Gastroenterology Community
31.7k Members
134578 tn?1602101550

Can one do a normal schedule on the day before a colonoscopy or are you on the toilet all day

Hi, I'm hoping someone can tell me before I have to just 'wing it.'  I have a scheduled appointment tomorrow that will have me driving 45 minutes, being in the appointment for 45 minutes without bathroom breaks, and then driving 45 minutes.  Tomorrow is also the day I'm supposed to drink all the liquids and take all the laxatives for a colonoscopy the following day.  Is it hopeless?  The appointment and the driving would all be over by 5 pm, and the colonoscopy is not until the next day at 4 pm.  Does the fluid just run right through you, in which case I should simply cancel everything?  My husband even wanted me to entertain clients out to dinner tomorrow night, which I find a pretty ludicrous idea.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
My appt was at 2p and i didnt have to start my cleanout til 6p night before, but did have to follow strict clear liquid diet.  I think you will be fine but maybe listen to them lol.
Avatar universal
Hi.  You don't want to have anything else planned while preparing for your colonoscopy.  You are going to be running back and forth to the bathroom all evening, and it is not a time for being out entertaining...totally out of the question. Make this easy on yourself.
I wish you all the best and take care.
Avatar universal
I remember I had a colonoscopy the day after Christmas, great timing, ha!  Visited relatives, hadn't eaten that day, but I don't get to see some of those people for months, so I went.  But for you, first of all, you cannot eat or entertain or drive anywhere the day/night before the colonoscopy!  In fact, someone is going to have to take you over to the doc's office and back.  Yes, cancel tomorrow (or I guess it's today now) whilst you go thru the medicines and everything, you will indeed be unable to deal with any activities while you're choking down the gastro liquids.  It is true what they say, it's the "prep" for the procedure that is the killer.  So, please, just cross off your driving appointment and dinner with husband, throw it all out the window.  You will be sick as a dog, your toilet will be your best friend (or worst, depending on how you look at it).  And when I visited those relatives, I only stayed an hour, and that wasn't easy.  But you can look forward to the procedure, that medicine they give you to put you in la-la land, it'll wind up being the best day of the year.  Ha!  Seriously, don't plan anything for the day that you have to do the "prep" for the next day's proecdure.
134578 tn?1602101550
Thanks to you both.  ggreg, I wasn't intending to drive to the appointment tomorrow, since I'll have been sedated and can't drive home.  But somehow it had escaped me that I would be too miserable today (not to mention in need of the loo).

Again, thank you for your speedy answers.
Avatar universal
You will be fine as your prep wont start til the evening...the fatsing and clea rliquids will suck but your cleanout wont start til later that day, once you start drinking it though i'd stay close to a toilet...
134578 tn?1602101550
That helps.  My instructions had said to begin at noon today with four Dulcolax, but I just phoned in and asked if I could put it off until 5 pm, since my darn procedure is not until 4:30 tomorrow.  In the meantime, clear liquids are no sweat.  I'm enjoying a nice cup of tea as we speak.

My nurse just called back and was very doctrinaire about the need to start at noon, but given that many, many protocols don't start you until 5 pm, I'm going to do that.  If the appointment for the actual procedure weren't so late in the day tomorrow, I wouldn't dare, but I really think all is going to be totally cleared out by about noon tomorrow and I'll be sitting around wondering why I pushed everything so early.
134578 tn?1602101550
I know, it's goofy not to listen to them, but I really could not get away from the fact that I had to be out from 1 to 3:30 today.  I dropped the one appointment that involved a 45 minute drive, a 45 minute table thing and another 45 minute drive, but I learned that I needed to have a blood draw that had to be done in a certain time window at a lab an hour away, and if it was not done, a whole procedure would be blown that involves both me and a donor.  (The donor is already on meds, so the clock is ticking.)  So I packed my preschooler in the car, drove the heck across the metroplex to the lab, gave the blood, bought the laxatives on the way back (was kind of tempted to take them in the car but fearful they would work in 5 minutes [I have a sensitive system] and I'd be pooping by the side of the roadbed with my child going "Mommy?  Mommy?").  So I didn't get the pills taken until 4 pm.  I'm going to take my 64 ounces of sports drink plus bottle of Miralax at 6 pm, and hope the combo is workable.  (The original instructions have me taking the pills at noon and the liquid laxative and 64 ounces of sports drink starting at 5 pm, so the way I'm doing it is going to shorten the window between taking the pills and drinking the liquid.)  The nurse had said, "If you start too late you'll be up all night!"  Given everything that would have been upset if I didn't do the blood draw, being up pooping all night was a the least of my worries.  (At least my husband will be home if so.  The way they had it set up, I'd have been doing all the toilet action with toddler at my side and no one else around.)  The only thing I forgot to do was buy some Depends.  I hear there is not much time to make it to the bathroom once you feel the gurgles.  Again, the least of my worries.  At least I got the blood draw done (it had been scheduled for tomorrow.  Foolish me, I had thought it would be no big deal to drive around to it before the colonoscopy.)  The funniest thing is that I was so nervous that I was lightheaded.  I know it's not dehydration, as I have been chugging liquids like crazy all day.  Tomorrow night I'll laugh that I was so nervous.  Tonight I probably won't be laughing much!
134578 tn?1602101550
Gotta say, hats off to the Powerade people.  I was nervous about drinking 64 ounces of sports drink because Gatorade is so sweet.  That stuff is really OK.
Avatar universal
I was talking about not doing anything on the prep day, which I thought included some 45-minute drive thing you were planning to do on the prep day, I got a little confused about what days you were saying, I thought you were asking about prep day.  When I visited my relatives, it was on Christmas Day, the day I did the prep.  My procedure was the day after Xmas.  I figured you knew you couldn't drive to the procedure, but threw that in there just in case, since you had questions in general.  

Someone else had said they did their prep at night for a morning procedure, but for the record, each gastro group uses diff prep stuff with diff timing for them.  The whole point is to get your bowels clear enough to where the doc can visualize the bowel, otherwise you have to go thru it all over again.

Do tell us how you felt when they gave you the I.V. for the procedure! And I hope your medical results were okay.  GG
134578 tn?1602101550
hi, ggreg, no wonder I was confusing ... originally I did have that long appointment set up for prep day, and then a blood draw the following morning.  But after everyone's advice, I cancelled the long appointment.  Even so, I had to have the blood draw.  I asked the blood-draw people what to do, and they moved the appointment up a day so I went in at mid-day of prep day.  (I was on the clear liquid by then but not the laxatives yet.  I did it, but really would have been better off not driving at all, as I was getting a little lightheaded from the diet alone.)  Don't know where I got the notion that I could accomplish anything like a normal schedule during the prep phase!!!  Fortunately, the loo part has been OK (I've had worse times when I just had the flu) but unfortunately, I got quite queasy last night and had nothing I had been approved to take for nausea.  Oh, well, it beats the way I'd feel if I got cancer because I was too nervous to have a colonoscopy.

Thanks again so much for all your help, everyone.  My husband is big and tough, and he has breezed through two colonoscopies and assured me the prep is no big deal.  I am not my husband, and it helped to hear from others that I needed to dial back my activities.
134578 tn?1602101550
Final report -- All done, all was well, not even a polyp to remove or anything.  The guy who did the work is a real pro, so I wasn't worried about that.  My worries all revolved around the prep.

Thanks again everyone.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem