Unfoodie Survives Pre-Colonoscopy Diet — Just Barely

By Karen

Since a recent commenter has handed my ass to me for being an idiot to receive the foul, disreputable Johnson & Johnson vaccine, let me preface this post by saying I realize my colonoscopy angst is pure First World kvetching and I do feel guilty about it, considering the world’s hunger epidemic.

I’ve got to type fast, because in 30 minutes I must pop my first two Dulcolax tablets to enter the final stage of prep.

I’ve had three colonoscopies before, but this time my doctor’s practice surprised me by throwing in this five-day “no-fiber pre-colonoscopy diet.” So, as of last Thursday, my life, which has already been a mind-numbing hamster wheel of Groundhog Days thanks to a year of pandemic lockdown, took a turn for the worse.

First, let me show you my produce bin…

NOTHING I would normally put in there, like tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, is on this diet. I was allowed to eat vegetables if they were cooked to vomitous mush, but I took a pass on that.

These are only the highlights because the monotony of my meals would put you to sleep. This dinner was flounder and mashed potatoes…

I always leave the skin on potatoes because I loathe peeling them, so I made enough for leftovers. But I haven’t touched them because I lost interest. And I REALLY love potatoes.

Another dinner was pasta with little olive oil and butter, topped by feta cheese…

I’m so used to chewy whole-grain pasta now, this white pasta had the texture of slimy erasers.

Last night I had shrimp and rice…

For breakfast one day, I had scrambled eggs, sourdough toast and canteloupe…

This next was my most colorful meal. Croissant, hard-boiled egg, and peaches…

Most days I skipped lunch, but did make this grilled gouda and cheddar cheese on sourdough with Lays White Cheddar Poppables on Saturday…

I only ate half of it because I lost interest. And I REALLY love cheese.

For desserts and snacks, I had pound cake and banana…

Baked Lays potato chips…

White cheddar cheese crackers…

And Danish butter cookies…

Have you noticed that the entire color spectrum of this food is white to pale orange? No fiber = no color. No spice. Minimal flavor.

Last night I whipped up a double batch of lemon Jell-O, the only “solid” I’m allowed today. I’ll probably end up feeding that to the garbage disposal because I hate Jell-O.

Well, I just popped my Dulcolax. In an hour when I start choking down Lemon-Lime Gatorade laced with Miralax, it’s going to get really ugly around here.

What keeps me going is the thought that this will finally be over in 24 hours and I can start weaning myself back onto real food with color. Like strawberries and blueberries and red potatoes and tomatoes and anything green.

PS: The hospital did call me about the COVID-19 test, which I did in a drive-by on Friday. I haven’t heard anything, so I’m assuming no news is good news and the J&J vaccine has been doing its job, evil creators notwithstanding.

Wish me luck!


14 Responses to Unfoodie Survives Pre-Colonoscopy Diet — Just Barely

  1. Anita says:

    Karen, what is really sad is the food you are eating is the typical American diet. Although I do think we are eating healthier as a country. Maybe I’m wrong about that seeing the cars lined up at Chik-Fil-A every day all day long. Except Sunday of course.

    It’s 6pm there so you really must be having fun now. NOT! Hope it’s all behind you (so to speak) soon and you are back in the land of colorful food again. It will be a feast for your eyes and tummy!

  2. catsworking says:

    Anita, I’m past the first 8 doses of Miralax and have lost count of the times I’ve run to the bathroom. The doctor’s instructions said it would take several hours to kick in, but it was less than 30 minutes.

    Roc is clearly worried and following me around because he’s noticing me running laps to the bathroom.

    I’ve still got six more doses to chug in a little while, but I’m just about cleared out already, so I think I’ll be going into overkill at bedtime and losing sleep for literally nothing.

    I have a headache and don’t feel well generally, but I think that’s just from hunger and possibly dehydration. Drinking water now just goes right through me.

    The instructions told me to drink 64 oz. of water and a 64 oz. bottle of apple juice during the day, along with a “can” of broth at every meal (I’ve never seen broth in cans), so maybe 36 oz. more with 3 cans? And THEN 64 and 48 additional oz. of Gatorade or juice taken with the Miralax.

    There is no way in HELL I would ever be able to drink 276 oz. of liquid in a day, especially with my whole system feeling icky from the nasty diet.

    I will say that the four days of no fiber did NOT make this process easier or quicker in any way.

