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3/29/2009

"Jeanne's Endo Blog": My Gastroenterologist Is A Genius!

My colonoscopy is later this week. The colonoscopy is the easy part. I have been living in fear of the bowel prep.

I've had 3 previous colonoscopies and I've done bowel preps for some of my surgeries for endometriosis. I had a foot of my colon removed in 1996. So I've had 6 bowel preps to date. My body does NOT handle bowel preps well... at all.
Anyway, it has been a few years since I've had to do a bowel prep.

To make a long story short (because I'm feeling sick and spent the day in bed so I need to cut to the chase), I finally tried the blue Gatorade tonight. Now, you may be asking, "blue Gatorade?" (My prep is Thursday and my colonoscopy will be Friday). Here is why my gastroenterologist is a genius: the blue Gatorade.

Years ago, I drank some Gatorade and it was so gross that I gagged and swore I'd never drink Gatorade again. I think I even vomited after drinking it. It was that gross to me. The part I remember is swearing I'd never, ever drink Gatorade again.

Anyway, my gastro and I were going over options for bowel prep and he started talking about Gatorade and Miralax. He could see by my reaction that I was not a Gatorade fan. That's when he brought up BLUE Gatorade.



Long story short, I ended up telling him I'd try the blue Gatorade sometime before the prep and that I'd use that method if I tolerated it better than Golytely. (Anyone who has ever had Golytely now has some idea of just how gross I found the Gatorade I drank years ago. The fact that I would choose Golytely over the regular Gatorade says something). Anyway, he walked me out to the front desk and told the receptionist to skip the citrate of magnesia part for my prep (long story from a past prep involving kidney stones and being deathly ill). Then he gave me a Golytely prescription as a backup just in case I couldn't do the blue Gatorade.

The blue Gatorade has been sitting in my house for about 3 weeks now. I have been scared to drink it. This seems silly now but I have some very bad stories involving gag reflexes and vomiting. Anyway, with the prep coming up Thursday... I decided I really needed to try the blue Gatorade. (The Miralax is supposed to be tasteless).

To my amazement, the blue Gatorade was not bad! I'm so happy I won't have to drink Golytely!

Now, I'm not foolish enough to think that a better tasting prep necessarily means it'll be any easier any other way besides taste. Like I said, I've done 6 bowel preps and I always get really sick from them. So, if I make it through Thursday without passing out or profuse vomiting... then the blue Gatorade prep will really get my seal of approval. For now, I'll settle for knowing I don't have to drink Golytely this Thursday.

By the way, I have been meaning to blog the whole story of why I'm having a colonoscopy this week but haven't scraped up the energy just yet. Let's just say that I've had some scary symptoms that need to be checked out. At the same time, I don't expect him to find anything during the colonoscopy on Friday. I believe the strange symptoms I've been having are actually endometriosis-related.

This article was posted by Jeanne via "Jeanne's Endo Blog" at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

14 comments:

endochick said...

Miralax is tasteless - I've never been given that option for a bowl prep. I'm always force fed biscodyl tablets and magnesium citrate. And then left in my bathroom to endure a night of shear torture. Hope your prep is easy on you.

Sonja said...

I heart blue Gatorade!

I do hope it works out for you!!

Jeanne said...

Sonja,

I had it in my head that it would be so much grosser than that pretty blue makes it look but I have to admit it was better than I imagined! Just can't wait to get this behind me. Long history of marathons of fainting and vomiting with preps. Just want it done.

Thank you!!

Jeanne

Jeanne said...

Endochick,

From what I understand, Miralax is a newer option for bowel prep. I started hearing about it from local endo support group members about 1-2 years ago maybe? I'm still going to have to take dulcolax tablets and miralax and gatorade but he left out the citrate of magnesia for me.

In 1996, I took the citrate of magnesia. I vomited for 13.5 hours straight (longest "break" was 10 minutes ine between). Needless to say it was eventually dry heaves but it just wouldn't stop.

