Advice about colonoscopy prep?
My mom is going for a colonoscopy on Tuesday (she's been having bad abdominal pain for the past few weeks). I've been trying to find information for her about the procedure, and while she's not too worried about the actual colonoscopy, she's kind of dreading the prep. I was hoping someone here who has gone through this process might be able to give me some more information on the experience.
My mom is supposed to be on a clear liquid diet on Monday morning, and then she has to start taking the medicine at 1:00 PM that day (well, they told her 1:00, but she's not able to start til 2:00). The drug she has been prescribed is PEG-3350. She has to drink 4 liters of it, 1 cup every 10 minutes. The package says that the liquid will cause a bowel movement within about 1 hour. The first question we have is, does that mean one hour after taking the first dose? So will she be taking 5 or 6 doses before anything starts happening?
The next question is, how long does the whole process last? Four liters is about 17 cups, and if she drinks 6 cups per hour (1 cup every 10 minutes) that means it would take about 3 hours to drink all the liquid. Will she continue to feel the effects of the medicine even after it's all gone, or will the process be over in about 3 hours? She's going to start taking the medicine at 2:00 PM, so is it possible to estimate at about what time she'll be done "purging"?
Question number three: As far as the actual "purging" is concerned, does it basically happen that one dose causes one BM, or is it sort of an on-going thing? When you feel the need to "go", do you have enough time to get from the bedroom to the bathroom, or should you just stay in the bathroom the whole time?
Question number four: The powdered medicine mix is unflavored and the package says not to add any kind of flavoring or sweetener. The package says that you can rinse your mouth with mouthwash after drinking it, but it doesn't say if you're allowed to drink anything in addition to the medicine. I know my mom is only supposed to drink clear liquids prior to the prep, but is she also allowed to sip tea, apple juice, sprite, or water in between doses of the medicine? What about after the prep is complete; is she allowed to drink anything else for the rest of the evening? Would it be OK for her to eat mints or hard candy (sucking on them til they dissolve, not chewing & swallowing them)?
Question five: I read online that you are not supposed to drink anything, even water, for 4 hours prior to the colonoscopy; however, those instructions were not given to my mom by the doctor, nor were they printed on the medication. Should she go ahead and avoid drinking anything on the morning of her colonoscopy anyway (the procedure is scheduled for 9:00 AM Tuesday)?
Thanks very much for any info that you can give me!