  3. phesina says:

    Wishing you luck, Karen!

  4. feijicha says:

    Holy sh*t!!! The apple juice alone would clean me out if I could even choke it down which I can’t anymore. I don’t know how you get through it– my last batch of stuff tasted a lot like lemon/lime and I nearly vomited it all up…. and could not stand the feel of it coating my tongue barely halfway through. I gave up, which is not like me, but i literally could. not. force. anymore.down.
    I got sick of how salty canned broths were, even the low sodium ones. So I made homemade chicken broth and homemade beef broth (basically beef stew, then took out the meat and strained the bits out of the broth. That actually went well, and I ended up feeling quite full and like I’d eaten real food (the instructions I got said you could consume any liquid you could read a newspaper through. Bit murky but close enough for me). The things is now I associate those flavors with colonoscopy prep and can’t really eat them much if at all anymore. With all the gd technology out in the world, there sure as sh*t should be a better way to do this!!! Bravo, sister, my hat is off to you for choking through it.

  5. Mary Hunter says:


    My most heartfelt sympathies. The prep is the absolute worst!! But the diet, my god. Hopefully it will all be good news and you can get back to “normal” whatever that is these days!

  6. catsworking says:

    Mary, phesina, feijicha, and Anita! I’m done!!!

    Last night I did skip the last three doses of Miralax, which I was taking with white grape juice, because things were running clear. I almost preferred the Gatorade Zero I had earlier, which was lemon-lime. I detest lime flavor. But the grape juice had sugar, which I felt I needed.

    I only had to get up three times during the night, which was great.

    Then this morning when I woke up thing weren’t clear anymore, and I panicked. But after a few more runs, they were again. Whew!

    As for the broth, I drank one mug of low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth that comes in a carton for dinner. But making your own would be better, I’m sure.

    Anyway, I had one polyp and the doctor said my colon is “twisty” and “torturous.” For the first time, he told me that when he did me six years ago, they had to switch to a smaller scope because they couldn’t get through. Hmm…

    I attribute this possibly to losing an inch in height over the years. There isn’t as much room for everything, so maybe it scrunched together. But I don’t like the sounds of that.

    Oh, and I have diverticulosis (which I knew from before) and some new internal hemorrhoids. But they said that’s all pretty standard.

    Afterward, my father and I went to a diner and I had scrambled eggs, biscuit, hash browns, and sausage to ease back into normal eating. I feel fine now, but I think I’ll take a nap.

    Almost forgot, the moment I woke from the anesthesia, I said I had been dreaming about Meghan Markle and Tony the cat. They weren’t together, just in some dream.

  7. Anita says:

    Karen, hurray! That food must have tasted really good. Although I don’t like the sound of the twisted colon.

    I have the “losis” one too instead of the “litis”. I do have a pretty severe pain in my stomach sometimes and figure that is food getting stuck in the pockets. I know a couple of people that have been severely ill with the “litis” one and had part of their colon removed. Do not want that!

    That’s a wild dream to have, even separately. Maybe not Tony the cat but what is Meghan saying to you.

    I have lots of cat dreams. Probably even dreamt of Tony the cat. Might try and talk my husband into fostering cats although I would want to keep them all. So better not.

  8. Margeaux says:

    O.K. Karen, I’m going to say it because I just can’t resist…”Holy Shit!” Now these pics of what you are eating. The one w/fish & potatoes is exactly what I made for my husband last night. Poor guy’s on a soft diet since he had a hairy dental appointment
    You’re going to be squeaky clean.

  9. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, I may try to use up the potatoes tonight, maybe with some breaded chicken fingers and green beans or broc.

    I’ve got to use up the rest of the fiber-free food now.

    So sorry to hear about your husband’s dental problems. In that case, I’d want soft food, too. But my colon apparently doesn’t give a damn one way or the other.

  10. catsworking says:

    Anita, I don’t think my “osis” has ever caused me a problem, although right now my hiatal hernia is giving me a fit. I can get heartburn from a sip of water. I know it’s because my weight is up. When I lost 50 lbs. no more heartburn — EVER.

    I knew a man once who got very sick from the “itis” and they found tomato seeds in the pockets. I don’t remember what he had done to fix it.

    Another time I was under anesthesia, I think when I had a breast biopsy about a decade ago, the doctor said I was talking about tira misu in my sleep. That was SO weird because it’s not even a dessert I EVER think of.

