The colonoscopy that wasn’t

Happy Friday everyone!

If you remember from Wednesday’s post, I was on a clear liquid diet for the whole day in anticipation of a colonoscopy on Thursday. The colonscopy was supposed to help solve the GI problems I’ve been dealing with for almost 7 years now.

I was really dreading the clear liquid diet, because as you tell from my blog, I really enjoy eating. Breakfast in particular. So to wake up Wednesday morning and consume coffee and lemon jello made me pretty nauseous.


Surprisingly, the hunger really didn’t bother me much at all. Even at noon I felt okay hunger-wise. The pain was my headache! I had one pretty much all day and it only got worse. Not sure if it was because a lack of caffeine, dehydration, or the amount of sugar I was consuming, but it made me feel pretty crummy.

The best part of the day was around 1 pm when Terry brought a lime slush to me at work. I never get them because I’d rather eat ice cream than drink my sugar, but it was perfect for what I needed.


So around 4 pm when I got home, I began to prepare myself to drink the prep, “Gavilyte-N”. The thought of it was making me very nervous. It’s a lot of liquid. The instructions were to drink half at 5:30 and the other half at 9:00 pm.


Well by 6:30 I got it all of the first half down and was feeling miserable- cold, shaky, weak. There’s no other way to put it= the stuff is really gross. Vile. I held my nose and gulped each glass down. I tried to distract myself with school work, but I really couldn’t concentrate at all.

By 7:30 I still had not had bowel movement. Then all of a sudden my mouth got watery and I knew what was about to happen. I ran to the bathroom and threw every. last. bit. of it up.


I was SO frustrated and felt SO defeated. I was feeling nervous about trying to drink the second half and scared it would be pointless anyways. I decided to call the on-call doctor for advice. He informed me that the prep was likely not going to work for me and that I needed to discontinue it and reschedule the colonoscopy with a different form of prep.

At first I was relieved, because it meant I didn’t have to drink the rest, but then I remembered I waited two months for this appointment! I was so close to finally getting some answers. To make matters worse the next available appointment isn’t until January.

I don’t know, I am probably overreacting, but how the heck can I drink that junk and not have a bowel movement? Now I’m afraid I have some kind of obstruction or ileus. As you can see, this post is mostly just me venting. I know that I will move on and be alright, but I’m just being real. GI issues are so confusing and sometimes thinking about what I should/shouldn’t eat or what medication may actually work is overwhelming.

So basically the most helpful lesson learned from yesterday is that no, I indeed cannot function on pure sugar. At least I got to eat saltines and peanut butter before bed.

Do you guys have a medical issue that you feel like isn’t taken serious enough or you feel somewhat hopeless about?

25 thoughts on “The colonoscopy that wasn’t

  1. Oh my gosh Kate, I am so so sorry!! I cannot imagine how frustrated you must be right now! I hate that you have to wait until January for the next appointment. Bad news all around! I am pretty sure that there is another colonoscopy prep drug that you could take; I feel like my mother in law had several smaller bottles. I just want there to be another option for you!
    I have had GI issues for several years as well. It’s very frustrating especially when they just slap an IBS stamp on it and say there is nothing they can really do. I hope your situation gets resolved soon!

    1. You know, I’ve started to stop calling it IBS all together, because of that- I don’t think it is taken serious. Sorry, but not going for 5 (or more) days is not normal!
      The doctor said their is another prep option, thank God.
      Thanks for being so kind. This was definitely a not so happy day.

  2. Hey girl, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t go through. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. If you look on the bright side, at least you didn’t have to drink the second half and make yourself sick for something that likely wouldn’t work. It must be frustrating to have to keep waiting for an answer though. I hope you find one!

    1. Yes, not having to drink the second half was definitely a huge blessing. There is almost always a bright side.
      I like that you say everything happens for a reason. If anything, my professor went over TPN calculations during the class I would have missed if everything went as planned! Ha!

    1. It is funny you say that, because as I was sitting there all miserable I just kept telling myself that the feeling would pass and just be a blimp in the process.
      Thanks for validating my venting- I hate to sound like a complainer!

  3. Ooooh Kate! I’m so sorry you had to deal with this. Gah. That must have been awful. I know nothing about colonoscopys except from what I’ve heard from others who have gone through it and had to do the whole awful prep liquid diet. I don’t think I could even get half way… so good on you. I sure hope something gets sorted out soon!!

