My colonoscopy experience: A gastroenterologist gets some of his own medicine -- Part 2 of 3

Posted by David Farrar MD
March 18, 2013

Part Two: Prepping for my appointment

I picked up my prep (Miralax) and read through the instructions on Nov. 4, since the prep would start the next day. Reading through my choices of what I could eat for breakfast and lunch actually made me even hungrier. The next morning, I chose the option of yogurt and a banana. It’s important to drink plenty of clear liquids, so I was gulping down apple juice and a diet soda most of the day. At 11:45 a.m., I had my chicken sandwich, but I wished it was bigger. I finished up work a bit early and was home by 5:15 p.m.

I mixed half of the Miralax bottle in a pitcher with two orange Gatorade bottles. The Miralax acts to “flush the system.” I drank it down in twenty minutes without any difficulty. Miralax has no taste. I can’t say I loved the Gatorade taste, but it really wasn’t that bad. I took the four bisacodyl pills by 6 p.m., which help the colon to contract and begin to move things through. 

It didn’t take long. At 6:48 p.m., I had my first trip to the bathroom. My family had dinner at seven.  I wasn’t too hungry, but only having water while everyone else is eating a nice meal was tough. By 11 p.m. I had six more trips to the bathroom. I have heard several complaints from my patients about cramping pain or nausea from the prep. I really didn’t have either (I can still sympathize though). I felt fine, other than being a bit hungry. I went to bed at 11:05 p.m. 

I did wake up once to go again, and then I intentionally woke up at 3:45 a.m. to start the second half of the prep. I downed the second half of the Miralax in two more Gatorade bottles (lemon-lime this time!) by 4 a.m. I had to go just four more times all morning. There was truly nothing left in my colon.

At 8 a.m. my wife, Janie, drove me to Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, which is where I work.  The receptionist thought I was joking, but she checked me in quickly. My nurse, Glenda, brought me back to my room and got me ready. I wasn’t really that nervous, probably because I knew what was going to happen and I trusted my friend and colleague, Jaswin Sawhney, M.D. It was a bit strange having a friend do the procedure, but it was probably stranger for him than me. I knew I would be asleep. I was tired but ready to get it done. 

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