My experience with a bowel prep

Do you have a bowel surgery coming up? Maybe just a colonoscopy? Or something else to do with your guts?

Either way, you likely have to endure a bowel prep: drink some nastiness and spend the next few hours glued to the toilet.

I had my bowel resection in November of 2018 and had no idea what I was in for with Suprep Bowel Prep Kit. And now I have my very first colonoscopy on calendar for November 8, 2019 (just to check and make sure everything is decent and runnin’ smoothly in there). I was also told I’d be enduring the same bowel prep! Yay! Yay? Just kidding.

So I got home and scrambled for my notes from last November. Just how bad was the experience before? I had been messaging a friend of mine who kept me company during the ordeal. And rather than just read them while laughing and get a sense of what to expect in a few weeks, I thought I’d share them.

I mean, who knows – you may very well have ended up on this page because you, too, were searching for “what happens in a bowel prep?” Brace yourself…my notes are coming! And if you make it all the way to the bottom (there’s a pun in there somewhere), I’ll list a few tips and tricks I picked up along the way to make this process a little more bearable.

Shortly after 4:15pm, on November 25, 2018, I downed my first round of Suprep. The second dose was at 10:00pm. Following are my notes (aka, texts to my friend):

Prior to the poop-fest, I weighed myself right before drinking Suprep: 169.5 pounds. I was curious how much poo and water weight I would lose after it was all over. Stay tuned!

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Clock 4:16pm

Drank first round of Suprep

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OMFG that’s the most amazing torrential downpour of liquid shit I’ve ever experienced!!!!! 35 minutes after consumption and round 1 of ?? is done!

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I’m still pooping…confirmed: no visible plunger in this bathroom lol

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Round 2 !!!!!

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Ooooomgggg round 3. I didn’t even have to leave the toilet from round 2! Just when I was about to wipe: nope. Seriously amazing pooping!!! Like a high pressure water hose!

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Round 4!

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….round five….literally as I’m wiping my ass with a baby wipe. HAAAAHAAAHAAAAAAAAA caught me by surprise.  ALMOST CLEAR!

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Round 6 and 7! 7 was far more violent. I wish I could describe the sensation of pressure washing the inside of the toilet with my butt juice!

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Round 8 done. I’m not even gonna wipe anymore. Just sit here. It’s like ..what…30-45 seconds between pooping? Pooping isn’t even a fitting description anymore.  I AM getting up for most times. Barely made it back in time for round 9. I think I’ll sit here til round 10

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There goes round 10!  It’s amazing ’cause they’re all like the same amount of liquid poo. Like there’s a measuring system in my intestines and a shutoff valve, a pressure build up, and RELEASE!  …This bathroom is fucking freezing

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Round 11!!  IT’S AMAZING!  No cramps or anything. Just a sudden urge to spew water from me bum

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Almost didn’t pull my pants down in time for round 12! I think I better live here for a minute or two

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Round 13!!!

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Where the heck is round 14?

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There’s 14!  …Oooh mum brought me her fuzzy blanket! I’m warm!!! And my asshole is killing me LOL! Vaseline and all. Omg.

The question was posed, “What if your mom has to go?” – referring to the one-bathroom AirBNB suite we shared for the evening.  My response?  “She’s screwed!”

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Round 15 took a while haha

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Omfg. Round 16 made up for 15’s delay!

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I’m waiting for 17…There it is! I knew it was comin’!

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Jim says hi. Oh…and ROUND 18!

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Round 19! Soooo close to 20. I wonder how many til I stop. Then I gotta do another round of Suprep at 10. Omg.

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Noooooo round 20!!!!! I think I’m done!

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Finished! 2 hours and 45 minutes after taking Suprep! 19 horrendous rounds of liquid-shits. And I now weighed 166.8 pounds. 

I had a few hours before having to begin the next dose of Suprep. I think Mum, hubby, and I just watched TV…and then, it was time. I dreaded the late-night start because all I wanted to do was go to sleep, but noooo, I had to poop instead.

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Down the hatch! (Second round of Suprep)

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Roooound 1!!!!

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And 2!

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Insert Round 3 here. Omfg that one was fierce!

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4!!!