This was for my laparotomy surgery. They ended up admitting me early. This was the surgery where the endo doc removed endo and the colorectal surgeon removed a foot of my colon (a hemicolectomy performed because of a partial blockage caused by a malrotated colon/paraduodenal hernia). Anyway, while they were in there doing the endo and bowel work, they found a carcinoid tumor on my appendix and took that out for good measure.

Well, I passed FOUR kidney stones in 2 days. Two were caught in the catheter bag pre-surgery. Two were caught when they strained my urine post-surgery (standard procedure since I'd passed the 1st two).

Now, the prep didn't form those stones. However, there is not a doubt in my mind that the citrate of magnesia stirred up those stones. (I've had 11 kidney stones).

All I know is someone in my endo support group who has her PhD went to the large university where she works and asked them (in the lab that does special urine testing) if the citrate of magnesia could have "stirred up trouble" with someone who has a history of kidney stones and they said yes.

That explains the 13.5 hours of straight vomiting.

I always vomit with preps but that one took the cake.

Sooooo, I will be very, very happy when this is over. I have procrastinated as long as I responsibly could but the time has come to have things checked out. No colonoscopy since 2001 and when cyclical rectal bleeding escalates to rectal blood clots, you can't just blow it off anymore.

I don't think it is a coincidence that the symptoms are cyclical, though.

I have never had endo found in or on the intestines despite having diarrhea since 1992. So I don't expect any endo has infiltrated the bowel wall.

I do believe this is endo-related though.

I'll have to blog about it when I'm not so tired that I'm about to drop!

Jeanne

P.S. For bowel preps, I can't ever leave the bathroom. If I'm lucky enough to leave the toilet at all, I lie on the bathroom floor with a blanket and pillow right by the toilet. I always have a big bowl to hold in front of me so I can attend to both ends at once... which is generally for most of the prep. It's lots of fun... NOT! So I know the torture of which you speak!

Amanda said...

Oh Jeanne - I' sorry you've got to go through this, how scary after your previous experiences! I've never had to do a bowel prep (thankfully because I do not cope well with vomiting - it was my fear of it that started my whole eating disorder as a child) from what you and others have said it sounds awful and I can understand why you've put it off for as long as possible. I do hope that the new combination works better for you and will be thinking of you so much this week.

Amanda xx

Jeanne said...

Amanda,

I'll be happy Friday afternoon when it's over. :)

I hope you're doing well!

Thank you!

Jeanne
xx

Yaya said...

I hope your colonoscopy goes well. Did I tell you my 12 year old cousin had to have an emergency one last week?? Not Ranney-her little brother, Buddy. He's been having pains and intestinal bleeding and crazy stuff. He was really scared. Poor guy. I guess he's okay. I feel so bad for him. I can't imagine going through that at 12. I'm so worried for both my cousins and their very random and rare stomach pains. It's really bizarre and bothering me. There had to be a reason for it and the doctors have done every blood test and ultrasound possible and can't figure it out.

Anyways, sorry for that tangent. Blue gatorade?? I'm confused. It makes you poop??

Jeanne said...

Alicia,

No, I didn't know about your cousins. That's awful. Can they get another opinion? There has to be an answer. That reminds me that another friend of mine had said her son had some strange GI stuff going on. I'll have to ask her what they found for him.

Sorry I wasn't clear. I was tired when I wrote this post.

It's actually the Miralax that clears things out. The blue Gatorade is the electrolyte drink to prevent you from having to drink a nauseatingly gross prescription electrolyte drink such as Golytely. (You have to drink something with electrolytes when you do a prep).

Golytely has both the electrolytes and the stuff to clear things out in it.

The blue Gatorade has the electrolytes and the Miralax clears things out. (Plus I'll have to take dulcolax tablets).

I am very grateful that my gastro didn't try to talk me into drinking the citrate of magnesia because that wasn't going to happen.

Read my comments to Endochick above for why I will never use citrate of magnesia again.

Jeanne

Mckay K said...

Jeanne; I am sorry you are having colon problems. After reading your blog and your follow up comments, I can understand why you are reluctant to go through the prep.

I had the blue Gatorade last summer. If you are dying of thirst, as I was, or if it is the lesser of two evils during a prep, you might choose blue Gatorade.

