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A few months ago I wrote a post about abdominal discomfort I have been experiencing for quite some time. My doctor put me through to a colon consultant and he referred me to have a colonoscopy to see if that was a cause.
I read up about the procedure and discovered by posts that it seems to be one of the procedures most people tend to 'dread' or fear having. Well, I wanted to share my experience of the procedure I had 2 days ago and hopefully put some peoples mind at ease.
I hope this post will ease anyones worries and also ensure people do not put off having this procedure. It could potentially be life saving and furthermore end any issues you may be having or at least help.
For the colonoscopy I had to take laxatives the day before to completely empty my bowel so they could see properly with the scope. Most forums and people suggest that this is the worst part, so naturally I was more hesitant about this than the actual procedure itself. My colonoscopy was done with the NHS and they gave me Moviprep to take the evening before.
It really wasn't that bad at all. I essentially drank my first litre at 5pm, and it started kicking in after 40 minutes. I then just sat on the toilet and watched football whilst it did its work, ensuring I kept drinking clear fluids to stay hydrated. It wasn't painful or unpleasant in the slightest.
Usually with stomach upsets or diarreah you get painful stomach ache alongside it so its natural to expect this will happen with it. It doesn't, or it didn't for me in this case. It was just very watery stools that came out quickly and effortlessly every 5 minutes or so. After the first litre I had to take another litre after an Hours rest. Again, it was fine. Just stay near a toilet and distract yourself with some TV, sports, whatever will keep you entertained. The time will soon pass and it will be over with.
The next morning it was my procedure. I was naturally slightly nervous. I was taken through to a room where I got changed into a gown. I then had a IV feed put into my arm for the sedation. With the NHS they give you just enough sedation to relax you, but not put you to sleep alongside some painkiller. I was aware and conscious throughout the whole procedure but the sedation just took that edge off, which was nice.
The procedure began and I could watch the screen, which was super interesting. The surgeon walked me though each part and told me about each part of the colon. The nurses were also chatting to me about what I do for a living and all in all we all had quite a pleasant conversation. I probably wasn't making much sense blabbing on whilst sedated but it distracted me enough to not even worry about what was going on.
The only slightly painful and uncomfortable part was when they reached the beginning of my colon (where the appendix is) and they look into the first part of the small intestine. They pumped more air in at this part (probably because its much tighter and narrower) and for sure it was pretty uncomfortable for about 5 seconds, it just feels like very bad trapped wind. All you have to do though is pass wind, which they all urge you to do and the pain soon went. Then that was it, the colonoscopy was complete. On his way back out he took samples from different rest of the colon for the lab, again you do not feel this at all. The procedure took about 25 minutes, but this time flies past as your not really with it.
Once it was finished I was wheeled off to a recovery zone. There I just sat whilst monitored and felt pretty high in general. You pass a lot of wind because of all the gas they pump into you but again this relieves any trapped wind discomfort and its advised to let as much out as you can.
After half an hour I was given some peppermint tea and a biscuit and allowed to get changed once my IV feed was removed from my arm. 10 minutes later I could leave (accompanied by someone due to the sedation I might add - you can't drive!).
All in all the experience was fine. The nurses were great and reassuring from arrival to departure. The dreaded prep was also fine, just distract yourself with some tv whilst sat on the loo, the time soon passes.
As a result of going through with it I now know my colon has no worrying conditions visually and I am awaiting the lab results from the tissue samples. Its put my mind at rest and ruled out my colon as been the suspect for the pains I keep experiencing. The reassurance alone and the feeling that progression has been made with this symptom is great.
On the other hand, they could have found something, diagnosed it and treated it.... which also would have been great! There is no bad ending to a colonoscopy in 99% cases and it will help any problems you might be experiencing, in the short or long run. It's very rare there going to find something that is really bad ant not treatable.
Do not be scared about having this procedure done and certainly don't put off having it.
I hope this has been helpful for some people and I'm here to answer any questions that people may have
2 likes, 10 replies
Colonoscopies or endoscopies are not always plain sailing and as simple as some people think. Sedation involves drugs that have side effects.
I now endoscopies are far more debilitating than colonoscopies. So Sam is jumping to conclusions did he had an endoscopy. He didn't say that. Sorry for your unpleasant experience. Sam has no idea whatsoever. My wife has them done together for cancer issues. And she gets so ill not from colon but from her throat as a result from the sedation and meds They give her.
Just to say I don't have any idea about an endoscopy, never had one. My experience is about a Colonoscopy only.
Endoscopy - checks the stomach and part of small intestine and involves going through the mouth.
Colonoscopy - Checks the colon and involves going up your bottom.
Both two very different things. I have heard a endoscopy is worse but this discussion is about colonoscopies.
Don’t know why Pippa and Fernando are mentioning an endoscopy. Your clearly talking about a colonoscopy, that’s good that you can assure people that it went fine, I’m glad it went well for you. 👍
Hi GILLIAN. Yes we were talking about an endoscopy. I clearly stated that yes a colonoscopy is more easier on your system than an endoscopy. Endoscopy is more traumatic to your body because you are completely out. And via mouth and esophagus to your stomach and 2 to 3 more feet into your large intestine. Not like a colonoscopy which you are on a local not completely out. So you recover more quickly and is less traumatic. The meds are not as strong as the latter. Ok no pun intended. 😎
I am intolerant to any sedation. Neither of these procedures are plain sailing and if you don’t have any problems with them, you are lucky.
Good to know that the experience doesn't have to be horrible - it seems like it would be hahaha but if I ever need one I'll think back to your comments =)
Good to know some people are finding my comments useful. I think 95% of the time these things will be absolutely fine. The worst part is the anxiety before the procedure due to worrying.
I can assure you it was fine, and afterwards my thoughts were "why was I so worried!". 100% definitely worth having done if your GP recommends it.
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