I did it. I’ll say it. I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and I’m under 40. And, honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Follow me on my journey. Hopefully it will help to demystify the process. Or at least have you laughing at a few poop jokes. ha!
Finding a GI
Who knew that finding a good GI is really tough in LA. I’m surprised because this is such a progressive city. One of my close friends who has IBS and is in the healthcare industry literally said that she has seen four GI’s and wasn’t impressed by any of them. She wouldn’t recommend any of them. Another friend shared the same unremarkable review about the GI he saw. Thankfully a coworker found a GI through just doing some internet research and I saw him and loved him from the start. He has an excellent bedside manner, forward thinking, proactive and doesn’t make you feel rushed. If you are looking for a GI in LA – i highly recommend doctor Dr. Siamak Tabib.
Isn’t Intermittent Fasting the New IT Diet Anyway
No solid food the day before the procedure. My doctor also said no nuts or seeds for 10 days prior to the procedure (including strawberries and raspberries because of the small deeds). There seems to be a range here because I saw some articles online that only restricted nuts for 3-5 days before.
The day before the procedure you are on a complete liquid diet – no solid foods. Because I had an afternoon appointment scheduled for the procedure, I was allowed to have a small breakfast the day before, but no solids after noon. I stocked up on Bonafide Bone Broth (legit amazing, especially the chicken), yellow jello and apple juice. It actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought not to eat (especially for me because I never ever miss a meal). I just did a solid stream of water and the broth and in the afternoon I added apple juice to my water.
Then at 8pm the night before the procedure, you have to drink the Suprep drink. I’m not even going to lie. That prep drink is nothing nice – kind of like drinking aspirin. But you do it and you move on with your life. Really no way around it. I got some good advice from my GI – put ice in it and drink it through a straw (touches less taste buds that way!) – it helps slightly. After drinking it my stomach started to bubble a little. You then have to follow it with 32 oz of water (my doctor requires 48 oz) over the next 2 hours.
You should then be prepared to be very close to a restroom in your own home until you have to go to the procedure. It is a pretty content flow kind of situation. That Suprep does a number on your body to make sure everything is cleaned out to allow the doctor to see inside your body. A friend who was having the procedure recently asked me, “so, can I schedule a one hour coffee that day after I have the drink?” Thanks a definite, NO. Unless you want to excuse yourself to the restroom every 5-10 minutes.
The Prep is Much Worse than the Procedure
The procedure itself was a non event. About an hour after arriving at the surgery center, they hooked me up to an IV for fluids and I fell asleep waiting to see the doctor. When it was time for the procedure the anesthesiologist came to ask if I had any questions and they wheeled me in, gave me something to make me relax and the next thing I knew they told me it was over.
Is it Painful?
No, not at all. The procedure wasn’t painful, the post-procedure wasn’t painful either. You should plan to take off the day after the procedure because you are exhausted. You may also have a sore throat for a day or so.
I am so glad I had the procedures done. I put my health first and made me a priority. And I was able to get to the bottom of my GI issues. I was able to find out – through the endoscopy – that I have a hiatal hernia – or a hernia on my esophagus. I know, not pretty. It is very small and the reason it has been causing me so much discomfort is that it is preventing my esophagus from closing so the acid from my stomach comes up to my esophagus and causes extreme discomfort. Thankfully, the treatment is not to eat certain acidic foods (garlic, onions, tomatoes, citrus and strong caffeine) and to eat small meals. At times I have to pass on eating certain things, but it is much better than the constant digestive and other issues. Knowledge is power and I have my colonoscopy and endoscopy to thank for that.