How to Rock Preparing For A Colonoscopy

by Kathryn Leehane
Originally Published: 
Person Sitting On The Toilet With Their Pants Down

So you need to have a camera shoved up your ass, huh? Don’t despair — it happens to all of us eventually. Whether you’re fifty, have a family history of something crappy, or have another ailment that requires you to have a colonoscopy earlier, it’s gonna happen.

As luck would have it, I just had one. As much as I wasn’t looking forward to the procedure, I approached it with the same attitude I do everything: “Crap. Do I HAVE to?!” “I’m going to rock this shit.”

And, because I’m nothing if not helpful, I’ve compiled a marvelous list should you be preparing for a Colonoscopy soon, too…

1. Stock up on the most expensive toilet paper available. Tissue made from crushed velvet, saffron sprinkles, and unicorn breath? BUY IT. Don’t even think about skimping and buying the cheap stuff. Those flushable, pre-moistened wipes are a really good idea too.

2. Give detailed instructions to your spouse/significant other/caretaker about what needs to be done while you are incapacitated. For example, I sent an email to my husband so he could plan his day accordingly: “My ass will be pouring liquids out all morning so you’ll need to do school drop-off.“

3. Adequately prepare the children. Describe the procedure and how you will be feeling during the preparation and on the day itself. I told my kids, “The doctors are going to stick a snakelike camera up my butt and wiggle it around to get a good look inside. The day before I’m going to drink REALLY GROSS STUFF WORSE THAN ANYTHING YOU EVER COMPLAIN ABOUT and then live in the bathroom so I can poop everything out. EVERYTHING. After the procedure, I’m going to be groggy and eating ALL OF THE ICE CREAM in my room. Please don’t bother me. Unless you’re bringing me more ice cream.” They were envious. Natch.

4. Plan your last meal carefully. Make it delicious, but be forewarned that it may be ruined forever for you. And eat enough that you get as far through the fasting phase as possible. I ate all the sushi in San Jose. And a little bit of candy.

5. Make crappy puns all day with your husband (while you’re still talking to him).

Him: “Sorry your day is going to be shitty.” Me: “I’m going to read a good book. To get my juices flowing.” Him: “Wishing you ‘smooth’ sailing!” Me: “Sorry you have to deal with my crap.” Him: “Don’t worry. It will all come out okay.”

6. Sequester yourself as necessary. You need to go on a liquid diet 24 hours prior to the procedure. If you’re like me, you may get a bit hangry. Lock yourself in your bedroom as not to verbally assault your family with venom and vitriol.

7. When it’s time to drink the bowel prep solution, share your joy. Make people around you jealous.

8. That magical cleansing juice? It’s nasty. It’s worse than swallowing … you know. Just chug it. Seriously. I know it tastes like salty, bitter, rancid cough syrup. But let’s be honest, you drank worse stuff in college. CHUG IT!

9. Set up a command station in the bathroom. Bring necessary supplies and things to keep yourself occupied and hydrated. Ensure all electronic devices are charged. If you have a padded toilet seat cover, now is the time to install it.

10. Wear elastic waistband pants. Do not, under any circumstances, wear sweatpants with a drawstring. Trust me on this one. At times, you will have milliseconds to get to the toilet. Every second counts.

11. Don’t wear good underwear, white underwear, or a thong throughout this process. Also, be prepared to burn the underwear.

12. Refrain from live-tweeting your colon cleanse, but be sure to take selfies and send them to your Poop Club. Because THIS IS THE ULTIMATE IN POOP. (Dammit. I broke the first rule of Poop Club again.)

13. In between rounds on the toilet, lay down on your bed. Or walk around the house. That toilet is your ankle bracelet—stay within a safe radius. But for goodness sake don’t do anything that involves squatting or bending over. JUST DON’T DO IT.

14. Take a shower the morning prior to your procedure, but be ready to make an emergency exit to the toilet.

15. Be super polite and friendly to the medical staff. Even when they blow three veins in your hand before getting the IV in. Remember that they are going to see the inside of your colon.

16. Make awkward jokes with the doctors. Watch them courtesy laugh and pretend they’ve never heard “that one” before. Then relax, because this is the easiest part of the whole thing.

17. Be sure to let people know how you’re doing afterward.

18. Finally, if you plan it correctly, you can include pictures of your colon in your holiday cards.

P.S. Dear Husband, this procedure just confirmed why I don’t do butt stuff. Sorry.

Related post: Dear Gynecologist

This article was originally published on