I was just reading my colonoscopy prep instructions for tomorrow.  I have to take four pills of one laxative and 238 grams of another laxative dissolved in liquid.  According to the packaging for these two products, this represents 17 days worth of laxative consumption, all to be taken in 60 minutes.


  1. a_random_guy:

    Be sure to keep your seat belt fastened...

  2. LarryGross:

    yup.. stay by the toilet! :-)

  3. TG:

    I had a colonoscopy a few years ago. In the hospital, they kept giving me laxatives (dissolved in liquid) till anything I drank passed straight through. I didn't get to see to labels, but 17 days worth of laxatives sounds about right.
    The whole experience wasn't that bad. Chugging bottle after bottle of salty laxative was the worst of it, really.
    You'll live.

  4. LarryGross:

    you mean 17 hours, I hope.

  5. katie:

    The more you stick to easy to digest foods before the liquid diet, the better. Also, aquaphor applied after each of the 2 million BMs will keep away some bad side effects. ;) don't go too far from the bathroom. When it hits, its rather sudden.

  6. Matt:

    I'm aware of the preparation. My mother - my mother - had a colonoscopy last week and saw fit to give me plenty of detail.

  7. Russ Armstrong:

    The brand name of the nuclear laxative they gave me was "Fleet." Pun probably intended. I tell ya, if that company had any marketing savvy, they'd put out a drain cleaning product!

  8. Mole1:

    No, I am quite sure he means 17 days.

  9. Zach:

    If it's Miralax in Gatorade (my prep), don't go quite as fast as they say to if you don't feel like it. It made me throw up (not uncommon, from talking to the nurses there). You'll wake up tomorrow dehydrated, in all likelihood.

  10. Mark2:

    All the other comments are not important this is:
    "If you, after reading this, get a colonoscopy, let me know by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Dave Barry Colonoscopy Inducement, The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. I will send you back a certificate, signed by me and suitable for framing if you don't mind framing a cheesy certificate, stating that you are a grown-up who got a colonoscopy."
    Gonna get your Certificate from Dave Barry when you are done? Sure you are - when you do, let us know what arrives.
    Read more here:

    Read more here:

  11. Dimitri Mariutto:

    Requisite jokes from the Interwebs:

    "Take it easy Doc, you're boldly going where no man has gone before!"
    "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"
    "Can you hear me NOW?"
    "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
    "You know in Arkansas we're now legally married."
    "Any sign of the trapped miners Chief?"
    "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."
    "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"
    "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!"
    "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."
    "You used to be an executive at Enron didn't you?"
    "God, Now I know why I am not gay."
    "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is in fact not up there."

    Also, if he has both his hands on your shoulders when performing the procedure he is not doing it right.

    Seriously, let us know how it, uhh, comes out, I mean, how it goes.

  12. Ed R.:

    Reminds me of getting a colonoscopy in Sweden 24 years ago, except there the laxatives were given at the hospital and not sent home. Three patients were scheduled for the procedure, but there were only two restrooms in the waiting area (Swedish restrooms are single occupancy unisex). A lot of desperate pounding on the bathroom door...

  13. Brian Martinez:

    Where's Colon Blow when you need it?

  14. David:

    The name for the prep in this area is "go lightly," which is one of the cruelest medical names I have heard.

  15. bdaabat:

    Good for you getting the procedure done! Colon cancer is a common disease, the risks of which rise as you age, kills > 50,000 people in the US each year, and is much more readily treated when discovered early.

    The terribly unfortunate thing about the procedure isn't actually the procedure... it's the prep for the procedure that requires you to intentionally and purposefully give yourself the exact same effects as what you would get from a case of severe food poisoning. I HATE the prep! However, I'll take it over the risk of not being with my family in the future (strong family history means I get scoped every 5 years).

    The procedure itself is generally no big deal... many people get pre-treated with benzodiazepines (Valium like drugs) and actually don't remember the procedure. Recovery is generally quick...once you get done the procedure, get home, get a nap, then lay low and start advancing your diet.

    BTW: Don't forget to warn your family about the post procedure gas! :D


  16. Fifty Ville:

    If you think that's unpleasant, wait until they turn you into a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon during the procedure.

  17. DrTorch:

    My FIL just did this today too.

  18. Andrew_M_Garland:

    The instructions may tell you to drink an entire gallon of laxative solution. But, it is only necessary to drink until the outgoing fluid is clear. There is nothing left to wash out after that, so you might as well stop.

  19. LTMG:

    I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of why you need two different laxatives. Horrible, horrible pun.

  20. Roy:

    I call it "step lively" because when it finally hits that's what you do. Stay close to the bathroom, very close. And keep the lid up, even a seconds delay might be too late.

  21. bobby b:

    It doesn't actually take 17 days to wear off, does it?

    That could be inconvenient.

  22. BobN:

    Never fun. I had to do that and an enema to boot in prep for mine. Yuck.

  23. deadcenter:

    to lighten the mood a bit more, go to you tube and search for Billy Connolly colonoscopy. he's rather blue, but very, very funny.

  24. abtinf:

    When I had my colonoscopy, I elected to do it *without* sedatives, which is actually the standard of care in most of Europe. It was a little bit difficult to convince the facility staff to let me do this - they insisted on administering sedatives, but, in the end, they allowed me to forego sedatives if I signed a form giving them permission to administer sedatives during the procedure if necessary.

    I would recommend it. Instead of being down for the whole day on a restricted diet, you finish up the procedure and can go do whatever you want, including eat whatever you want.

    The caveat is that It can be painful. For me, it reached maybe a 5 or 7 on the pain scale for brief moments. And the Doctor's main concern is that you will be so self-conscious, made worse by a constant sensation of needing to pass gas, that you will tense up and the procedure will become difficult.

  25. obloodyhell:

    }}} According to the packaging for these two products, this represents 17
    days worth of laxative consumption, all to be taken in 60 minutes.

    ...And a shitty time will be had by all... :-D

  26. Thomas W:

    Here's my prescription for colonoscopy prep: Do not use "go lightly", choose the solution of magnesium citrate and add 24 hours of a clear liquid diet. Easy peasy.

  27. Dr. Mercury:

    'Yotey -

    As I said before, the entire experience will be a lot more enjoyable if you simply pretend you're in prison. Ask the nurse to turn on a faucet to simulate shower room sounds in the background. Just before the molester-, I mean doctor inserts the 8" wide, 2-foot-long probe into you, drop a bar of soap on the floor and go, "Oops! Clumsy me!", then bend over to pick it up. As in prison, it'll be over before you know it. Or regain consciousness, whichever comes first.

    As for you fawning acolytes and drooling sycophants out there who support this cretin, let it be known far and wide that I have just now exposed his darker side for all the world to see:

    And 'Yotey thought no one would notice. Hah! More the fool, he.

    Well, keep us up to date, 'Yotes, and remember -- it'll all come out in the end.

  28. nehemiah:

    Enjoy the rush.

  29. LarryGross:

    suggested today - the "endo" (other end)... doesn't sound much better.