First time colonoscopy experience

Posted , 4 users are following.

I thought I'd add my experience prepping for my first colonoscopy later on today. Like many, I was feeling very apprehensive about the preparation, as well as the actual procedure. I've found my fair share of horror stories on the internet, but so far, I'm pleasantly surprised!

Bit of background - I'm a 25yo female in the U.K. I've never had to go to hospital for anything, other than a trip to A&E for a dog bite.

I spent all day yesterday, nervously watching the clock and dreading the fasting, what the moviprep would taste like, if it would make me nauseous etc etc. I mixed up 1litre of the moviprep at 5pm. I spent a good 5 mins stirring it, and called my husband for a second opinion as it was still cloudy. However, once I stopped stirring it soon cleared and I popped it in the fridge. I was very conscious I didn't want to get a dehydration headache, so I drank my through nearly 2 litres of water during the day - I can usually never drink so much fluid, but I think nerves made my mouth dry! At 7 pm, I poured as much as I could into a mason jar with a straw through the lid (my thinking was, a jolly cup might make the drink slightly more tolerable!). I hesitantly took my first sip, expecting nasty flavours, but honestly, it's not that bad. Kind of like, salty citrus. I sipped through the straw as I saw others recommend, however I could still taste it so, not sure if it's worth doing. At 730ish, I had my first bowel movement. Nothing urgent or distressing, still solid at this point. I continued drinking my way through, and found having a mouthful of water straight away got rid of the flavour. By 8pm, I was stuck to the toilet. It really was fine. I had stocked up on sudocreme, moist toilet tissue etc, but it was no worse than a bad IBS day, minus the cramps! I set up my iPad and just binge watched Gilmore Girls for distraction. Honestly, the hardest part was drinking so much liquid in a short space of time. My first glass was tolerable, but I soon felt really full. I didn't wretch or vomit, but I did feel slightly nauseous. It took me 2 hours to finish it all, and I felt really proud of myself when I did! The liquid bowel movements stopped around 1030pm.

I completely slept through my 6am alarm. My husband woke me at 7 and I panicked I was behind schedule. I'd made up the second litre at bedtime, and in my sleepy haze I managed to down nearly all the liquid within 10 mins! I would highly recommend drinking it when you very first wake up, so you're too tired to think about it. I ditched the straw, and took big mouthfuls, just got it over with. By 720am, I was stuck on the loo again. It's basically just water, but bright orange! By 830, it was yellowy. Now it's 930 and it's all stopped. I feel so relieved and proud of myself for drinking so much moviprep, and surviving this far! My appointment is at 3pm. I'm opting for sedation. Wish me all the best..

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Well done! All over now? Hope you let us know how it went when you can. confused

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your message!

      I'm lying in my bed at home recovering now. After waiting for an eternity sat in a flimsy hospital gown, a nurse took me through to the theatre. 2 nurses accompanied the Dr doing the procedure. I told them I was nervous and they all did their best to make me feel comfortable and relaxed. I told them I had opted for sedation. They really struggled to find my veins, as I was freezing cold and dehydrated, I presume. The nurse and the doctor tried both my hands and creases of elbows, repeatedly stabbing around with the needle (ouch). They even got me to soak my hands in hot water to find my veins, to no avail. So my only option was gas and air! I was very scared, and asked why do people opt for sedation over gas and air? The dr kindly explained it's because historically, they were very painful with basic instruments and they just weren't very good at the job. Plus, people share their horror stories and scare others into sedation. He also gently reminded me women give birth using just entinox. I told him I have had gas and air once before and loved it, so hesistantly agreed to go ahead. He assured me if it got too painful they would stop.

      I took deep breaths to stop shaking.

      Before I knew it, he'd moved my gown and, away he went with the colonoscopy! I took deep breaths of entinox and honestly, it was so trippy, I thought it was all a dream. Sadly not! I could feel the camera snaking through my colon, but it was just a gurgling sensation rather than painful. I remember commenting "it feels so weird!". The only snag was one particular "corner". I yelped out in pain, and he assured me it would only be a few seconds. It was, but the same pain quickly came back. It wasn't intolerable, but it certainly wasn't nice. The whole procedure took 32mins, so a few seconds of pain wasn't too bad. All 3 celebrated with me when it was done, and told me how brave I was etc. The dr said the painful corner is just the way I'm made, and I would have felt it even with sedation.

      Although initially I was very nervous I couldn't be sedated, it did mean a very quick recovery. I was wheeled back to a ward to rest, and didn't feel lightheaded or woozy or anything. I feel absolute fine now, apart from worn out and a few gurgley stomach noises and slight cramps.

      All in all, my colonoscopy experience really wasn't too bad. The prep is the worst part in my opinion. The Drs and nurses are so kind, don't make you feel embarrassed, and are very supportive and understanding. I wish anyone reading this, all the best! I was a very nervous patient, and already it's becoming a distant memory.

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  • Posted

    Good for you!! I dragged the drinking part out for 18 hours... You should be proud of yourself. Good luck to you. Sedation was best for me.
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  • Posted

    Yes, the moviprep is not pleasant. Best to hold nose, get it down and then rinse mouth out with something more pleasant. Well done for have the scope without sedation. I've had a few now and don't have sedation as I live alone and can't be bothered with having to organise for someone to bring me home and stay with me for hours afterwards. I was nervous about the first one as I didn't know what to expect and had read the horror stories but I didn't feel any pain, just a bit of discomfort round some of the bends. It all feels like routine now. I like being able to watch on the big screen and ask questions. It fascinates me that the process of taking biopsies is painless.

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    • Posted

      Yes, there are a few horror stories. Mine was fine, just a few seconds of discomfort. I was sedated but remembered everything and watched the screen too. Everybody is different I suppose, but if a colonoscopy is advised then you really should go ahead. That's my opinion anyway. Well done again Knittingsocks, hope the report is encouraging. 

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