetic predisposition, diet, obesity, smoking, and ulcerative colitis. Personally, my doctors told me that I didn't do anything wrong, but that my genetic risk was just very high. Still, I am working to minimize risk factors that are within my control with healthier habits. I'll share more information about these changes in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I'll focus on the preparation process and how the colonoscopy process went down.

My colonoscopy was scheduled on a week's notice. In the future, I would schedule it further in advance so that there is more time to process all of the doctor's orders for which foods you are allowed to consume a week before, 5 days before, 3 days before, and so on. Each doctor has their own specific rules to follow, but generally include skipping anything with seeds, raw veggies with skins, red or blue dyes, and other items within a few days of your colonoscopy. You'll need to carefully read their specific instructions.

Personally, I made a mistake in preparation for my colonoscopy before I used the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit. I wasn't supposed to eat raw veggies or seeds a few days before my procedure. I had a caprese sandwich with tomatoes and dijon mustard a few days before my procedure. I ordered the sandwich and started to eat it before realizing that tomato skin is a no-no before a colonoscopy. I also forgot that mustard has seeds in it. I had several bites before it clicked in my mind that this was not a good thing to eat. I ate this three days before my procedure. Luckily, it was okay, everything was flushed out before my procedure. In the future, I'll be more knowledgable and cautious about what I eat.

I drank a ridiculous amount of water for the rest of the day after I ate that sandwich. I actually drank a ton of water every day up until the day of my procedure.

The day before my procedure, I took two rounds of the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit. I wan't sure of exactly what to expect, but I was nervous. I think that worrying about it was worse than the actual experience. My husband felt bad that I had to do this prep, so he put our tv in the bathroom for me. It turns out that I actually spent more time laying in bed. I put a couple of GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats on my sheet. I recommend these bed mats because they were easy to stick to my sheets and didn't make much noise when I moved. I hardly noticed that they were there. They were much better than the ones that were on my hospital bed when I gave birth to my children. Those mats were noisy when I moved and stuck to me at times. The GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats were less intrusive. (You could probably get by with one, but I used two to partially overlap them to fully cover my part of the bed.). It turns out that I didn't have any accidents and they weren't needed, but they gave me a sense of peace to know that my mattress and sheets were protected.  I will definitely use them next time, especially since my bowels eventually turned to yellow liquid toward the end of the preparation.

The SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit has a flavor that is sort of a cross between a grape sports drink and sour patch kids. I don't like either of those, but it wasn't too bad. I was able to drink everything for the first round that occurred over the course of an hour. It was harder for me to swallow it on the second round at 1am, but I managed and was able to keep it down.

During the first round, it took approximately an hour for the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit effects to begin for me. Apparently, this varies by person. It wasn't painful for me. I just felt some pressure and then I went to the bathroom. I thought that I was done and ready to get up, but wasn't. I was there for quite a while. It wasn't painful. It was just annoying. No one wants to spend so much time in the bathroom. I went from my bed to the toilet for about 3 hours. Then things were finally calm.

I apologize for the TMI, but in order to try to remove the stigma, let me start by saying that going through this saved my life. I had pre-cancerous polyps removed early and avoided more serious hardships down the road. Initially, the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit caused my bowels to come out normally, then more like diarrhea, and eventually as yellow liquid. My doctor told me that it would eventually be yellow or clear liquid. I never had clear liquid discharge. It was yellow and that was apparently okay for me and my procedure. (This may all vary by person.)

Round two of the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit began at 1am for me. It was hard for me to drink the mixture, but I pushed through. (I really, really dislike the taste which seemed like a combination of grape sports drink and sour patch kids.) After I finished the mixture, it was also hard for me to drink the water too. I was a little nauseous. Still, it was tolerable. I drank everything, went back to bed. About 45 minutes later, I woke up and went to the bathroom a few times. Then I slept for a bit longer before waking again to go to the bathroom. I didn't have to go to the bathroom as many times in round two. I eventually fell asleep until my alarm went off.  

In summary, I would say that the SupraPrep Bowel Prep Kit was not painful. It was definitely annoying to have to go to the bathroom so often, but it was a good experience considering that it had to be done.  The results were good. My doctor was able to identify and remove polyps without any issues. 

I arrived at the hospital with my driver's license, insurance card, and mask. My procedure was during COVID-19. I was checked in from my car and then a nurse took me in. My family was not allowed to stay with me. Instead, my husband drove home and they called him when the procedure was over to give him 30 minutes of notice to pick me up. 

Once I arrived, I changed into a hospital gown and socks. The nurses were amazing. One of them told me that it's not a big deal and that I wouldn't feel anything while I was under the anesthesia. I would just have a really good nap. I appreciated her attempts to cheer me up. Honestly, I didn't get much sleep the night before, so I was easy going and relatively calm thanks to exhaustion. She set up an IV in my arm for the anesthesia. Another nurse came and explained that she would use propofol instead of general anesthesia. (This was a relief to me because general anesthesia makes me shake and vomit.). The doctor then chatted with me. Within 15 minutes, I was moved back to the operating room. I remember moving to lay on my side, but then don't remember anything until I woke up again.

I woke up and was groggy. My doctor told me that she removed polyps and sent them for pathology. She told me that they were completely removed and that she would let me know the results soon. 

I stayed in the hospital bed for a short time until my husband arrived outside. (Again, my colonoscopy was during COVID-19, so he wasn't allowed in the building.)  I was a little dizzy, so they gave me juice and wheeled me out in a wheelchair and helped me into his vehicle. I didn't have any pain. I was just hungry and weak. I felt better within a couple of hours. A good meal definitely helped!

At the end of the week, we received the results. The polyps were precancerous. The types of polyps were tubular adenoma and sessile serrated adenomas.  My colonoscopy saved my life! The precancerous polyps are now gone.  I am required to have colonoscopies on a regular basis now.  Talk about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure! 

I'll share more about my experience in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I hope that my post gives you inspiration to talk to your doctor about whether a colonoscopy makes sense for you.

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. Please seek advice from your doctor. When preparing for your colonoscopy, follow your doctor's instructions exactly. Instructions may vary based on your situation and doctor.

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