What to wear to your Colonoscopy


What to Wear to Your Colonoscopy

When you hit 50, you may be asked to join the  “You Need a Colonoscopy Club.”

It happens.

Everybody talks about the horrific “Prep” and nobody talks about the appropriate attire for this Big Event. Here is everything you need to know.

The All You Can Eat Buffet

 Fact: The day before the Big Event all you can ‘eat’ – is clear liquids.

Hot mugs of Swanson’s chicken broth with a squirt of fresh lemon juice is considered a great meal; several servings of Jell-O can be considered mini-meals (no red cherry flavor.) Pure ice Popsicles are a great little snack- (do not buy fruit filled popsicles.)

Drink: Lots of tea, lots of 7Up, ginger ale, and Gatorade. Hydrate yourself before, during and after the event. Have another cup of tea…a tall warm glass of 7Up. Perhaps another scoop of yummy Jell-O.

After the 12 hours of “Prep” – Three Tips:

HOT TIP: Every colonoscopy Prep should include the following: scented candles in your bathroom, butterscotch flavored lifesavers, and three comedies from the library, Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime – to keep you mildly entertained and totally distracted.

These three items are your “spoonful of sugar” to make the episode go away.

(All three secrets also help make the so-called “yummy new flavor” of the Prep drink drug disappear)

  • Suck on a few Lifesavers – the flavor of your choice – to cleanse your palate…a few times. The primal urge to fill your mouth with taste-bud-deadening ice cubes is also very effective.images-twoo
  • Candles add ambiance and a much needed fragrance enhancements…for those multiple ensuing trips to the loo. Enough said.
  • Lighthearted comedies help pass the time and keep you distracted. (Do not even think about renting Melancholia, Memento, or Holy Motors.)

And, no, trying to read a book or even a  runaway bestseller is not a good idea on the eve of your Big Event. Trust me, for once the likes of Bill Murray, Adam Sandler, or Will Ferrell trump those glib essays by Goethe, Sartre and Camus.

Upon Arrival at Colonoscopy Central

(Hot Tip: Be smart. Do not wear a watch, earrings, necklaces or extra rings. The nurse will ask you to ID all the extraneous jewelry you not supposed to wear. Remember you will be asked to disrobe and don the infamous gown – Open-in-the-back.)

Check into the front desk: bring your ID and your insurance card and reading glasses, if necessary.

Have the angel who drove you (to and from) hold your purse, wallet, back pack…(really – all of which will not need- leave them at home)

  • You will then be asked to complete about eight forms.
  • Remember: you haven’t eaten over 30 hours -you may be a little lightheaded, weak, and flimsy.
  • Complete the forms, retrieve your two ID cards (be sure to supply the phone number of your driver.)
  • Shortly thereafter, Nurse #1 will escort you to your room with drapes-as-walls. She will ask you your date of birth, full name, and to recite the name of the Dr. and the name of your upcoming procedure.

Since you’re smart, you are wearing shoes that slip off (clogs, mules, loafers) and socks.

Wear pants (sweats, yoga pants elastic band-anything) that slip off along with your sweater (good tip: wear a T-shirt, girls: skip the bra)

You will allowed to wear the T-shirt and socks.  All else is stored in a tiny locker (less is more.)

Do not wear tie up shoes, you’ll see why later.

Slip into the tiny bed. Nurse will take your blood pressure. Attach an ET oxygen finger-“clip and insert hydration IV.

The “Knock, knock – you’re out!” sedative is later.

Nurse #2 will enter next and ask you your name, date of birth, name of procedure, and the doctor’s name. Generally, they advise you, “The doctor will be in shortly.”


If you are smart and lucky – you are a patient of Dr. Jane Melnick – hands down: the smartest, most cordial, kind Dr. you have ever met. She will arrive, meet you and assuage many fears. Now is the time to ask her any questions. The good Dr will speak you again post-event.  (Note: you may be very groggy- ask all questions now)

Thereafter, you’ll be wheeled into “the procedure room.” You might be nervously chatty or just looking at all those computers. Whew. You know you have a blood pressure cuff on, an ET oxygen clip, and then, voila: oxygen! And then the magic sedation …going, going, gone and you’re under.

You will wake up back in your “room” and asked which juice you’d prefer: cranberry or apple… The doctor will come in and report findings.

Thereafter, you’ll get dressed and be so happy to pull on underwear, some variation of pull-on pants, your top, slip your feet into shoes – no fuss, no muss, no zippers no buttons. Important: you may be a little foggy brained  – you may be a little flimsy, whimsy, high.

At the appropriate time, a nurse will walk you out to your “driver” and you will have reports, papers and copies of documents in your hand.

You probably won’t know that these things are in your hand-never mind. (No purse, backpack, to worry about  – your driver has it)


Note: You are high. Not Golden Gate Park 1977 high – but you are high. The sedation stays in your system for a bit of time. Hours. Tread lightly.

Remember:  The day before all you could “eat” was – was a menu of clear liquids.