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Round 5 was soooo loud I nearly vomited. Sounded just like a solid vomit

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Oh God, round 6 didn’t wait long

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#7!  I’m not even wiping anymore. Or flushing. Just sitting here, waiting, shitting, waiting, shitting, waiting lol

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Omg 8 was amazing. This poor toilet

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Round 9!! Is it over yet?

        

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10!!! I thought I was safe so sat on the couch and had to run back in here….

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11. Think we’ll top 20?

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12! I feel like it’s been so much more than that …

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….I think it stopped

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That was a lie. Round 13 gurgled only after I laid down to rest. My poor bleeding butthole. Back in bed though. And btw…if I didn’t already say so….it’s clear

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I slept straight through! No terrifying episodes of shitting the bed or getting up all night to poop! I thought I was in the clear. I was wrong.

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I wake up at 4:00 a.m.

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Big ol gentle liquid poo.

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Make that two giant liquid poos

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Nope…three.

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Four!!!

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Omg…five!

We then had to head out to the hospital for my 5:00am check-in.  I used the restroom once before they sat me down (so, round #6)

               

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and AGAIN while being prepped for surgery.  Yep, my little booty waddled down the hallway with an IV in my arm, the surgery cap on, and sportin’ the beautiful hospital gown (round #7).  I oftentimes wonder if I shit during surgery? Guessing not.

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If you made it all the way down to the end of this blog, you’re amazing! I hope you had a good laugh. I know I did while I was reliving the memories! Alright, the promised tips & tricks I learned from my first bowel prep experience:

  • Follow those darned prep instructions. To the letter!
  • If allowed, drink the prep cold. THROUGH A STRAW. And as quickly as you can stomach.
  • Chase it with ice cold water or gatorade (if your doctor says it’s okay).
  • Invest in some comfy, soft, gentle, pampering butt wipes. Be careful, though, you may not be able to flush them with some plumbing systems. Just bring a small trash bag to be safe and haul that shit (literally) out when you’re all done.
  • That being said: don’t wipe every time. As you read above, some of the bouts o’liquid-poo are so close together, wiping made no sense. You’ll help save the environment, and the tender flesh of your bumhole.
  • Vaseline is your friend. TENDER bumhole!
  • Continue to drink water as instructed by the bowel prep instructions, but also make sure you don’t drink any after you’ve been commanded NO FOOD OR LIQUID before your procedure.
  • If you do end up falling asleep before you feel you’ve completed voided your liquid-bowels, make sure you get up a little earlier than planned to allow extra time to clear ’em out.
  • Bring a good book. Or your phone/tablet.
  • Bring a blanket!
  • Keep a positive attitude about the whole darned experience.
  • And treat yourself to something soothing when you’re back on your feet…you earned it!

Good luck with your prep! And whatever reason you’re having to complete it!

Feel Good Fridays

Screenshot of Facebook memories from October 18, 2010: is grateful for the strength of friends

Good morning! And I hope it is a good morning for you. Well, it’s Friday! Another week has fled. Time flies far too fast. October is more than halfway over.

Today’s quote is brought to you by Facebook Memories and is pictured above.

Nine years ago, I was going through a very rough time. The exact details? Oh, I don’t recall, but it was likely heartache-related. The posts around that same time were filled with self-doubt and judgment. And even today, I am still oh so grateful for the strength of friends. Sometimes you just can’t go it alone.

But whatever you are going through, you aren’t alone. Friends, loved ones, family, and extended family: we are all here for you. Whatever your need may be.

Have a BEAUTIFUL weekend! And, remember, if you ever need me I’m right here for you.

Feel Good Fridays!

Text reads The Sun will come up, the seasons will change

So, here we are at another Friday.

I haven’t written a new blog piece in so long that I feel like a slacker. I’ve got many, many, many drafts going, research looming, events to plan, and life to live – but I promise a new one will be coming soon.

I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until I read today’s quote, which hit me like a punch in the gut.

“You can do this, and if you can’t do it today, you’ll do it tomorrow. You are not a failure.”
― Alisha Rai, Wrong to Need You

Whatever…and I mean WHATEVER…it is that is dragging you down because you haven’t (or can’t) do it yet, embrace the thought that there will come a time that you will be able to. Whatever it is. Don’t let it be a personal reflection of who you are. hang in there. Stand strong. You aren’t a failure. Your body isn’t a failure. Your life isn’t a failure. Persevere.

