a positive colonoscopy experience from an anxiety sufferer

Posted , 12 users are following.

The procedure and the prep went well. Here's my tips

Prep (movieprep)

- Follow the instructions provided by the hospital

- The solution tastes like lempsip .. i just downed each glass.

- Be prepared to camp out in the loo. If you live alone think of everything you'll need and take it with you. do this in advance. (e.g. laptop, chair to put things on, water) and of course the prep.

- the 2nd litre you drink acts lots more quickly than the first so be prepared to go to the loo sooner

- Avoid filling your boots with food on the days before the prep starts. Take it easy and the prep will be easier


- Living without solid food is easy when you can eat orange jelly

- You don't yearn for protein if you have the chicken broth (strained)

The procedure

- take advantage of the fact you have a nurse right by you. talk to them about anything as the conversation will distract you and more importantly relax you relieving you of any anxiety. I was even laughing an joking in mine (remember i am an anxiety sufferer)

- it didn't hurt me

- parp all you like .. you must and you can minimise any cramps

Talk to your GP in advance can help

- If you're anxious / a worrier then talk to your doctor in advance of the procedure

- it's not a lifetime choice but taking anti-anxiety drugs , even a tiny dose could help you significantly. They also give you a break from worry extremes so you can regather your thoughts and take the opportunity to reprogramme yourself if you wish.

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi caversham,

    Thank you for your post. I am in Australia and I suffer from anxiety too. So when I was about to do my gastroscopy and colonscopy I googled a lot and saw your experience.

    I just want to add that my procedure went quite well. The bowel prepration bit was okay, definitely bearable and after going to toilet like 10+ time my bottom starts to hurt.

    With the procedure done under sedation, the next thing I rememeber after they administrate the medicine into my vein is that I am already recovering in the recovery area. It is absolutely painless.


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    • Posted

      Hi I was under sedation and defintely not general anaesthetic. I think they call it IV sedation. The doctor who administrate the sedation reassured me prior to the procedure that I will not wake in the middle of the procedure.

      I however need to add that I am a smaller built person and I never really have any trouble getting to sleep. So I guess I am the kind of person that get sedated easily.

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  • Posted

    i am scheduled for my 1st colonoscopy in two days....#1.  I have factor V leiden.....#2.  I have immense anxieties.....I am 60 years old and have NEVER had one....I am TERRIFIED....I have put it off for WAY too long.  My doctor has prescribed medication for me, but I am still TERRIFIED...I worked in healthcare for 7 years, and saw ALL of the worst things that could happen when having a colonoscopy....and of course I'm thinking they're going to happen to me...BUT, I AM going through with it...

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    • Posted

      Hello Debra,

      I am having my first colonoscopy this week she 61. Scared to death. I have been reading all kinds of scary things on the internet. 

      I have had bleeding from hemhroids over the years. But had two really big bleeds witn bowel movements.  Saw my GP she said my roids were external and gave me anucourt suppository. Bleeding stopped roids shrunk, and I am trying to think it was a ruptured roid causing the bleed. I too am so frightened and want to have the test and be done with it. 

      I suffer from anxiety and panic. Did you have any bleeding? Hemhroids? 

      All you read is negative results when you search internet for information. 

      I hope your doing well now.

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    • Posted

      Hi i am just waiting for my colonoscopy appointment. I suffer from massive anxiety for which i take valium.  As the days progress i am more scared all the time.  Can you tell me if i tell the drs that i have an anxiety condition they will listen to me and be helpful?
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    • Posted

      Hi Ann, I am seeing a colon/rectal doctor tonight. I will let you know how it goes. I sure hope that he will be compassionate and my anxiety doesn’t get out of control. 

      I feel your anxiety very much so.

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    • Posted

      Glad you had positive experience.  My anxiety is through roof as i dont want this procedure but seem to be on a treadmill.  I am depressed too.  I think the antidepressants they tried to give me have done all this to me.  I am off them but cant get off valium for the anxiety yet, at a low level though.  The fear of scope is bearing heavily on me.
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    • Posted


      Sorry to hear you are having such a horrible time. I know how debilitating anxiety can be. When are you scheduled for your colonoscopy? You will feel so much better when it’s done. I know I feel better just meeting with the doctor and speaking to him. Have you met the doctor yet?

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  • Posted

    Had my first colonoscopy today. I'd seen a bit of blood (or could have been food) and had some left side pain. I was due for my colonoscopy anyway so doctor said I needed to do that. I spent 6 weeks in terror and googling which made me more terrified. I must admit that drinking the prep was hard. Really tested my gag reflex. I didn't have much pain or cramps. They were kind at the medical center and I don't recall the procedure at all. I thought I remembered but my husband asked if I recalled how I got my clothes back on (I didn't) or telling the doctor I loved him 3 times (that either). All clear. No polyps. 6 weeks of suffering - for nothing.

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  • Posted

    Hello Caversham,

    My colonoscopy experience was very similar to yours. I had a bowel screen that found a 15mm diameter polyp. The NHS screening programme required me to have a colonoscopy to see if any other polyps could be found. The nurse said, a colonoscopy is the gold standard so having one was a good thing. I went home and googled way too much and got myself into a right state ahead of my colonoscopy. My fear was wondering what had been growing in the last 55 years, I could have stage 4 cancer, etc. I found the colonoscopy procedure pretty easy with virtually no sedation. They found and removed 7 polyps and the surgeon was very confident that there were no signs of cancer. Of course, my monkey thoughts convinced me they were wrong and I had cancer. I got my results yesterday and all was clear. I am required to have another colonoscopy in a years time. I am now so happy that I had this colonoscopy and have no fear for my next one. To all going to have a colonoscopy, please do not worry. I have wasted too much time over the past month worrying about nothing.

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