So, yeah. This is a mid-life thing. Your hormones start to slowly go wonky and you have to start having all these tests. Your boobs gotta get squished (ohmygod, the mammogram! It’s exactly not as much fun as they say it is). And you gotta get the colonoscopy.
Later this week I’ll be undergoing my second one in a decade.
I learned a few things from the first time around. Like, don’t eat spicy soup first thing afterwards (but also don’t eat those shitty oreos they offer you. Oreos? Seriously?).
I’m approaching this colonoscopy from a very holistic point of view. And since many of us will have to go through this, I figured I’d let you into my world, so you can make the best of this…poopy situation. (I couldn’t resist!)
To look at colonoscopy holistically, I’m going to cover three basic areas: mind, body, and spirit.
Body :: Colonoscopy + The Frame
Be really kind to yourself in the prep period- you get to eat very little and you gotta poo a lot, and this might make you cranky. Warn the people you love.
Eat well after the procedure: easily digestible foods. A green smoothie would be great! Lots of nutrients and bacteria to start your gut going again, but already digested (cuz it’s pulverized) so your overly worked intestines can take a slow start.
If a smoothie isn’t available, opt for soups, juices, applesauce, cantaloupe, bananas, or apples. Stay away from meat and fats for the first 24 hours, as they are harder to digest.
Fluids, baby. You’re gonna be dehydrated, so drink water or weak tea and grab a drink to replace any lost electrolytes.
Wear comfortable pants. Stretchy. Cotton. And warm socks. Trust me on this.
Mind :: Colonoscopy + Emotions
Mentally, the best thing you can do for yourself in a colonoscopy is remember that you’re not exactly you from the time you start the prep until about 2 days after the procedure. Your gut and your brain are intimately connected, and you may need time to ‘come back online’ after the colonoscopy.
You may want to prepare yourself for possible bad news. You really never know what they’re gonna find. I am a ‘prepare for the worst, hope for the best’ person – so I tend to anticipate possible concerns. Using anticipation carefully, we can improve our resiliency to (possible) bad news and come out better.
If you need to manage fear, consider meditation practices or listening to favorite music before you arrive. Guided meditation has also been shown to decrease pain and increase healing after invasive procedures.
Spirit :: Colonoscopy + Soul
The higher meaning of the colonoscopy is what we’re looking at in this perspective. And the meaning is two-fold:
- cleaning out. obviously.
- exploration + curiosity.
As you work through the prep stage, it can be fun, helpful, maybe even enlightening to think about what you want to let go of, release, move on from, or be done with. Imagine those things leaving your body|mind as you go to the bathroom. Goodbye that which I no longer need! See ya! [flush]
After the prep stage, and until you feel you’re digesting well again, there is an energy of curiosity – what’s happening inside me? What could I find- spiritually- now that the ‘shit’ is gone? Who am I in this place where everything has been cleared away?
And also, perhaps most importantly, what do I want to ‘plant’ now- spiritually? What do I want to digest and integrate into myself as a spiritual person?
::: ::: ::: :::
So, there you are: the spiritual side of colonoscopy. I tend to believe that we can use all situations for our good (or, at least, most of them), and I think that’s true with this procedure, too. We can use it to create more understanding and awareness in our life, and that’s a good thing.