Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: How to beat the Bowel Prep!

Bowel Prep*Click photo to enlarge* 

If you have not seen my Hospital Bag post please go check it out. It has helpful tips & what I suggest packing for your trip to the hospital. This post however will focus on helpful tips/items to have on hand before you start the Bowel Prep process.

On August 11th I will be doing the dreaded Bowel Prep for my Laparoscopic surgery for Endometriosis. Since I will be having a possible Bowel Resection my surgeons ask that I be completely cleaned out. Many surgeons recommend this even if you will not be having bowel surgery done. I did a mild cleanse with 10 0z of Magnesium Citrate for my lung surgery in 2010. My Bowel Prep this time includes four Dulcolax laxative tablets, one 8.3 oz bottle of MiraLAX powder & one Fleet enema the morning of my surgery. I am sure by that you can tell already that this will be one SERIOUS Bowel Prep. Because of this I have gotten/found some great tips/items to make it go a lot smoother…no pun intended! 🙂

Tip #1 Eat lightly for a few days leading up to your Bowel Prep. Light foods that are gluten & soy free are what I prefer. Try to avoid things like red meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and bread. Stick with lots of fresh green veggies & fruit. Less in….less out!

Tip #2 Have lots of flushable moist wipes on hand! Baby wipes will work as well just do not flush them! I suggest fragrance & alcohol free wipes with aloe in them if you do not have an allergy to it. Pat…do not wipe!

Tip #3 Have plenty of hemorrhoid cream and/or wipes available if you are prone to hemorrhoids! Something with soothing ingredients like aloe will be even better.

Tip #4 Have some Desitin or other diaper rash cream on hand. Just in case you get a rash or broken/irritated skin. Even Vaseline could work.

Tip #5 Stay away from drinks with artificial food dyes like red, blue, & etc.. These colors stain the bowels and make it hard for your surgeon to see disease in order to remove it. You have a better chance of your surgeon removing more disease IF they can see it!

Tip# 6 Drink plenty of clear fluids like Gatorade that has added electrolytes. Water, popsicles, jello and chicken broth work well also. At least 8oz every hour is best to prevent dehydration! You can have coffee or tea…no milk or creamers.

Tip #7 Have some slices of ginger on hand in case you get nauseous during the prep. Add it to some boiling water for a homemade gingerale.

Tip #8 If you find yourself getting nauseous even after trying steps like gingerale…slow down on the prep. Try to space out the amount you are drinking at one time. Another option is starting your prep a few hours earlier so that you have a bit more time to get it all down.

Tip #9 Make the mixture ice cold! It tastes better…at least to me it does. Also mixing it with a strong soda helps. Pick one you won’t mind not ever drinking again…trust me!

Tip #10 Clean & organize your bathroom. You will be in there for most of the day & you will want it to be nice and tidy. Add some candles to make it nice and inviting!

Tip #11 Bring in your tablet or laptop and watch things like Netflix or Redbox online. My partner suggested bringing in my favorite gossip magazines…I think having some magazines/books on hand is a great idea.

Tip #12 Prepare a room close by. Have it prepped with pillows & a blanket. If you can place a TV close by with your favorite movies. You will not want to be very far from the restroom during this process.

Tip #13 Make sure any family members or visitors have another restroom to use. You will not want to be sharing a restroom when you have to “go” and it is occupied!

Hope these tips & items helps you to make it through the Prep process a bit easier! Please leave any helpful tips in the comments section!

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My Endo Journey begins: 30 days out til surgery!

Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!

I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely  happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list!  My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.

On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.

Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.

I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out!  I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.

I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.

My Endo Journey begins: 39 days out til surgery!

Today July 3, 2013 marks 39 days out! The days are going past and I am still calm…I didn’t really expect this. I have had lots of anxiety up until a few days ago. I guess seeing that my surgery is 100% happening and being prepared has helped a lot. Now it’s just sit and wait it out!

I don’t have much to say today other than I feel like crap!! I have been getting the worst stomach pains. Like cramping in my intestines or deep in my bowels. The ability “to go” hasn’t come in nearly 8 days now. Boy does that suck!

My bowel issues are the one thing I hope to be able to say buh-bye to in a few days! I am hoping I will not need a bowel resection but if I do I am praying for no ostomy bag. My grandmother had one and I can tell you right now she suffered with it. It was by no means easy for her to go out or be more than 10 mins from a restroom to change her bag.

All in all if my surgeon believes that an ostomy bag or something similar is right for me then that is ok with me. I will not refuse or reject the best way to move on with my life.

All I can do right now is have faith and to pray that my surgeons will be able to help me!

Please pray for me at 11 am on Monday August 12th! ❤

My Endo Journey begins: Surgery scheduled for August 12th 2013

Update: I had my first surgery consult on June 6th at 3pm with Dr. Sinervo at The Center For Endometriosis Care. Many patients call it The CEC. 

I was extremely nervous on the way to my appointment. In between crazy thoughts of possibly losing a ovary during surgery or not being able to afford it at all. I was also in so much pain. My left side of my pelvis felt as if it wanted to jump out and run. Strong cramping and sharp shooting pains. The awesome part is that I had to walk…yes walk 15 mins from the Marta station to get there. Once I reached my appointment I met the awesome women at the front desk. Got my paper work started and took a seat. About 45 minutes later I was being called back to see Dr. Sinervo. My heart began to pound as if it wanted to come out of my chest. But my nervousness was all for nothing. He was so sweet and so concerned about my health. Which was so refreshing next to the usual docs that just questions your pain tolerance.

We went over my pains, symptoms and medications as well as my concerns. He answered all of my questions…well I only had one. But I am sure if I had more he would have easily answered them all. After we were done talking he recommended that we schedule surgery soon. He wants to do a Laparoscopy, Hysteroscopy, Chromotubation and a possible bowel resection. He strongly believes all of my bowel pains are from Endo on or in my bowels. I was completely calm until the words “bowel resection” came up. I just can not imagine waking up from surgery and being told my bowels had to be re-sectioned. I mean what could that mean for my every day life? But quickly I realized that I was in great hands. And that Dr. Sinervo would make sure I had the best bowel surgeon on hand to handle it if need be.

Shortly after that conversation I got my ultrasound. I found out that my left side has scarred ligaments and that could very well be why I have constant left side pains. He thinks I may have lots of Endo on the ligaments to my ovary as well as my uterus. Glad to know that my uterus and my ovaries look nice and healthy otherwise. My uterus is retroverted but he thinks that it may right itself over time so I am not too concerned. I am extremely relieved to now have a  reason as to why I am always in so  much pain in one area. I am hoping he can remove the scar tissue and Endo and it not return.

I was also relieved that my Chromotubation would be done while I would be under GA-general anesthesia. I have heard horror stories of that procedure feeling like your hoohah was on fire. I think I can live without that memory LOL. Also having the Hysteroscopy while under means I wouldn’t need two surgeries. All in all I am so excited to be having surgery and on my way to a possibly normal life without Endo running it. I am so grateful for everyone at The CEC and for the possibility to afford this procedure. They have been incredibly generous to me and I will never forget it.

Anyone ever have any of these procedures done? How are you now that you have recovered? Feel free to comment below if you have any questions as well.

xoxoxox

Sincerely,

This Endo Girl! ❤