First time colonoscopy - not so bad!

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hi, I had a colonoscopy for the first time today and I was a little bit nervous about the procedure to say the least! I have long standing symptoms so I was determined to go ahead with it, even though the thought filled me with dread! After spending most of the afternoon yesterday reading reviews on other people's experiences, I was definitely not feeling any calmer about it! But I can honestly say it wasn't so bad.

I had a hard time drinking the bowel prep (Klean-Prep) as after half a glass I was already feeling sick. After the first two sachets, I had not been to the loo and was starting to think it wasn't going to work. But after 10 minutes or so of finishing it, it started working. I spent the best part of 2 hours in the loo and daren't venture further than the bedroom between visits. After an hours break I managed to drink the third sachet and after 45 mins or so I was able to go to sleep.

I didn't have the best night's sleep as I'd had to stop taking my painkillers for two days as they were opiates and can cause constipation so I was in a lot of pain. I was also still really anxious about the procedure.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was taken into a little room by a nurse who checked my blood pressure and other obs. She also explained the procedure to me and asked whether I would like sedation or gas and air or both. Obviously I opted for both! Then I was taken through to get changed into a hospital gown and they also give you a pair of disposable shorts, which made me feel not quite so embarassed.

When I was taken into the theatre room, the doctor spoke to me about the procedure. I mentioned that I was really nervous and he promised he would give me as much sedation as possible to relax me. They put a cannula into my hand and gave me oxygen. When they gave me the drugs I didn't feel any different at first and was worried that they weren't going to work! But after a couple of minutes I started to feel a bit drowsy and lightheaded, although I was still aware of what was happening. I can honestly say I didn't feel the scope going in and the first time I felt any discomfort was when they reached a bend in the colon, but even this wasn't anything more than a period-like pain. I found it quite fascinating to watch the procedure on the screen and could see that some biopsies were being taken, but couldn't feel it! Before I knew it the procedure was over. The doctor told me that everything appeared normal and he would see me back in clinic for the results of the biopsies.

They wheeled me through to the recovery area and observed me over around 30 minutes. Then they said if I was up to it I could get dressed and go home. They called my husband for me whilst I was getting dressed and then I was free to go. They said I might feel funny for a few hours because of the sedation but I felt absolutely fine from leaving the hospital. So much so that we went out for lunch afterwards! I'd not had anything to eat for 36 hours so as you can imagine I was a little bit hungry!

So all in all my experience was actually not that bad and I wish I hadn't wasted so much time worrying about the procedure as it was all over and done with in 90 mins from arriving at hospital to going home. I'm glad I read the reviews yesterday and hope that mine can reassure anyone in future that it really isn't so bad and definitely necessary if you are having bowel symptoms, as you can rule out anything serious straightaway. The worst part of it for me was drinking the horrible bowel prep stuff, but I found that mixing it with orange cordial and leaving it in the fridge for 30 mins beforehand made it a bit more palatable.

Hope this helps!!

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  • Posted

    I have had 2 colonoscopies, 1 with sedation and 1 without, they really are a piece of cake and nothing to worry about.
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  • Posted

    hi, i have found your detailed colonoscopy a great help. i have just been told that i have a abnormal thickening of the sigmoid section of the large bowel and when my doctor told me i wanted to put my fingers in my ears and go Lah Lah Lah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. i am going to have my biopsy in 6 days time and have tried to find out more and you have put my mind to rest alittle. the worrying bit is how long do i wait for my test results.
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  • Posted

    If I remember correctly you get a very basic kind of tick box result after the procedure and your GP / Gastroenterologist get a letter / full report in a couple of weeks smile
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  • Posted

    thankyou. i just want to get it all done. my appointment is on the 30th april and so worried about the outcome, its seems so faraway.
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  • Posted

    Are you having a Sigmoidoscopy or a Colonoscopy ??? A flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a lot easier to handle than a Colonoscopy, you may even be left wondering what all the fuss was about wink
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  • Posted

    i have already had the colonoscopy with ct scan. now having sigmoidoscopy biopsy. i think its the outcome they have a abnormal thickening of the sigmoid section. but i had this about 5 years ago and they were not bothered its has become worse.
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  • Posted

    I'm hoping it turns out that it's nothing to worry about smile
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  • Posted

    thanks, i will let everyone know the outcome.so glad i found this site. i have been looking everywhere and it is all so scarey. but thankyou.
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  • Posted

    hi went for my biopsy today. they couldn't carryout the proceedure, had a little look with the camera. they emailed through to a specialist consultant to carryout a complete check on the large bowel as an emergancy appointment was needed. not sure if this is good or bad, but will be seen quickly. stiill the unknown.having pain in abdomen most of the time, difficult to go to the toilet without the use of laxative type of med. Have been told today that it could mean an op to remove part of my large intestine. I have had this problem for a few years now. the first time i was taken in as a emergancy at a&e there for a week bowels were not working terrible pain dripping with sweat tummy couldn't be touch even lightly, being sick constantly drip in arm tube down the nose into stomach and oxygen mask. i just want to feel comfortable again. roll on the next proceedure. Let you know when i get that one done.
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  • Posted

    "[...] op to remove part of my large intestine [...]"

    Why's that, are they thinking you've got a bad case of Crohns, Colitis or Diverticular Disease or something ??? smile

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  • Posted

    hi just have my appointment to see consultant surgen, this friday morn. i have no idea whats wrong yet but they have said i have servere diverticular disease. i am passing thick mucus must of the time. and have pain on left side. also when i have been to the toilet. take meds to go as well. hope the consultant will shed some light on it. my own gp when i have been to see him about pain in back and abdomen gives me pain killers a diclafenic creams to rub in my back, he thinks it is to do with spinal problems. i have had 2 spinal surgeries so he did not think it was due to anything else i suppose. well i will have to see friday. will get back to you friday.
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  • Posted

    I am pleased that some patients have had an easy colonoscopy mine was absolutely excruciating from start to finish. When the camera hit the sigmoid junction on my colon the pain was unbearable. As I had had a bad experience before I asked for an extra sedative which was 7mg midazolam much higher than a normal dose. Due to the pain I got off the table and removed monitoring aids and the nurse in charge had to bleep for a doctor who administered me 50mg pethidine for the terrible pain to be able to continue with examination. My colon was diagnosed with very severe diverticulitis and was very narrow hence the intense pain. I am now on morphine on a daily basis for pain. As long as I live I will never have another colonoscopy but my brother who has diverticular disease not diverticulitis (big difference) had no bother as it was not such a severe condition. At a later date I had air pumped into my colon and a scan used I couldn't stand after this procedure and was just sent on my way from the hospital almost collapsing in the corridor. The nurse in charge just said you will be fine when you go to the toilet. Never again!
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  • Posted

    my daughter is comming with me to take in everything they say. i do have a tendancy for not listening properly when i sort of go lah! lah! lah! fingers in ears. i am 63 and now think everything good till i am told differently. last monday i had a fixed camera not the flexible one and yeas it was painful. not sure what the consultant is going to do yet. i do eat reasonably good have veg etc. but do miss behave sometimes. i am also diabetic so perhaps this has added to the problem with infections too.

    will let you know friday.

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  • Posted

    Juliajean this best thing you can do is change your diet. Do not mix protein foods with carbohydrates as they need different enzymes to digest them and it is really hard on your digestive system if you eat these types of food together. Always eat fruit on an empty stomach because if you eat it on top of other food it ferments. Diet definitely helps any kind of bowel trouble and the doctors do not seem to be very clued up on diets and don't seem to know about the importance of combining the right kind of foods together.Good luck!
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  • Posted

    thanks will give it a try.
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