chronic illness

The Bowel Prep Survival Kit

Bowel Prep Survival Kit

Unfortunately I am scheduled for a repeat colonoscopy & EGD tomorrow which means I get the pleasure of attempting to survive completing a bowel prep.  This will be my 4th (and unfortunately not my last) time having to endure such torture.  So I thought I would share my wisdom that I have acquired over the years with you wonderful readers (after all at one point or another we all end up having the opportunity to share the joy of a colonoscopy).

This is what I call my Bowel Prep Survival Kit:

Bowel Prep Survival Kit

Essential items include:
1-Bowel Prep Meds:  These come in different varieties but all work basically the same.  If you have to mix the powder with liquid to drink, I highly recommend mixing it ahead of time and putting it in the fridge so that it gets really cold.  It seems to make it go down a little easier (you can mix and store solution up to 24 hours before your start time) Some people recommend using a straw. Whatever gets it down the fastest!
2-Apple Juice: Its a clear liquid with some sugar to keep blood sugar levels from completely dropping plus give you the sense that your stomach is full. White grape juice is approved as well – just no red or purple juice.
3-Clear Liquid of your choice:  For every 8oz of the bowel prep mix you drink, you chase it with 8oz clear liquid of your choice such as Sprint, Mt. Dew, 7up, light colored flavors of Gatorade, and sweet tea.  Be careful when making your choice!  Short story:  I used to love love love the yellow Gatorade but the bowel prep mix for my first colonoscopy tasted exactly like it so now I gag every time I smell the stuff.  So sad.  So you may want to stick to Sprite instead of your beloved choice just in case you developed some type of warped connection between the two (or maybe I am just a complete weirdo for making such a connection).
4-Popsicles:  My favorites are banana pops and lemon italian ice. Both are on the approved list and believe me you get tired of Jello pretty quick. I have always stuck to banana pops in the past but discovered lemon italian ice on this trip to the grocery store for prep supplies! Jello is also on the approved list. Colors to avoid are red, blue, purple, and green (basically any other color than clear or yellow) as they can dye your intestines which makes accurate viewing difficult. Popsicles must not contain yogurt or ice cream.

5-Moist Wipes:  Your butt will thank you.  I promise.

Items not pictures but highly recommended: Reading material, a stool to put your feet on (not sure why this helps but it does), and air freshener.

Of course clear chicken or beef broth (without noodles or rice) is on the approved list, but I will stick to lemon Jello and banana pops thankyouverymuch.

Now if you ever get the news that you will have to have a colonoscopy (or must have a bowel prep for some other type of surgery) you can’t say you weren’t prepared 🙂

Have you had a colonoscopy or have had to complete a bowel prep for another reason? Would you add anything to this list?

 

P.S. Be a spoonie girl scout & check out the Hospital Survival Kit & Flare Survival Kit to be prepared for what else life with chronic illness may have in store!

chronic illness

What Is In Your Flare Survival Kit?

Flare Survival Kit

When I was discharged from the hospital last week, I went into a huge fibro flare. It wasn’t the typical joint pain flare but the hypersensitivity to touch and sound, the feeling of “restless body syndrome,” the muscle aches, the whole shebang. My mom actually laughed as I started pulling out my flare survival kit as here it was the end of July and I was pulling out a hoodie, my heated snuggie, and an ice pack. Its crazy the things that can provide relief in the midst of a flare. Also included in my survival kit are my Acer tablet, Netflix, yoga pants, a word find book, pain meds, and Coke!

So I got to thinking, I wonder what my other spoonie friends have in their survival kits? I asked on Facebook and here are some of the responses I got:

Cheryl said:

my teddy bear…it may sound silly, but sometimes you just need something to squeeze!

CC said:

chocolate, heating pad or heated blanket, Netflix, & a knitting project!

Heather said:

Heating pad, anti-diarrhea pills, a few good books, crackers, & pain pills

Mamie said:

iPad, soft blanket, oversized pants, & pain meds

Life Happens said:

phone, comfy loose-fitting tshirt-style gown (no waistbands or elastics of any kind), pillow (for inbetween my legs), pain pills, dulcolax, bubba keg of ice-water, heating pad, HuluPlus, and comfort-food.

Rebecca said: Fibro flare survival kit for me includes pain pills, a heating pad, some kind of comfort food, a book or two, my bed and my cat.

To Do List for Surviving a Flare

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What is in your Flare Survival Kit?

 

P.S. Be a spoonie girl scout & check out the Hospital Survival Kit &  Bowel Prep Survival Kit to be prepared for what else life with chronic illness may have in store!

chronic illness

Surgery Survival Kit

 

Surgery Survival Kit

A couple months I wrote an article for the Fight Like A Girl Club regarding preparing for surgery.  Little did I know that I would be preparing for it again myself so soon. So while I was perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across this adorable printable to create hospital survival kits and they got me thinking!

Of course, these are meant for new moms but I thought, “How fun would it be to create a cute survival kit for fellow spoonies heading to the hospital?” So if you have a friend or loved one heading to the hospital soon, you might want to check out these free printables and help put a smile on her face even in the midst of surgery!

Here are some ideas of things to include:

  • Lotion. The air in hospitals can be extremely dry so my skin always gets really itchy. Lotion is a great way to soothe some of that itchiness as well as feel a little fresher after surgery (when a shower might not be an option right away). I would advise staying away from heavily scented lotions. My personal post-op favorite is Eucerin Calming Creme.
  • Lip Balm.  Much for the same reasons as listed above. My lips are always super dry right after surgery from the tube being down my throat.
  • Cute socks.  Hospital gowns are definitely not the most flattering and definitely don’t make you feel cute or pretty by any means and sometimes they are a must for a least the first couple days post-op so I always rely on cute socks to add some fun and for a quick pick-me-up.
  • Magazines. For the first week or so after surgery, my attention span is next to nothing so I have a hard time focusing on reading a book so a magazine is a great option! Even if you cannot focus on the articles themselves, it gives you something to flip through if boredom strikes or you are waiting on your next round of meds to kick in.
  • Dry Shampoo. This seriously is one of the world’s greatest inventions. If you’ve ever wondered if it works, let me tell you it does and is amazing. When I’m in the hospital, I really don’t care what  I look like. Sure I pray that I don’t look like death warmed over when 1,000 people decide to visit but that’s not why I would put this in my surgery bad. I hate the way I feel after surgery. On top of the post-surgical pain, you can just feel yucky but no where near good enough to attempt a shower yet. Dry shampoo helps take some of the “yuck” out easily from bed.
  • Face Wipes/Baby Wipes – see above.
  • Snacks. I am so an advocate for chocolate except in this instance. Depending on medications, chocolate may not sit well on the stomach so other snacks I suggest for when the jello gets old is fruit snacks, granola bars, and hard candy.

Hospital Essentials When You Need Surgery

These are definitely things that will be packed in my bag this week as I head off to surgery on Friday!

What could I be forgetting?

What would you include in your surgery survival kit?

 

P.S. Be a spoonie girl scout & check out the Bowel Prep Survival Kit & Flare Survival Kit to be prepared for what else life with chronic illness may have in store!