And please, always remember, to set aside some time to focus on your own well-being, whether it be mental or physical. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes of “Me” time. Do it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And remember just how wonderful and special you truly are.

Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

A clock about to strike midnight

If we only had a bit more kindness in the world, could you imagine how we would be?

I stumbled across this quote today and immediately fell in love. Although not in line with my usual Feel Good Friday’s quotes, I wanted to share it with you guys:

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino

I absolutely would LOVE to see what the world would become if we could all just do this.

I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope you’re doing well.

Love, Lisa

Stronger Than Endo : Merritt, An Endo Warrior Interview

Words that read Stronger Than Endo

Over a year ago, you may remember we shared a sneak peek of a project we were involved in: Stronger than Endo. We interviewed a few women with Endometriosis, as well as my excision surgeon.

Well, my friend Exxes has completed and released the first of the three full-length videos. This one is an interview with my beautiful friend, Merritt.

It’s about 50 minutes of her Journey with Endometriosis. Her spouse, Jess, pops on and offers the perspective of a partner with endo. It was a long, rough, but beautiful morning for all of us, including Exxes. We also discussed what we, as individuals and a community, can do to help others. Raise awareness. Be there for one another. And don’t be afraid to share your story with others.

Thank you Merritt, Jess, and Exxes, for making yourselves available, vulnerable, and for allowing this to happen. I love you guys.

Here’s the video! For some reason, it starts close to the 2-minute mark; you may want to rewind it a bit when you watch it. Enjoy and share!

And, please stay tuned. As soon as they’re available, we’ll be releasing the videos of another EndoWarrior, Heidi, and my surgeon, Dr. Mel Kurtulus.

Pain Journal: September 2019

September is behind us…and I’m spending my lunch hour reviewing and publishing my pain journal. A good use of time, right? I think so, too!

Let’s just start by saying it’s October 1st…and I still haven’t had my September period. I wonder if it will arrive in a few days? Back in August, I started my period on the 26th…so we’ll see if I am graced with two periods in October?

Okay, let’s review September’s adventure!

On September 6th, I woke up with a bit of abdominal cramping. Oh no! Is my Endo back already? No…I just had a big ol’ fart and all that cramping ceased the second I let ‘er rip! C’mon, laugh with me. Sometimes it’s all we can do. But seriously, the “oh no it it back already” thought did enter my head. I’m glad it was just gas…although my husband was none-too-pleased with the funky morning aroma.

I continue to experience staple-area pain around my new guts if I eat too much. And I still either get insane diarrhea after I drink too much booze…or I don’t poop at all for a day or two. Ten months since surgery and I still lack a lot of self-control when it comes to delicious things.

On September 7th, I contracted The Plague: some sort of craptastic upper respiratory infection that led to a chest cold, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and hives. It was a doozy! Three weeks later and I still have a little bit of chest congestion and my voice isn’t quite at 100%. BUT…I blame the sudden spike in diarrhea and medication-use over the next few weeks on fighting the Plague. (PS – if you didn’t already know, sugar-free cough drops or throat lozenges GIVE YOU DIARRHEA!)…

A few impromptu roadtrips with my husband in September led to some fun and pain-free sex. So that’s still super exciting to not have insane pain. I mean, we have to still avoid deep penetration poses, such as Doggy Style, because of my unique anatomy (two cervix which still hurt when they’re bumped), but at least there’s some pain-free sex in my life. So woohooo!

A lot of the abdominal discomfort I experienced in September can easily be attributed to the aforementioned liquid-shits…but every once in a while a sneaky “what the hell was that?” sharp pain would kick in out of nowhere:

On September 25th, I had the only true amount of sharp pain that had me worried; everything else in September was still on the level of “discomfort” and was easily explained away due to The Plague. But on that particular Wednesday, I had already pooped three times that day (just a good ol’ normal poo). That morning, I had an appointment with my colo-rectal surgeon for the last of my hemorrhoid band ligation procedures; a relatively simply and painless (mostly) procedure. At 2:30 that afternoon, I was poopin’ and had a sharp, horrible, agonizing pain on the left side of my lower abdomen that literally took my breath away while I sat on the porcelain throne. But, it was quick. At 5:20 that same afternoon, the pain returned while I was driving home and lasted several seconds. Then again at 5:26pm, it returned…and didn’t fade until 6:00pm. Was it poop-related? Was it my cyst on my left ovary rearin’ it’s ugly head? Was it a sign I’d be starting my period? I didn’t have any other pain that day, or any following day, until a little throbbing discomfort in the same area on September 29th. Still, though, no period. And that throbbing pain was minimal and quick.

