First colonoscopy - Very scared

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ally-oop
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/26/2008 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I'm new to the forum and looking for, hopefully, some reassuring advice.
 
I have been having stomach problems for well over a year now and am scheduled for a colonoscopy next week.  To say I am scared would be an under-statement!
 
I have been told that I will be sedated, but I was told I would be sedated for the endoscope I had last year and, needless to say, I was not in the least bit drowsy.  As a matter of fact, I was so not drowsy and relaxed that I managed to pull the scope out of my mouth!  I think my gastro may be a bit stingy when it comes to sedation.  When I spoke to his assistant the other day to relay my concerns and fears, she told me not worry that I will be taken care of.  She also told me that they use the same sedative for the colonoscopy as they use for an endoscope, which is Versed.  Well, if that is the case, then I am doubly scared since, if it is true that I was given Versed for the endoscope, the Versed may not work for me. 
 
So, I was wondering if those of you who have had a colonoscopy could tell me what to expect.  Although I used to have a high tolerance/threshold for pain, that has diminished in the past couple of years.  I don't handle pain like I used to and that is what has me freaked out about the procedure. 
 
So, anything anyone can offer would be much appreciated.  I would especially be interested in hearing from any Canadian members as I am Canadian and will be having my procedure done in Ottawa. 
 
Thanks so much. 
 
 

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 6/26/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not Canadian but in the US they use at least double the sedation for a colonoscopy. Just make sure they know that you want to have no pain. They use 2 different things here. I don't think they use Versed where I go as I noticed a different name last time. If for some reason you feel something at least you will be able to tell them and they can increase the flow of the sedation. I have had friends that were awake the whole time but they tried that once with me and I wouldn't do that again. I have had 4 and been totally out for 3 and sort of in and out for the others but no pain those times. Be firm that you want to be out.

mrmagoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 6/26/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I can tell you I was scared too, which didn't help my stomach at all.

First I scheduled it for the earliest possible time, cause of the 'prep' work, which I think should be classified as torture, I knew I would be sick at my stomach from not having any real food for two days.

Got to the hospital at 6am, by 6:15 they had me gowned up, IV in, and some O2 (get O2 going ASAP, really calms the nerves).
So the nurse jokes around with me and my wife while we wait, we had to be there an hour early for them to get vitals and make sure you didn't cheat on the prep work, I'm sorry, I mean torture.

Then at 7am they roll me back to 'the room', they crazy nurse has a Christmas CD in and is singing and dancing around, curious if she had been drinking, wish I would have been. So then she informs me the doc is stuck in traffic, oh joy. He winds up being 45 minutes late, but during the down time the nurses, there were 3 I think, kept my spirits up, got all the monitors on my chest and what not. The doc comes in, ask me a few questions about how I am feeling, yata yata, then he gives a nod to the nurse...I wake up back where I started being told get up get dressed and go home, no pain, no nothing, just groginess. I then slept till like 8pm that night, my wife says I woke up a few times during the day swearing I had drove home and she shouldn't have let me, then back to sleep. Oh, and prepare for lots of excess air, as the use you like a balloon, air goes in, air has to come out.

I have a few flash back here and there, but no real memory of what happened at all. They use one of those concoctions that puts you on the verge of sleep, but you can respond if needed, cause you have to move some on the table. A friend said the drugs didn't work on him, so he was awake, not fully, but more than they wanted, but he said it wasn't really anything, you are still grogy enough that you really dont remember feeling anything after its over.

Hope this helps, they aren't fun at all, especially at 23 years old, but I have had much worse medical procedures. I wouldn't mind having some of those drugs at home for some recreational use, or to simply forget an argument or two at home :)

Good luck.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/26/2008 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ally-oop,
Welcome to HealingWell!! :-)
(I'm not Canadian.)
I, like you, was super scared when I got the news of having to be scoped (doc asked for upper and lower scopes). I have a fear of puking and I thought for sure the prep was going to make me sick as a dog. Then I started to worry about strangers looking at (and up!) my butt. Then came the sedation part... Would it work?

As I was checking into the clinic I could feel my heart pounding through my chest. I was so scared. After getting prepped (gown, IV, monitors, etc.) the docs wheeled out an elderly woman and put her next to me. She was groggy and had just come from being scoped. Almost immediately she began farting! That freaked me out! I don't like to advertise that I have gas, so I was worried that would be me next. I had images of me farting all the way home. Anyway, I got wheeled into "the room" and immediately started receiving the sedation meds. I believe the meds put you in what's called a "twilight sleep." I was in and out for the upper endoscopy - I clearly remember gagging. But for the colonoscopy, I'm positive they pushed more meds because I only woke up once to turn over, which I hardly remember. Practically zero pain.