    I have had Harry and Meghan on my mind lately, but how cheeky of Meghan to creep into my colonoscopy. That woman has no shame.

    I was glad Tony was there, though. He even cuddled with me on the couch for a while after I got home, which he never does.

  11. feijicha says:

    Glad you survived!! Diverticulitis was never, ever on my radar until this year when a friend had a severe bout and ended up in hospital (is that it -otis rather than -itis version???) I myself have been having pains for a little while and her diagnosis got me to look up symptoms etc and suspect I’ve got it too…. She had a CT scan to get it confirmed. My primary care dr said she was worried about the radiation risk with CT and would prefer I get colonoscopy along with endoscopy. As mentioned before I prepped or started to for the colonoscopy and it did NOT go well. I called the on-call dr the night before when it was obvious I was not going to be prepped for the colonoscopy to ask if we could just do the endoscopy part and they were twats and said nope, the referral was for both. F*** them. So in the end (no pun intended) I got NEITHER because I had to do both or none. Now I need to go back to my primary care and get a NEW referral for what I want. What I want is to tell the md to shove it and I want her to refer me to a new person. (besides, his nurses were AWFUL last time. Snarky but with a certain veneer of concern to have some plausible deniability but the bitch factor was high). I think I am going to tell my primary that I DEFINITELY want the CT scan for the diverticulitis check and the endoscopy to check the heartburn (which I think is possibly due to my weight gain as well — thank u menopause).

  12. catsworking says:

    feijicha, Yikes! What a nightmare.

    The way I understand it is, diverticulosis is when your colon has little pooches in it that food “may” get stuck in, and most older people have it to some degree.

    Diverticulitis is when some food definitely gets stuck in a pooch and won’t come out causing pain and I don’t know what. I think then they have to go in and clean it out manually, or maybe even remove that section of the colon.

    My condolences on going through prep and then having nothing to show for it.

    I must say, every nurse I had yesterday was extremely nice and accommodating. But again, I wasn’t giving anybody any pushback. However, the people at the front desk for check-in were beyond total dicks. They railroaded me into communicating with them via TEXT only, even though I was sitting 10 feet away from the desk.

    The only text they sent was a link to a screen showing the check-in status of everybody in the waiting room (??), which expired after about five minutes with the message, “We’ll send you another link on your next visit. Have a nice day!” WTFFF??!!

    Check-in was a 22-PAGE document of fine print on a tablet where I had to sign and initial periodically. One section said, “I have had all my questions answered fully and understand everything” (I paraphrase), which had NOT happened, but I couldn’t continue until I initialed it, so I went to the desk and asked. A guy threw two pamphlets at me and said I’d be able to ask questions at “registration.”

    Well, there was no “registration.” Some woman just came into the waiting room to take a form I had to bring and verify that I was myself and that was it.

    So, basically, the hospital forcing patients to CYA for them while providing shit service. That’s why I hate that fucking hospital.

    The desk people at my regular doctors are twats, too. Can’t answer questions in plain English at all. If you ask them to clarify something, they just repeat the jargon that confused you in the first place.

    I asked several nurses what the no-fiber diet was supposed to accomplish and the only answer I got was, “some doctors prefer it.” And then I FORGOT to ask the doctor!

  13. Margeaux says:

    Karen I truly believe that what you had to go through prepping with a particular diet, then OTC
    stuff, wow it is overkill. I remember some years ago
    when my husband drank like a whole gallon of that gunk one had to take, (prescribed unplugger). So he got procedure done, then he was too weak to walk out of the clinic; a nurse wheeled him out to the car in a wheelchair. I’d planned to take him to lunch after that, but we just went straight home
    and I made him something there. He didn’t need to be in a restaurant after this kind of torture.

  14. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, that’s terrible about your husband. I’ve now had four colonoscopies, and I feel like I came through this one better because I did a couple of last-minute things differently. The diet made no difference whatsoever.

    When I took my last doses of Miralax at night, I drank it with white grape juice that had sugar in it because I was hungry and couldn’t eat solids. Then I skipped the last three doses because everything was coming out clear. So, I took 11 doses of Miralax instead of 14 and no one was the wiser.

    I also backed up the timeline on the bathroom time so I only got up 3 times during the night and was able to get some sleep.

    But I do remember previous procedures where I followed instructions so the letter and was so weak by the time it was all over I had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia. This time, I woke up with no problems.

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