I see my gyno/excision surgeon again in November for another transvaginal ultrasound and will be sure to mention that lower left abdominal pain. It’ll be interesting to see if my left-sided 3cm cyst has done anything.

But my favorite news? The only reason I took any pain killers in September: The Plague and my hemorrhoid procedure. YAY! Following is the slideshow of my September pain journal, if it interests you.

Pooping? You’ll see a spike in diarrhea episodes in September. OH MY GOD. Yep, you already read it: the laxative effect of a certain brand of sugar-free lozenges that shall remain unnamed (*cough cough* Ricola *cough*). Here’s the all-over-the-place poop chart…including the first instance of poopin’ pain since i recovered from my bowel resection! And that’s AMAZING!

If you don’t already track your pain, symptoms, diet, and bowel movements, I cannot stress how important it is to understanding and acknowledging what’s going on inside your own body. PLUS it gives us something to tangibly point to out to our physicians: “I hurt…HERE!” If you’d ever like some pointers on what I use to track mine, please reach out to me.

And…welcome to October!

Feel Good Fridays

Sign that reads "Keep Going"

The last Friday of September. Already. Do you have any fun plans for October??

Today’s quote is inspired by one of my local EndoWarriors, Heidi. She’s had a rough past few months, but has taken charge and is advocating for answers, has pushed for multiple doctor’s appointments with numerous specialists, and is literally charging through the muck that’s trying to hold her down.

It’s not all been strength and positivity (how can it be??), but yet she continues to embrace those around her, ask for help, and push on.

She’s a god-damn inspiration.

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” ~Unknown

I’m so proud of her, and grateful to have her in my life.

May we all be inspired to continue to smash forward, crush those doubts and fears, and realize we’re not alone in whatever we may be going through.

Have a wonderful weekend. Much love, Lisa.

Feel Good Fridays

Sprout plant growing through asphalt
Photo by Skeeze

Another week has flown by. And here we are: Friday.

My favorite t-shirt from several years ago read, “Be the reason someone smiles today.” I mourn the loss of that shirt – I wore it ’til it just couldn’t be worn anymore. But it’s been on my mind lately, which has inspired today’s quote:

“Believe me. Your hardship, tears and sorrows you are facing now are the training of your spirit. The strength you learn from there brings you more love and smiles in your future. Wherever you are, love all the people around you like your family. then you are not alone anymore.”
― Hiroko Sakai

Whatever you may be enduring, know that it is not everlasting. And know that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family, strangers, loved ones, people you trust, or even a complete stranger. It will fade. And you will find the strength to smile.

And if you would like, email me. I’m always here for you.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Endometriosis & the Heart: added a 2019 study of a 28-year-old woman who complained of chest pains and collapsed. Turns out she had Endometriosis along her pericardial lining.

Feel Good Fridays!

Bloomin' Uterus logo

Happy Friday. September is already half-way over. Already!

This week has been full of ups and downs:
I came down with a case of what I suspect is bronchitis, followed by laryngitis.
I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon to discuss my ultrasound results.
I’m not sleeping well due to said bronchitis and accompanying coughing fits.
I’ve discovered the healing power of humidifiers!
And tomorrow a few of us Bloomin’ Uterus gals are getting together at a winery to honor our shared surgeon and his office staff.

A busy week indeed. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll be able to speak, but I cannot wait to celebrate and honor San Diego Women’s Health and Dr. Kurtulus.

But for today? Today’s quote goes out to all you chronic-illness warriors (whatever it may be):

“Pain diminishes us, and it is so important to remember, in the midst of pain and everything that pain takes from you, that still … you are enough. You are enough just as you are. You are worthy of love and kindness. You are enough. And you have enough.”
― Steve Leder, More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us

Never forget that you will endure, you will flourish, and you are still beautiful.

Much love to you. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to be able to blog very soon.

Love, Lisa