Colonoscopy next week. Canceled twice.

Posted , 10 users are following.

I've had fresh blood in my stools for 2 years. I had 2 sigmoidoscopies that found nothing. The GI group wants me to get a Colonoscopy. I canceled twice already. I'm terrified. I'm afraid of a perforated bowel, infection, etc. I keep talking myself out of it. I don't know what to do. I have a lot of anxiety and don't know what's best for me. I have a baby and so scared of something happening to me. I can't even breathe thinking about doing this. 

sad

1 like, 42 replies

Report / Delete

42 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Megan,

    I was the sane but when your there it's not as bad as you think. It's best to know what it is and start taking medication and get better. A colonoscopy is no where near as bad as being truly ill or dying because you ignored it and didn't get help, that's what helped me through it. Bleeding us not normal and I found out I have proctitis and the start of ulcerative colitis. I'm on meds and bleedimg has stopped. It will be with me for life but you can be in remission for years. I had a benign polyp removed too which wasn't giving me symptoms do in so glad I had it done. You much do it, if not for you do it for your baby. You will be relived after, like a weight has been lifted and your will breath again. You need to know what it is X

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Megan,

    Since you have clear symptoms it makes sense to get them checked out. I too had your symptome, with anaemia and this is what eventually persuaded me to have the colonoscopy.

    I nearly cancelled too - but the week before I just read all I could about the procedure, side effects, possible reasons for my symptoms - everything you can imagine. 

    I posted my colonoscopy experience here on another thread: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/painful-colonoscopy-484722

    The procedure went well and I got the all clear. I have not had any visible rectal bleeding since, but even if I did, I wont be in that weird zone of wondering if colon cancer is looming up on me. I can say at least that I did the sensible thing to get it checked out.

    I have read many posts that say that a sigmoidoscopy has been more painful than a colonoscopy for some - so if you have braved those, you can brave this one too.

    You will either get an all clear, or they will find and be able to treat the condition that they find. Both cases you will be better off than not knowing and worrying. I tried to talk myself out of having it too - but I couldn't talk myself out of the symptoms and at the end of the day, they were potentially more risky than the colonoscopy itself.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I will read through, thank you.

      I opted for no sedation but I'm not even scared about that. I'm scared of perforation or infection. I know I have bleeding rolleyes

      Can I ask how your symptoms started?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I had dark red blood mixed in with my stools for 5 months, I just noticed it and hoped it would go away until I finally went to the GP for a colonoscopy referral. 

      That should encourage you though - because the procedure was fine and I got the all clear, no polyps and the 6 biopsys taken randomly for checking came back clear/normal.

      Trust me, I was just as worried as you are, but everything turned out ok and I got the all clear on a '2 week fast track suspected colo-rectal cancer referral'. Somehow since having the colonoscopy 2 weeks ago I can no longer see any blood either - and tbh if I did, I would ignore it. I've checked for the worst already so it no longer bothers me.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Neither do I - but that I can live with - but I was not prepared to live with suspected colon cancer.

      I hope you find everyone's advice helpful and that it helps you make the right decision to alleviate your fears smile

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    The chance of anything bad happening is minimal. Tell them how you feel accept as much pain relief and sedation as they'll give but get it done. Just think in your head it will be all over inless than 30 mins
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    The risks of perforation or infection are very small. In the hands of a competent specialist even smaller. No medical procedure - even a filling at the dentist - is wholly without risk. The risk of blood in your stools (you don't say whether this is occasional or constant) being something serious is also small but a number of factors can make it rise: if the bleeding is constant or frequent and if it is mixed in with the stools and it is blood then obviously something is causing it and it sounds as though they are ruling out piles or fissures. If this is the position and they are advising you to have a full colonoscopy you are letting a tiny risk stop you getting help for a greater risk. Many bowel conditions can be sorted if you treat them early enough: left untreated they can become dangerous. If you get something nasty (God forbid) that you could have solved by having this simple test then you will have to undergo potential treatments and symptoms that will make this test seem like nothing. There's nothing to be ashamed of in feeling scared. We all do. Sites like this can be very helpful. But I think you need to get a grip on this fear (perhaps with medical help) because you are letting a very small risk endanger you with a potentially much greater risk and I know deep down you realise that this is daft. You would never forgive yourself if they said finally: if only we had found this earlier. And if it's nothing you can get on with your life without this crippling fear. The most frightening thing is fear itself and if you can't control it to a manageable level then I think you should raise this directly with your doctor. Believe me, I am very sympathetic and I get spells like this, but you can't just leave it because what you are threatening is two most precious things for you and your loved ones: your life and your piece of mind.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks. The bleeding started 2 years ago (that I noticed). It's fresh blood on the surface of my stools. I guess in itself, it doesn't seem that serious but the Sigmoidoscopies didn't shoe anything. Nothing at all. If they had found a hemmroid or a fissure, I probably wouldn't have even considered a whole Colonoscopy. But they didn't find anything. I am in denial because I just don't understand how the bleeding can be fresh, yet it's higher up? They said they checked out to my splenic flexure.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I was in the same position so I did some research.   I found out that the complications are actually quite low for sedated colonoscopies and even lower for unsedated colonoscopies.   I had my colonoscopy unsedated because the drugs used in sedation have unpredictable results in me.  I was able to watch the entire procedure and adjust my positioning to help out the operator and nurse.  The colonoscopy was uncomfortable and a little bit painful at points, but it was far less painful that I expected, which that level of pain would have been far less painful than other procedures I had gone through in the past.  On the scale of 1 to 10 it was about a 2 at the maximum and that didn't last long.  After the tube was fed in I was actually very comfortable even though the operator had to move the scope back and forth and twist it all around to get a better look.   The ease of the colonoscopy is very operator dependent and patient dependent.   Each person's experience is very different.  The experience ranges from "if it wasn't for the prep I could do this monthly without any medication" to "horrific".   Most people fall somewhere in the middle.   The only universal hated part is the prep to clean you out before the colonoscopy.  I would talk to the office about sedation options if you are worried.   I can only tell you my experience but I can tell you that after the colonoscopy that you will be OK.  I have faith in you that you can get through it, even if you don't have faith in yourself.   I almost lost a friend to colon cancer and she had very painfull surgery to cut out the tumor.  Had she had a colonoscopy years before the precancerous polyps could have been burned off before that happened.   I would suggest having a loved one with you when going to the clinic. It is the one thing I strongly suggest to everyone.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    There really is nothing to worry about. I had my colonoscopy about 6 months and whilst it was slightly uncomfortable, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, I'd put it at 2. Compared to childbirth it is a walk in the park. The risks from a colonoscopy are insignificant - childbirth risks are much higher , yet you've been through that!! Once you've had it, you'll know what, if anything, you're dealing with. Avoiding something  is not going to make it go away and you might well be delaying getting vital treatment. Chances are the results will give you an all clear and your anxiety will just evaporate. 

    Good luck - go for it!!

    Jan

     

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up