And yes, afterwards you do have some gas. Before I got put under I jokingly told my doc I didn't want to be tooting all day like my elderly bed-neighbor. Afterwards, doc told me she was able to suck out a lot of the air she had blown in. I thought that was nice of her. Maybe you can share all your concerns with your doc and s/he will be just as accommodating.

Looking back, the worst part is the prep. It sucks to starve, drink foul tasting laxatives, and to be stuck in the bathroom with a sore bum all day and night. After that, the scope is a breeze.

GOOD LUCK!!!! Please report back on how it goes.

PS - A word of advice... Get yourself some baby wipes and/or medicated hemorrhoid wipes for your butt during the prep. It really starts to hurt after so many trips to the bathroom.
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Treester
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 6/26/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   

I haven't had one, but I just wanted to say good luck and that you're in the right place for support.  People here are great, and so many have BTDT.


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/26/2008 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had 7 colonoscopies. I've never felt a thing. Sometimes I feel as though the sedation isn't taking hold yet and I ask them not to start but it's only about 5 seconds and then I must be "out". Because the next thing I remember is the recovery room.

They will give you Versid, which is also called Twilight Sleep. It's what they gave women in labor & delivery, decades ago (long before natural birth became popular and then epidurals). You will be sedated, not remember a thing but alert enough to cooperate (turning this way or that, drawing your knees up, etc. so they can get a better look at your colon).

Sometimes if you're nauseous they'll give you Phenergan (which makes you sleepy, another nice benefit). The two combined for me work like a charm - I have never felt any part of my scopes.

I will tell you that when you often hear people talk about what an ordeal their colonoscopy was, they are almost always referring to the day before, when you do your prep. Not the actual procedure.

After it's over, go easy on liquids. I would suggest you sip water. Don't guzzle it. Go easy on foods too - saltines, pretzels, etc. are good at first. Then a light lunch (soup, half sandwich), by dinner you should be eating full meals again.

I was so thirsty in recovery once, I downed a full glass of Coke. It all came right up but conveniently after I had dressed, almost ready to go home. Yes, it went everywhere and I was a mess. So I've learned the hard way, the first hour or two after a colonoscopy, I just feel better if I return to liquids and solids, in moderation.

Wishing you the best.

Marsky/Mary

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 6/26/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are in Canada you will probably get Pico Salix which is supposed to taste good. In the US we use a lot of Fleets phospho soda and Ihave finally found that by putting it in apple juice it is tolerable. They do pump gas in you and they are supposed to suck it out. I have never had the "farts" after or felt bloated. You will be fine but I think we are all a little scared the first time. I sure was. They gave me apple juice after but eat lightly the rest of the day.

kipper04
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/27/2008 6:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I just had my first colonoscopy on mon here in the USA, and if you have fleet drink it with cold kool-aid lemonade trust me you will not taste the difference. They used Versed with demerol for pain, and i dont remember a thing. When I was being wheeled in the procedure room  I said "stop I dont want to do this" and then we proceded into the room, where there was loud music playing and they said we are giving you the demerol now in your iv, well that is the last thing I remember. Piece of cake. I woke up really groggy in the recovery room with a little gas not much and then went home and slept for a couple hrs then I was totally fine. They found polyps and I am only 40 so not at the age of a screening but have been having problems with diverticulosis, so all in all I am glad that I got it done it was so worth it just to find out about the polyps. Good luck and if you are in the least bit uncomfortable ask for more drugs. I agree also wish we could have that drug out here that was sort of fun.

To_My_Health
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/28/2008 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there -
 
I just had a colonoscopy yesterday - anyone know when I'll have my first bowel movement and when I can resume normal activities? I have plans to see a cool band play at a very large venue here in Los Angeles, but I don't want to go if I'm going to have my first post colonoscopy b.m. there! I had some rice with chicken broth after I got home yesterday, then jello with some light fruit cocktail, then a scrambled egg with dry toast last night - not sure when this all is going to get moving, but I hope it's today and not tonight. I also had an endoscopy. Ally-Oop, I'll tell you my tips and how it all went for me after I get this written.
 
Anyone know the answer to this burning question?
 
THANKS ALL!
 
A. -

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/28/2008 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi To_My_Health,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)

I think it's safe to say you won't be having a BM tonight. Most likely it will take at least a couple days. I didn't go until day 5 after my scope.

Good luck and have fun at the concert!
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Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 6/29/2008 12:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I only eat light the first day. Next day I am back to eating regularly and it usually takes a couple days but if you are eating light it could take longer.

To_My_Health
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/29/2008 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey All, Thanks for responding back, Canyonbabe & 7Lil! Okay - it was at The Hollywood Bowl and Cheap Trick (and friends) tonight with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony performing the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was spectacular! NO having to rush to the ladies 'room to do my business, either - yay!