    1. Thank you! The liquid is straight up vile and I can’t believe anybody can get through it all in such a short period of time.
      I’m praying things will come together and I really appreciate you caring!

  4. I’m so sorry that that happened! My mom has had stomach issues all her life and I have watched her do the prep many, many times. She hates it too, especially the prep! I think I’m a bit behind – what’s been going on with your stomach?
    For years as a child, I told people that I could not see out of my left eye. No one believed me. Later on, it was found out that my vision is like, 20/400 and I had a severe lazy eye. It’s so frustrating!
    Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Wow! That’s crazy that no one believed you! I am so glad you finally figured out the problem. Eyesight is nothing to be made light of.
      Thank you for caring- it means a lot to me.

  5. Sorry to hear it didn’t work out, I truly hope you can find out what is causing this so that you can try and relieve it once and for all! Sometimes the body just does such inexplicable thing, I truly wish you all the best.

  6. Wow, I’m really sorry you had to go through all that.. and still be suck. (Sadly,) I can offer a few cents here, as I’ve been through similar situations… (okay, I’ve read a few of your posts on this but not too many, as I’m a new reader 🙂 …so i read a bit more, and well, i dont know what else i can add though hha…)
    – so, i was finally “diagnosed” with IBS 4 years ago in 10th grade, after a year & a half of struggling. My weight was up/down when food was upsetting my stomach, and we realized it was more than just a lactose intolerant. but i see you;ve been diagnosed with that too. Hm. I’m taking Mirilax now, once in the morning & once at night, so it does help! I am also currently taking dexilant in the morning and the probiotic Align. I took levsin (in place of dexilant) for a few weeks, and it was awful (for me).
    – besides that, diet. same thing that happened with you happened with me. apples havent sat well with me for years, and finally my GI learned and told me about FODMAPs diet this summer. it has helped me too, i limit my crusciferous veggies, and almost never eat them raw. cabbage is bad for me, as is melon. beans/lentils i’m just fine!

    – i’ve had a colonoscopy and the prep IS awful. i’m sorry you had to go through it and didnt get it done :/ it helps to throw in some chicken broth of vegetable broth with all of those sweet drinks, fyi. i also had one cancelled the night before (so after a day of prep), because my parents scheduled it for me but it was just during a “flare up”. i actually had my semi-annual appt with my GI the day before and we agreed it wasnt necessary.

    have you done the hydrogen breath test? endoscopy from the top? seriously, hope you get this figured out!

    also, look for some IBS blogs. there are some really really bad cases :/ I found some when I wrote a paper about it last year. It’s a functional disease, basically meaning that the digestive track is messed up, for no real reason. the symptoms can just be treated, not really much more :/

    1. Your insight/advice is so helpful!
      I had surgery for rectal prolapse about 2.5 years ago and my symptoms have not improved. My doctor thinks there may be an issue caused by the surgery also. I have taken several different medications and only gotten temporary (or no) relief.
      I’ve experiemented with my diet a good bit, but unfortunately most of the changes only help with the side effects of chronic constipation, not the actually issue.
      For some reason I was told not drink broth. I don’t know why! I think I’m going to question him on that one next time.
      I kind of hate the diagnosis of IBS b/c I feel like it isn’t taken serious enough.
      Again, thank you so much for your diet advice and sharing your experiences!

  7. I’m so sorry! I can’t imagine how miserable and defeated you must’ve felt…to have done that prep for nothing.
    I hope you find answers, even if it means other tests/procedures.

    Have you ever read The Full Helping (formerly Choosing Raw) blog? Gena Hanshaw, besides being a phenomenally articulate writer and awesome vegan cook/photographer, suffered from anorexia AND IBS-C years ago. She’s not an MD or dietician (though she did complete a premed post-bacc and is studying to become a dietician), but it might be worth reaching out to her. Even if it’s just to commiserate.

    Hoping you get answers! ❤

  8. Just getting around to reading this post! GI stuff is honestly the worst – i feel like it’s so undiagnosable yet the majority of my friends suffer from some kind of GI issues. It’s totally reasonable to feel defeated especially since you were so hopeful it was going to provide you with some answers. A couple years ago, I got all sorts of GI tests done due to some bleeding and everything was inconclusive and then it just went away!

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