I hope the test yield good results as to why you are bleeding. A few words I have grown to hate are; "We didn't find anything that could be causing the symptoms." That means more testing.

Please keep us posted as best you can.

Be well

Jeanne said...

Mckay k,

Yeah... it's not my favorite thing to look forward to. Yes, I will be drinking blue Gatorade 2 days from now.

I know going in that it is likely that the gastro will not find anything. The reason I say this is that when they do colonoscopies they are looking for things like Crohn's, colitis, diverticulitis, polyps, and cancer.

Considering that I've had 3 previous colonoscopies and none of these was found, I doubt they will be now. The last colonoscopy was in 2001 and was done because I was having cyclical rectal bleeding then (though no clots back then).

No explanation for the cyclical bleeding was found then. The only thing unusual then was some "lymphoid tissue" found in the rectal area that apparently came back OK from the pathology lab.

So, I'm guessing this will be a deja vu of 2001... where no explanation will be found for the bleeding (and clots).

Last time the bleeding finally stopped on its own after 18 months. It was always cyclical. The rectal bleeding started 2 days before my period and continued throughout my period.

It's doing the exact same thing now. It always starts 2 days before my period.

I say that's no coincidence. The trick is that my endo has never been found in/on the intestines. The closest my endo has ever been to the rectal area was when it was in the cul de sac (removed from there several times).

The gastro said it would be "very rare" to have rectal bleeding due to endo that was not in/on the intestines.

I told him about how I'd had it removed from the cul de sac area several times and I asked him if there was any possible way that there could be a connection between cul de sac endo and the cyclical rectal bleeding I'm having.

First he said that endo would generally have to invade the bowel wall for such bleeding to happen but when I pressed him on it he said, "it would be very rare".

I was amazed. This is the first doctor in all these years who acknowledges that there could be some possibility that this cyclical rectal bleeding is endo-related.

I look at it like this. It may not make sense from a spacial relationship standpoint. However, the big clue to me is that the bleeding is cyclical. I do not think that's a coincidence.

Plus I know of other women with rectal bleeding that's cyclical who don't have intestinal endo. So I think this issue is more common than doctors realize.

That's just my personal belief. The fact that the rectal bleeding starts 2 days before my period is my clue that I'm in endo-land.

So I expect him to find nothing. However, once several months of rectal bleeding progressed to blood clots, I had to bite the bullet and tell my primary doc (who of course wanted me to rush right in to the gastro).

Jeanne

Amanda said...

Just popping in to let you know I've been thinking of you every day and hoping everything went/is going well.

Take good care of yourself
Amanda x

Jeanne said...

Amanda,

Thanks for thinking of me! I've been trying to get a post done for 2 days now and I'm just feeling in "slow motion". I'm finally feeling human again but my energy level is very limited and I've been using most of it for my "offline life". I hope to post about my colonoscopy today. I have it partially written. It's just the finishing touches I'm stuck on. Hopefully, I'll post something today. I am so behind on everything that it's stressing me out but I keep telling myself to take it easy and be patient with my body. Thus the delay. I'm getting there. :)

Jeanne x

Amanda said...

I didn't want to rush you for a post! I'm glad you've been taking the time you need - I know it is so easy to feel bad and stressed about not getting everything done you'd like to but we can only go at a pace that suits our body at each moment and when our bodies have taken a knock like an operation we really need to listen to them. Do take all the time you need to recover properly x

Jeanne said...

Amanda,

You're not rushing me! :)

I took my time. Frankly, my body forced me to take my time!

I'm glad I'm feeling human again. I have many conditions flaring up at once as usual but right now I'm just VERY grateful to have the colonoscopy done and over with.

It's funny because with the past 3 colonoscopies, the prep was the very worst part.

So I had braced myself for that (even going so far as to start the liquid-only diet Tuesday night instead of Thursday morning).

However, the prep was sort of the least of my problems this time. The colonoscopy (which should not have been painful) and the "aftermath" from the CO2 gas that was used were my biggest problems this time.

So I'm taking it slow. Thanks for your concern.

Jeanne
x

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