Can't handle the idea of undergoing bowel prep yet again

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In late July I was given a bowel prep laxative to ease a week or so long bout of constipation. I can't type its name out because the day I used it was probably the worst day of my entire life.

I did everything the doctor told me to, I took the right dosage at the right times and everything. But for some godforsaken reason, the prep took nine hours when it should have taken three to four. It was horrible and awful, and by the end of it I legitimately wanted to die and all I could do to feel better was crawl in bed with my mom and cry. It was easily the worst experience of my life and I vowed never to do it again.

But, I can't keep that vow. Now four months later, I've visited a GI for digestive problems and he's signed me up for an endoscopy and colonoscopy in the beginning of December. The endoscopy I can handle fairly well, but when I heard colonoscopy, I started having a panic attack. I was so mortified at the idea of undergoing the prep again, I couldn't form words for the rest of the visit and couldn't bring myself to hold the pen and sign the treatment consent papers. I cried that night and while I feel less terrified now, I'm certainly not prepared to do it again.

My question is, is there a way that I can get rid of this terrible anxiety whenever I think about undergoing the prep again? I want to do it in a hospital environment this time, because recently I've become terrified of perforation, but I'm not sure if there's a place I can do that at. I'm just so tired, physically and mentally, from all this worrying and I don't know what I'm going to do when the day of my procedures comes up.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Firstly, you are not alone. I have to do this every year for the remainder of my life. This year I have to have two. Ask your doctor to prescribe you Prepopik. It's an easy prep - REAL EASY! Go to their website and get the coupon. Some insurance pay full - mine doesn't, but this year with their coupon it cost $40, usually $125. But - it's GREAT! I go for therapy following my PTSD diagnosis - so I have prescribed Colazapan - I take one during prep, and just before I enter the surgical center. With my doctor's permission of course. I have two panic attacks a year at most - on colonoscopy day this year - I had two! Once you use this prep, you will never worry about prep again! 

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  • Posted

    I was in the same position as you were in about 2 weeks ago when I had my second colonoscopy, and the worst part for me was the worry and apprehension I got from having to go through the bowel prep. I suffer with anxiety anyway, so as soon as I knew I had to have another colonoscopy the fear started to kick in. I won't lie to you, I had a pretty awful time with the bowel prep, but the one thing that got me through it was the need to know that everything is ok, and the sooner things are discovered should there be any issues, the quicker they can be dealt with. The pros definitely outweigh the cons! I did also worry about perforations as I was having biopsies taken, but I was able to watch the whole colonoscopy on the screen, and was amazed how tough a colon is when I saw the biopsies taken. The doctor doing the procedure said to me that the colon is very tough, and able to withstand a lot. 

    The only thing I can say is that whatever way you decide to do the bowel prep, remember it's not forever, it will pass, the colonoscopy and endoscopy will be over before you know it, and you WILL go back to living your normal life again. Just so you know I'm a 43 year old male, and a complete wet blanket when it comes to hospital and procedures, if I can do it, anyone can!

    I wish you all the best for the future, and you will be ok!

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  • Posted

    are you in the U.K ? different preps used here. The reply from---retired fuzz obviously lives in the states ,so different products will be used. 
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  • Posted

    There are two main preps here in U.K ,one which takes longer, and involves loads of water. the other one ,far better ,which uses  much less, and is easy to take, and also takes less time, The name of the good one is Picolax  ,whether you have this product,it may be worth asking. You could also help yourself pre colonoscopy, by eating  soft foods, that should remove themselves, without much effort.

    winding yourself up into this  awful state of mind ,will not bee helping either .

    Sorry you don't live any nearer,   

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  • Posted

    There are different types of prep. I reacted badly to picolax but managed ok on Moviprep (and prefer orange to lemon). Also the first time was definitely worse than the others do maybe it was partly a mental reaction. I have to have them more regularly now and I simply find the prep a bore so don't assume your reaction will be the same on the second occasion. Also, it would be very unusual to give the colonoscopy prep laxative for ordinary constipation. So, talk it over with the consultant. By the way, perforation is incredibly rare if you have a decent consultant. Even the average of perforation with all doctors performing colonoscopy is rare. We wouldn't step outside the door every day if we thought there is a risk we might not come back. But there is, of course. I shouldnt panic too much. My first nuclear laxative was definitely the worst by a country mile so good luck and I bet you will be fine. 

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