second failed colonoscopy prep

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/23/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I just had ANOTHER failed colonoscopy yesterday. The prep failed, and I am yet again faced with a gastro who thinks I didn't follow the prep correctly. I DID. It didn't clean me out completely, and so I have to go thru this again. I'm 55, have Celiac disease and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility Type), and just found out yesterday from my upper endoscope that I now also have something called "watermelon stomach." It's a connective tissue disorder and probably part of the Ehlers-Danlos, but what scares me to death is I have to go thru another colonoscopy prep.

My husband was in the Navy for 26 years & we moved about every 2 years. I've had a lot of different gastroenterologists (my current one is #7), and I've had many colonoscopies thru the years, because they had me diagnosed with irritable bowel. I was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease at age 53. Since I've gone gluten-free, no more IBS. However, because of my age, they need to do screening colonoscopies on me (and there's cancer in my family - an aunt is currently fighting colon cancer). My last colonoscopy (4 years ago) was a 2-day prep, and I still wasn't cleaned out. Before they did the procedure, they gave me 5 enemas; still wasn't cleaned out. The doctor and the attending nurse both said that I HAD to have messed up the prep - they blamed it on me. I never went back to him I was so upset. I'm a Certified Medical Assistant (retired) and I know how to do a prep. I told them that I had previously had at least 6 other colonoscopies & never encountered that problem, but they still blamed me.

It took me 4 years and upper abdominal pain that was becoming severe before I got up the nerve to find another gastro. So my new gastro - she's young, and she doesn't know me yet. At least she said it in a nice way, but still believes I screwed up & that's why I wasn't cleaned out. So she wants to do it again, but this time a 2 day prep. Told her "been there, done that" and it didn't work either - she still wants me to do it.

To further complicate the issue, the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) causes many problems, one being dysfunction of my autonomic nervous system (dysautonomia). I warned her, but she didn't listen. So, I wake up at 6:30 with at least some degree of dehydration (and I have problems with dehydration even when I'm NOT prepping for a colonoscopy). This has induced a tension/migraine, and for added fun, my allergies made me completely congested. I was told not to take any meds after midnight, so I couldn't take anything for the headache, which was really severe. The dysautonomia messes with my body in many ways - chronic joint pain, low blood pressure, body temp. regulation, etc. To make a long story short, at admitting I was in tears from the headache and joint pain, I was shivering even though the building temp. was like 70, my BP dropped and I collapsed. They took me to the ER, almost called off my procedures, but after ruling out stroke and MI, I insisted they at least still do the endoscope. The doc ended up doing both, but the colonoscopy was incomplete.

Anyway, I don't know what is going on. Why I can't get myself cleaned out now... the docs think it's my fault... and don't think my body can handle another colonoscopy prep considering what happened to me yesterday (and BTW, we had a hotel room on the medical center campus to make things easier). I told her she would have to admit me the night before or we're going to run into the same problem again, but of course she thinks I screwed up the prep, so... She told me insurance NEVER covers admission the night before a colonoscopy (she said she's tried for 90-year-old patients, and they wouldn't approve it). I don't know what to do, and my body has been thru enough... HELP!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 4/23/2010 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Ehlers-Dahlos-Syndrome is known to cause dysmotility of the digestive tract - if you can't clean out then you have at least a motility problem of your colon meaning that stools are moving way too slow through it. If you have an enlarged stomach (watermelon) then your stomach probably has also some degree of dysmotility which results in slow emptying.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 4/23/2010 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   


So very sorry that you are suffering and continue to not get answers.  Unfortunately you need to be your own advocate and continue to persevere until to find a good gi that will help you and give you answers.  I too have had many gis (6) and had a severe bowel prep issue; it stayed in my system for 10 days until it came out.  I was then diagnosed with severe IBS-C; I was later diagnosed with severe colonic inertia and had a subtotal in 08 and it was an extremely successful surgery.

You can tell your gi about my prep incident if that will help.  I hope for the best for you.


spleen/appendix/gall bladder-removed/endometriosis/complete hysterectomy at 29/sinus surgery/numerous allergies & asthma/chronic kidney stones/ pancreatitis 3x's/2 knee surgeries-now need replacement/bunion & 2 neuroma surgeries/shoulder surgery w/ pins-which also froze following surgery/severe adhesions & scar tissue-stomach to chest-liver to ribs-colon to pelvis/severe IBS w/ constipation/subtotal colectomy 7/08/ c difficile/many kidney surgeries 5/09 through next summer
There's AWAYS HOPE, there's a doctor out there that WILL help you and things WILL get better :):):):):)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 4/24/2010 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Those preps are killers! I'm so sorry that you will have to go through it again. Last time I had a colonoscopy I ended up taking a total of 12 Dulcolax over three days plus the recommended prep from the doctor's office. It worked well for me.
1999 Fibromyalgia and all the fun stuff that goes with it came to live with me.

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