I had been having stomach distress with irregular bowels for about 6 months, and finally I got my colonoscopy and endoscopy referral. Finally went in to see my doc and she said it might be Celiac disease or something more sinister, but she doubted it. I am an anxious person by nature, so I pay with my digestive tract (I'm working on that). I got the bowel prep kit from the pharmacist, but only after refusing to take the Half Lytely kit - I said I would not pay $50 for a one-shot treatment that could be gotten some other way. The pharmacist said to call my doc and see what else could be done - no problem - they said to get a TriLytely kit, which is the same basic thing but better - $15 better - that's all it cost, and the pharmacist sold me 2 dulcolax pills for $.98 for both - this is the same thing as the other, but it's not a namebrand. PLUS with this TriLytely kit you can eat a normal breakfast and a light lunch, then you start downing the "juice" at around 4 or 5pm - the doc said I could stop drinking the stuff after my bowels run clear(ish) - so I did! THEN you take the 2 dulcolax pills, and you're good to go. NOTHING to eat or drink the next day - nothing after midnight the night before the procedure. HINT: I chose the berry-citrus flavoring, mixed it the night before to make sure it was really cold, then I downed each one-cup dose each 10 minutes WITH A STRAW - makes it go down easier, NOT that it's really all that bad. It tastes like thicker mineral water that was brewed with a brand new sock, so a little chemical-ly, but not as bad as everyone says it is - at least, not the TriLytely, anyhow. I started clearing out just over an hour after the first dose. I went in for my procedure the next day and they put me on the bed for prep - asked me questions about my last ingestion of food or liquid and other things, took my blood pressure, hooked me up to the heart monitor and oxygenation thing on my finger, and (eeewww) started me on the i.v. drip for fluids & drugs. She put me on saline, which was great, 'cause I was dehydrated, of course. They wheeled me into the procedure room and after about 25 minutes of sitting there freezing in anxiety and boredom I asked for something for my anxiety, so they started my Versed (sp?). After another few minutes, the anesthesiologist came in and asked me the same series of questions as the prep nurse, put an oxygen mask on me, and apparently pushed some effective gas thru there, 'cause that's the last I remember. I was GONE - they did the colonoscopy and the endoscopy knowing of no thing and no pain or discomfort and I was woken up around 45 minutes later in another room very groggy and headachey. They gently asked me to get up, and I put my clothes on and they told me they found NOTHING in my colon and nothing in my stomach but a tiny hiatal hernia and a teensy erythema, which is a little patch of irritation. They took a smidge of my stomach for biopsy, which is apparently routine, and I'll get the results back from that in a few weeks. Did anyone else have a tiny piece of their stomach biopsied in an endoscopy? Anyway, they gave me some apple juice and saltines and I was groggy, but able to sit up and walk and go to the bathroom by myself. I had another little watery bowel movement, which contained a few clots of blood, which they said to expect - no big deal. They gave me actual photos of my --- umm - parts outside of my colon, inside some areas of my colon, as well as pictures of parts of my stomach. Cool! These pics had descriptions of the procedures and the findings, plus what to expect afterwards. I was told to go home and eat something light and sleeeeeep - so I did. Woke up and ate more, watched some tv and went to bed. No BM today, but I'm hopeful for tomorrow!

Everyone who has stomach or colon distress should get a colonoscopy - you never know that everything's really okay unless you do this, and it's not that big a deal, people. Just do it!

To_My_Health
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/29/2008 2:47 AM (GMT -6)   
And, DITTO on the baby wipes or Charmin towelettes for the tush - you'll be really glad you handled this area with much care early on! I got a little hemorrhoid just from the friction from my bowels clearing with such force - owww!

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/29/2008 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Health,
Biopsies of the stomach, upper and lower intestine are common and expected during these procedures. I'm glad you got through it okay...they are never fun! I have had 4-5 scopes myself, usually an EGD and colonoscopy combined. The last time I had one done they used a balloon enteroscope, which is some cool new technology that allows them to pass the upper scope all the way into the jejunum (second part of the intestine - usually they can only reach the top of the duodenum, the first part of the intestine).

Sounds like you're taking good care of yourself post-scope. Good luck and let us know how it turns out for you!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


AJINUT
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/29/2008 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Sarita, i just had my first double balloon endoscopy/colonoscopy on Friday and they had an issue with sedation so I went under general anethesia. Anyway, I've had severe abdominal soreness (like i've done 1000's of situps) from all the pushing and pulling of the balloon/scopes. I feel better today but still feel sore as the air is still in there. Did you have that with yours? Just wondering.