When you get home – you may be ravenous or sleepy or both.

Be sure to drink a lot of water (48 oz.) during the day post event.

Some of us slither right into bed and sleep it off.

Others return home famished. It’s a good thing to approach food in a slow methodical way: avoid spicy and hot…Think: rice, oatmeal, yogurt, sorbet, things that are cool and calm to your tummy – a good way to start your entry back into the world of food.

Sleep well.

There’s a good chance you won’t want to look at any form of Jell-O for another five years.

Take the day off – follow all the directions from the Doctors office. Rest.

Expect a follow up phone call to check on you…days later. The office will mail you a “bill of health.”

Never ever bore anyone with the details regarding ‘the Prep.’   (That’s like talking about your divorce – and no one wants to hear that story, either.) Promote watching comedies, lifesavers and scented candles – plus comfy pull-on clothes and slip on shoes.

Everyone should know what to wear to a colonoscopy.

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Kerry On – San Francisco Personal Assistant – Organizer and Move Manager

Whether you have Empty Nest or a Full Garage – I can help.

You may have surmised, Details and deadlines are my strong suit.  Having been a homeowner, meeting planner and Personal Assistant in San Francisco and Marin, and now the East Bay,  for 25+ years has provided the necessary training, expertise, and knowledge to be a capable and respected  Project Manager and Personal Assistant.

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I love what I do and I am a uniquely talented.

Kerry on ~ so you can carry on

Email – Kerry.on.sf@gmail.com

Kerry On – Personal Assistant, Organizer and Downsize Specialist

And yes,  you are very welcome.


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16 Responses to What to wear to your Colonoscopy

  1. I had mine today. It was only a year since my last and now I get five years before the next. I preferred not to “eat” anything as I am not a fan of jello, or lemon or lime anything. I don’t remember chicken broth on my list. It is best for me to just ignore the issue of food altogether–except for butterscotch lifesavers. When it came time to drink the liquid (eleven giant sips equals eight ounces–yes, I counted), I immediately followed the drink with a lifesaver. When it was gone, it was about time for the NEXT eight ounces. I caught up on back issues of Real Simple magazine, all my email, and even watched part of a movie. Having strong wifi in the bathroom this year was another big plus. I really never felt bad until I was stuck waiting for the procedure, and then I was hungry and headachy. This is either my third or fourth colonoscopy, and this was the first time I was awake and watching the whole thing, including pinching out polyps. I saw them get those suckers. My advice is…fast–the less you have going in the less will be coming out. And butterscotch lifesavers. Drink the prep, cold, as fast as you can, try not to smell it, and follow with that lifesaver. AND colonoscopies are lifesavers. Remember that.

  2. bogden510 says:

    Oh my gosh, I loved this! Unfortunately I’m only 26 and getting one and I got the whole speach on what to “eat” and getting there and home but no one ever told me what to wear!! This is also my first time getting put under with anesthesia… But this post made me smile and that’s exactly what I needed. Now off to get some lifesavers before Prep tonight! Thanks Kerry!

  3. 49lilykatz says:

    I needed a long, cackling belly laugh, and you, Ms. Kerry On, saved the day and infused my tiny little work room with many positive waves. Please, for my sake, and the sake of anyone else I find today who needs to laugh out loud, please do Kerry On, and On. Muchas gracias for the positive waves.

  4. Ha ha! Just stumbled on this after you were kind enough to leave a like for me. On our way right now to drop my dearest off for this procedure. As he says, it’s been a busy morning.

  5. I am 57,,,, last one was 37 or so… a long time. The prep was about the same but the procedure seems a bit different. I am doing my best not to read tooooo much but I was looking for “what to wear”. Your comments have alleviated some concerns and have made me feel more comfortable. Well done! Now.. an hour and a half before I go and check out that modified go-pro! Cheers.

    • Pl says:

      By now, it’s all over! Love you Go-Pro analogy.
      Thanks for dropping me a line…about 200 people a week read “What to Wear…” I am so happy to provide good information and a few laughs!
      Kerry On

  6. I also wanted to know what to wear. Been there done that but wore jeans and such. When I had foot surgery I went in nice soft pajamas
    The nurses all said now thats the way they all should dress even easier to get off if needed. So I’ve decided to wear my soft non see through . pjamas this time to the big event.
    Ill have to slip off probably …but much eadiet and will wear my house coat
    Who cares at 6 am..just me and hubby lol
    Didn’t think about Sox…will note that one Thanks

  7. kristihernandez says:

    Thank you so much. This was just what I needed. Love your sense of humor.

  8. themorningdisco says:

    Love the ‘what to wear advice’ I had been dreading mine, but know too many people right now who unfortunately have colon cancer. It really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I went on a soft diet a couple of days in advance which probably really helped. Cheers, Lauren

  9. I am glad you mentioned to suck on a few lifesavers to cleanse your palate. I am getting a colonoscopy next week. Thanks for the tips for preparing for a colonoscopy. http://www.lincolnsurgicalgroup.com/colorectal-expertise

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