I had a barium enema and if any Doctor ever suggests that again I will either run the other direction or try to take out their knee-caps with a few well-placed kicks.
It was the single most excruciatingly painful experience of my life.
The BE was performed while I was in a terrible flare. Anything in my colon triggered the colon and abdomen to cramp up and try to push whatever was in there, out. Even just the inflamation of the colon walls was enough to trigger that uncontrollable spasming response. For my BE they used some sort of 'ball' thing that ballooned up and completely blocked my rectum. Through the center of that was the small hose they used to pump in the barium solution. That stuff hit my colon and of course my colon said "Everyone out! NOW!" and proceeded to cramp up and try to push everything out, but that ball-balloon prevented anything from going anywhere. Imagine a half full tube of toothpaste with the cap on and your fist squeezing in the middle, the fluid just flowing to either side, no matter where the grip is.
I felt bloated with 'waste' that my poor body was trying madly, and in vain, to get rid of and it could go nowhere. I remember gripping the sides of the tilting table with white knuckles and taking fast and shallow breaths because I could not breathe normally. I don't think I could classify it as 'pain', but it was certainly almost extremely unbearable discomfort. Meanwhile, my body and colon were cramping and trying to eliminate the fluid in there and I am surprised I didn't "pop". I do feel that ball-balloon damaged some of my anal sphincter muscles. It was probably three years before I felt I had no more issues from that BE.
That is an experience I will try to avoid repeating at all costs in the future.
...I do think if you are not experienceing problems (ulcers, inflamation, strictures and such) that it should only be mildly uncomfortable and not as painful an experience as I had.
I have the ability of single-minded determination and accurate project focu....Hey, look, a cat!
Crohn's and UC are pretty darn crappy, but if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll cry.
I'd much rather laugh.