To_My_Health
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/30/2008 12:40 AM (GMT -6)   

Ohhh Sarita -- thank you sooo much for putting my mind at ease. I wasn't sure I was supposed to be fretting about them having taken these biopsies or not! I thought they were routine, but they might have just told me that to ease my (continually) worried mind. The report said exactly this;

A diminutive hiatal hernia was found. Z line at approx 40 cm. Gastropathy - patchy erythema - was found. Biopsies of the antrum and the body of the stomach were obtained and sent to pathology. The duodenal bulb was normal in appearance, as was the postbulbar duodenum. Multiple biopsies were botained from the second duodenum and sent to pathology to r/u celiac disease. Retroflexed views revealed no abnormalities. The scope was then completely withdrawn and the procedure terminated...

This is all routine, right? Please say I have nothing to worry about. The blood test was normal and didn't show any Celiac antibodies present, thank goodness!

And, I've had 2 big meals today and 2 yesterday, and still no movement of bowels. When in the world will I have some relief? I had a big salad, then a plate of potstickers and broccoli, then a bowl of ice cream - this has got to get moving, or I'm gonna' explode!

Thanks for your help -

TMH -

 

 

 

 


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/30/2008 5:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Health, I can't interpret your physician report for you, but I do want you to know that we are here to listen to whatever worries or questions you have!

As far as the BMs go...well, that's up to your body to decide, much to your possible chagrin. I know it's not pleasant. I just came out of the bathroom after 45 minutes of agony, so I am truly relating to your pain at the moment, but...(except that I have the opposite problem). It might be worth it to pull out the big guns and try some spicy tea (strong ginger or peppermint) - sometimes those guys can have a laxative effect!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/30/2008 5:34 AM (GMT -6)   
AJ, I didn't have a lot of soreness after my enteroscope, but then again, I have lived in complete denial for a long time and don't trust pretty much anything my body is trying to tell me! However, I would say that the extreme abdominal tenderness warrants a call to the doc, just to make sure. 1000 sit-ups is just too miserable to imagine!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


marsh1565
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/26/2009 1:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Based on all the worry I gave myself prior to my colonoscopy yesterday i thought it was really important to post this as i hope it will give you some reassurance about the procedure and there is NOTHING TO WORRY about I PROMISE.
When I first received my letter from the hospital I went straight onto the net to see what a colonoscopy was, not a good idea, i really got myself worked up and thought to myself how am i going to get through this. The first thing that concerned me was cancer what happens if I have got it and then the procedure itself. Firstly its only normal to think the worst however (although I am know doctor) chances are that it will something less sinister so please try and think about the positive. Sorry to be so blunt but I want to try and get across what was going through my mind. So once i came to terms with "this is out of my hands" i started to think about the positives, yes would you believe when you sit down and think about it there are and stopped "googling" colonoscopy as it was not helping the situation. So now to the procedure
 
() Took Picolax 5pm on Tuesday and 7.30am on the day of the procedure. I am sure people react in different ways however it was a breeze no real concernes
() My wife took me to the hospital got taken to my room, checked over and then had the IV inserted for the sedation (even that was not as bad as i thought)
() Got taken down at 4pm the last thing i remember was the doctor injecting the sedative into me and the next thing I knew I was upstairs in my room saying to my wife "is that it"
() Doctor came in and gave me the results, everything clear no follow up
 
from start to finish i was in at 3pm and out at 7pm.
 
Although I appreciate everybody can have different experiences the majority have the same experience as me, a breeze!!!!!!!
 
Please please please do not worry
 
hope this posting helps i am sure there are lots of people like me out there who are looking for some reassurance
 
 
Marshall

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 11/28/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I tell people things like this all the time too, I've had at least 10 colonoscopies and a few Flex-sigs. Also a rectal ultrasound (that lasted over an hour).

People are petrified of this procedure so I try to assure them 99.9% of the time the horror stories they hear pertain to the bowel prep, done the day before. I do wish that Picolax would be approved in the US - you can work on that ibs-help-online, okay? I will put you in charge of that task.....lol It sounds as if Picolax is by far the easiest bowel prep to use.

I also quietly tell anyone I know who has turned 50 to get a colonoscopy. At first they say - naw, I won't do that. But then I launch into my cancer story (rectal cancer, at age 43) and then they agree to at least think about booking an appt. I've personally been able to get about 15 people into the doctor in the past 10 years. I never let up. My boss is turning 50 next Tuesday. When we have a quiet moment, I'm going to get serious and remind her, it's time......she never wants to take off work though. I predict that will be my hardest sell and another wish as a patient to a doc - I wish you guys would offer colonoscopies on Saturdays! Not only for the patient's schedule but their driver's schedule. You're working around two work schedules - the patient and the driver.

Okay, my little patient rant is over......you are doing a good thing here by responding to our topics doc. As you said in another post, you're not all bad. LOL
- Rectal Cancer 4/29/99, Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 8 weeks later)
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

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