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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,816

    Default So, how awful is a colonoscopy?

    Sigh. I realize I've been fairly lucky in my good health, but it seems like whenever I do get sick, I get all the fun tests. The endometrial biopsy of 2009 long held the prize for Least Loved Medical Experience Not Involving A Dentist, but now I'm supposed to have a colonoscopy to determine if I have some dread illness or, hopefully, some minor malady. The (cough) prep seems unpleasant, but I have to think that the actual procedure must be fairly humiliating. Encouragement, please!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
    Posts
    645

    Default

    Since I have slept through both of my colonoscopies, I would have to say the prep is far worse than the procedure. (I got a 10 year pass last spring - Yay me!!!)


    5 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    2,307

    Default

    I think this will make you feel much, much better:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/02/1...-my-colon.html

    I have never had a colonoscopy but I think the drugs must be fantastic. You will be FINE.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,854

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Sigh. I realize I've been fairly lucky in my good health, but it seems like whenever I do get sick, I get all the fun tests. The endometrial biopsy of 2009 long held the prize for Least Loved Medical Experience Not Involving A Dentist, but now I'm supposed to have a colonoscopy to determine if I have some dread illness or, hopefully, some minor malady. The (cough) prep seems unpleasant, but I have to think that the actual procedure must be fairly humiliating. Encouragement, please!
    I expect you won't know anything about the procedure, as the protocol today calls for an amnesia drug.
    Yes, they will do bad things to you and you will hurt and complain all that, but bliss, you will wake up and not remember a thing, really.

    Now the prep protocol today, if it is the two day one I had, is misery.
    Do the best you can with it, be sure to get the nurse's number to call if something goes wrong with it, get some Dulcolax laxative tablets (not the stool softener) on hand in case you keep throwing up that salt preparation you have to drink before you have cleaned up to only clear fluids coming thru.
    Drinking yellow (no dark fluids!) Gatorade for several days before, all you can drink, will hydrate you and help thru the cleaning up days before the procedure.
    Trying to stay hydrated thru the stuff you have to take sure will keep you from getting dizzy.

    They told me to get a room by the surgery center so I didn't have to come from way out of town, in case I was still needing a bathroom.
    I didn't, I knew I would be past that by then.

    The prep is the horrible part, don't worry about the procedure, you won't know anything.

    I hope they find all is well and they don't have to do much else.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,063

    Default

    I had a BLAST at mine, and I remember it! I was SO scared that I'd be awake, and that was my main worry. I sorta do remember it, vaguely, but it was a pleasant memory of me joking with the doctor, and looking at the screen, and him saying something like - everything looks GREAT! And then them wheeling me out and me waving my picture and going "lookit my colon, lookit my colon!" (I kid you not). Versed is simply a wonderful drug

    The prep wasn't too much fun, but to give you an idea of how much of a non-event it was...

    I was given some really good advice to eat very lightly for several days beforehand, so I did. The prep was kind of uncomfortable, and NOT really fun, but then they postponed my procedure, and the waves were really good, so...I decided I would go surfing. The morning of my procedure. WHILE prepping. I was a little dizzy, and it probably wasn't a great idea, but I managed. I was a bit dehydrated (ok, so it was NOT a good idea, but I was really bored). And I lived.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Location
    Hunt Country Heaven, VA
    Posts
    630

    Default

    The prep is worse than the procedure. Plan on having it done on a Monday so you can spend ALL of Sunday with your favorite books/magazines on the throne. There is NO fine line between "I might have to go again" and "Oh, sh!t.....!!!"

    I had my first one back in Jan. 2012. Angsted over it for years. Sat with the nurse as we filled out the medical history papers and she reassured me about how understanding, compassionate and kind the doctor was. And then he walked in......he was young and HOT! I wanted to crawl under the desk.

    With a strong history of colon cancer on my mother's side of the family, it was a good thing I had it done. There were 9 polyps, 4 pre-cancerous. They were all removed successfully but I have to have another one in 6 mths. since this was my baseline & the doc wasn't sure how fast any would return, if at all. Don't put it off.
    Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2007
    Posts
    1,154

    Default

    I've had two--15 years apart--second one was much easier. I woke up during the procedure, but had no anxiety at all. They just gave me some more sleep juice, and I didn't wake up again until it was over.

    Note--Both times (different cities) I was told I MUST have someone drive me to and from. They won't check you out without a "nurse". Cabs don't count.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    6,306

    Default

    That's it, I'm getting a hotel. A nice hotel. I rent a room/share a bathroom and the flushing is marginal at best. I'm so glad I read this through and put 2 and 2 (pun intended) together. So I'll have to have not only my co-pay for the procedure but enough set aside for prepping in a hotel LOL.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,727

    Default

    Prep is much worse than the procedure! Not eating and having to drink awful tasting stuff to clean the bowel (read, stay close to the toilet!) is not much fun. I was awake for both of mine (which included an endoscopy) because those "twilight sleep" drugs just don't work on me. It was uncomfortable, but not really painful.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,344

    Default

    The prep is the PITA (Not literally. it's just all about your A) ...I got a little light headed at one point- I think I drank too much water, not enough Gatorade, and late in the prep day I got really spacey...with some chicken broth and Gatorade, I got sorted out.

    I remember NOTHING about the event itself. night night Kat.

    You will be zonky after, someone has to drive you home.

