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!