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I have been referred for a colonscopy to investigate several weeks of diarrhea and rectal bleeding. I have been reading the posts in this thread:
about the pain that people have experienced during this procedure. Even before that, my GP had urged me to ask for sedation. However the hospital are insisting that I have someone stay with me for 24 hours after the procedure. I live alone and have no family. I have friends but no-one I feel that I could ask to give up what would effeectively be 26+ hours including the time immediately before and during the procedure. I do not feel that I can ask people to give up a day’s paid work or not be able to take care of their children or grandchildren in order to watch over me.
I have had a gastroscopy of the upper GI tract and a CT scan of the lower GI tract in the past with the necessary sedation and have felt fine 30 minutes after the procedures and for the rest of the day. The hospital is nearby and I walked home from both.
While I can see this might be necessary for older, frailer patients, 24 hours seems overkill for someone who is otherwise fit and healthy. I have been told that if I cannot decalre that I have someone stay with me for 24 hours than they will not do the procedure with sedation. After contacting the hospital patient liasion service I have now been told that they will have to arrange for an overnight bed for me so long as my GP will confirm that I have no-one. This seems a terrible waste of a hospital bed not to mention my GP’s time but my only option if I am going to have the tests done without a lot of pain. I suppose I could always discharge myself after a few hours. I’d rather go home and rest in the quiet of my own home rather than be among the noise of a busy hospital ward.
I thought I would post this here as I am sure I am not the only person who has no-one. According to an ageUK survey done in December 2014, 2.9 million older people (65+) in Great Britain feel they have no one to turn to for help and support and it bothers me that a lot of those people might be being forced into having painful medical procedures without sedation just because they happen to be alone.
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