    Recouperating, you really should take probiotics and baby your guts for a couple of days until you're...regular again.

    The procedure itself is no big deal.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,854

    Default

    Forgot to add, get some Preparation H gel and use it liberally.
    Your bottom will be raw, raw from all that prep going out.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,510

    Default

    Prep is not fun-have had it done several times. The stuff you drink is atrocious but everyone gets it down eventually. Once you start the drinking/expelling process you will NOT feel like eating anyway! hotel sounds ideal, bring books! Like many people, you start drinking and think "when does it star-oh shit!" I had a horrific experience with a drug they call Versed (so you don't remember)-will NOT do that again under any circumstances-hope they give you something else, but the actual event, whether you get a twilight drug and are awake or out completely is a nonevent. Sometimes fentanyl, if they use it, can make people nauseous but phenergan can help with that. Good times!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Default

    And make sure you have someone drive you!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
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    13,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    Prep is much worse than the procedure! Not eating and having to drink awful tasting stuff to clean the bowel (read, stay close to the toilet!) is not much fun. I was awake for both of mine (which included an endoscopy) because those "twilight sleep" drugs just don't work on me. It was uncomfortable, but not really painful.
    Yup, versed doesn't work on me either. I remember the doctor reducing my broken ankle
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,510

    Default

    For one of them I rented the Six Wives of Henry VIII to keep me distracted! Worked!! Movies are great for this! I took a long horsre packing class the night my husband "cleansed", or "rode the plastic stallion" as he called it, he really appreciated my NOT being there (although he teased me mercilessly and ate a nice steak dinner during one of mine!)



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,700

    Default

    I didn't have to think long, I would rather do the prep and have the procedure than have most dental procedures. Bluey makes a good point, the actual cleanse wasn't so bad, but does make for an over wipe issue, so stock up with gel.

    I was sort of with it through mine, I remember it being a little sore to start with, but they must of upped my drugs, as I didn't seem to be in there longer than around 6 mins.

    So worth having it done to make sure all is well
    I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.

    Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    16,684

    Default

    I'm really dreading my first one. My digestive system is tricky most of the time from the years of untreated Celiac Disease, lactose intolerance, and God only knows what damage over 49 years. It doesn't take much to throw me off for a week so the idea of drinking these prep fluids and having to stand by a bathroom (yet still work for a living outside as I do) are not happy thoughts. I just got over a stomach flu where I did that for 6 days so I'm over it now....

    To make it worse, the drugs they use like twilight sleep make me sick as a dog. I've had them before and I'm nauseous and sick for at least two days afterwards. I have to wonder if all this misery is really going to be worth it.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,854

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    I'm really dreading my first one. My digestive system is tricky most of the time from the years of untreated Celiac Disease, lactose intolerance, and God only knows what damage over 49 years. It doesn't take much to throw me off for a week so the idea of drinking these prep fluids and having to stand by a bathroom (yet still work for a living outside as I do) are not happy thoughts. I just got over a stomach flu where I did that for 6 days so I'm over it now....

    To make it worse, the drugs they use like twilight sleep make me sick as a dog. I've had them before and I'm nauseous and sick for at least two days afterwards. I have to wonder if all this misery is really going to be worth it.
    Ask for a behind the ear nausea patch, that last three to five days.
    Works for me, that also get nauseous from anesthesia drugs.

    I had a complication, they went both ways, endoscopy and surgery for Barret's esophagus also.
    They could not go up very far from the nether region, so they woke me up and sent me to the big hospital to finish there with other diagnostics, while I was already cleaned out and it ended making for a very long, confusing and tiresome day.

    I asked my Dr if that all was absolutely necessary and he said definitely non-negotiable, I had to do it.

    Why don't you ask your Dr and see, you may squeak by a few more years ... although with your history of other problems, maybe not a good idea to take the risk that something else is in there that should not be and could have been fixed before it is a crisis.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
    Posts
    1,701

    Default

    The prep was awful. I started by chugging 8 oz at a time, then lined up shot glasses, and by the time I was halfway through the jug, I was doing the nose plug, drink, gag, make awful noise, repeat process. My mom had the option of taking the prep in a pill form. She had to take 30 pills every hour, but that doesn't sound so bad.


    I was in a twilight sleep during mine. I woke up a few times, the doc pointed out some things when I woke up.

    Afterwards, they won't let you go home until you expel the air they blew into your colon. Yep, there's a lit of farting in post procedure, but everyone's doing it.

    I played golf about 6 hours after mine. The actual procedure is the easy part.
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2001
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,225

    Default

    I had to have a colonoscopy last year as part of my breast cancer follow up by my GP. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not bad at all.

    Having worked as a hospital pharmacist, and prepared literally hundreds of gallons of Colyte and Golytely over the years, I knew there was no way I was going to drink that stuff, lol. Instead, I opted for the OsmoPrep tablets - a little on the large side, and you do have to take a lot of them, but way better than trying to down a gallon of the other stuff. You still have to drink a lot of fluid, but at least you have some choice there.

    I guess I must not have eaten that much beforehand because even the evacuation part of the procedure wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting. In all honesty, I could probably have got away with half the number of tablets, because there just wasn't that much to come out.

    As for the actual colonosopy, yes, I was given Propofol. The doctor was great and there was no discomfort, other than some very mild bloating afterwards.

    Definitely ask if you can go the tablet route instead of the liquid, and good luck - you will be fine :-)



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