Horrific experience during colonoscopy now petrified of having virtual colonoscopy

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I'm in pain all the time and the sedation didn't work at all during the colonoscopy and it was pure agony. It has traumatised me forever! Now I have to have a virtual colonoscopy on 29th and I am dreading it. I think I need to tell the staff this because if the pain gets too much I may try and wriggle out the CT machine and get hysterical.

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  • Posted

    Hi Susan

    There is absolutely no need to worry.  I too had a painful colonoscopy but found the virtual one was totally different and pain free.  You just feel a bit bloated.  In fact I have had far worse period pains.

    You have to follow a prep period of restricted diet then fluids as before.  However the liquid they gave me contains a contrast which coats your insides, and was just two 100ml doses of an aniseed flavoured liquid, 12 hours apart.  The first one seemed to have no effect and I had a good night's sleep, but then had to "go" first thing.  The 2nd dose did the clearing out but it was not nearly as fierce as the colonoscopy prep.

    When I got there I changed and was taken into the scan room.  It is not the big noisy tube people expect, just a donut shaped ring which covers your tummy and bottom.  They put a canula into my hand and injected a dye into the bloodstream.  This feels a bit warm.  Then they lie you on your side, put a valve into your bottom and pump in some air.  This is where you feel a bit bloated - more like overstuffing Christmas dinner than anything else.  You don't have to worry about the air coming out, that's what the valve thingy is for.  You might feel like you want to pass wind, but you can't. 

    Then they lie you on your back and do the scan pass.  I had 2 done.  You are then asked to lie on your tummy.  This was where I felt the pressure from the air inside, but it wasn't painful, just uncomfortable.  2 more passes and all was done - no more than 10 minutes in total.  They release the valve and you are then free to pass wind.  I did!!!!!!!!!!!!  No need to be embarrassed, everyone does it.  From the moment I arrived at the hospital until I left and headed straight for the nearest cafe was probably no more than 40 minutes.  I did continue to pass quite a bit more wind, but compared to the colonoscopy, it was a piece of cake - literally in my case!

    I can't actually remember ever reading a post about people having pain from the virtual CT, just a bit of bloating, pressure, and touches of mild period pain like cramps.  I'm trying to remember if I was given any pain killers before hand, but I think you could certainly ask, or take paracetemol afterwards if you are permitted. 

    Certainly let them know you are nervous, but from what they said to me, most people are.  For many it is the fear of the unknown, and like us, many were there following bad experiences with colonoscopies.  Whatever you do, please enjoy Christmas before you start your prep - at least it's 29th, not 27th!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. I think because I'm in pain all the time anyway just thinking of having all that air blown in me feels me with dread. I think they give you something like buscopan beforehand which should help. I've had two CT scans before so that's not the problem. If the colonoscopy hadn't been so traumatic I wouldn't be at all bothered about this procedure. What would I do without this forum! I haven't even seen a GI Consultant yet, just went direct to the colonoscopy from my GP. I'll let you know how it goes. Have a lovely Christmas, Sue xx

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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear about your probem,s, i now feel guilty about mine, thankfully i have,nt had a flare up , and hopefully i don,t have one, but i am being very good with my bland diet, im only having fish, chiken, mash and veg, still losing weight though, what to eat over christmas? As my family won,t have me because of my dd, telling me im being to fussy with my food, of course they dont know how we all feel, this makes me so upset, im getting so deprssed, good news is ive got a appointment with the hospital dr in janurary, but i had to beg for it,as my gp won,t give me my results i have to go though hospital as i had my camera done there 11weeks ago, so im so stressed out, terrible, i would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for every one on here, a very happy christmas and new year pain free god bless you all
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    • Posted

      That's terrible! I was supposed to go to friends for Christmas, but quite frankly prefer to stay home so I can use the loo when I want and eat what I want, when I want, rather than have 10 people wondering why I'm struggling to get through a Christmas dinner! Like my friends, I don't think people understand how debilitating and restrictive diverticulosis is! Try and have a good Christmas if you can, Sue

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  • Posted

    I must admit I've not come across anyone in permanent constant pain.  It does sound as though you might actually need surgery quickly if the colon is too narrow to even pass stools.  But no matter how narrow, the air will be able to pass up.  I suggest you warn them in advance though of what you have been told so far, and that you have constant cramps, so as you say, they can give you Buscopan in good time.  

    I never got to see my consultant, she just sent a letter to my GP.  Like you I have a narrowed twisted colon and I was warned I might need surgery.  So far I am managing by diet - lots of fluids.  There are quite a few people who have had a sigmoidectomy and found it helped greatly.  Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      If it gets unbearable I guess that's what they may do. I'm going to try taking termeric as a start.

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    • Posted

      I picked up from one of your other posts that you are concerned that the air tube will be pushed up your bottom for the CT scan.  That does not happen.  It's more like a pump for tyres on a car and a cork in a bottle.  A small valve is place over the end of your bottom and just slightly inside to form an airtight seal (< 1 cm if I remember correctly.) - think cork in a bottle.  The pump is attached externally to that and then gently pumps air like you would pump up a tyre.  As I remember it was totally painless, I just felt bloated.  Hope that helps.

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  • Posted

    Thanks so much. If the colonoscopy hadn't traumatised me so much I would just waltz in, get it done, and not give it another thought like I've always done with any hospital test. Unfortunately because of my experience with excruciating pain I can't get 'that colonoscopy pain' out my head so I'm expecting the worse. Just can't wait to get it over and done with now. Thanks for your support and reassurance. Sounds much more civilised than the barbarism of a colonoscopy. Actually, I read on internet on a surgeons site that only 13% of people went for their repeat 5 year colonoscopy check! I think it's appalling that people are risking their own health because a procedure is too painful to want to repeat!

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    • Posted

      Here in the UK we don't have regular colonoscopies - I don't think the NHS could cope.  Instead people are sent testing kits through the post, and if blood shows up, only then are they sent for a colonoscopy.  Of course if the GP suspects something then they are also referred.  I was advised not to do the home test until 2 years had passed since my last colonoscopy and CT scan.  I read somewhere that further non invasive tests are being developed.  Hopefully they will become more readily available in time. 

      However I always go for my 3 yearly mammogram and I had yearly smear tests until last year (I'm 67 now).  12 years ago the smear picked up abnormal cells and I had 2 lots of treatment, hence the need for yearly tests thereafter.  But I've been clear ever since, and the early pick up undoubtedly prevented the development of cancer.  So I'm an advocate for well-person tests.

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    • Posted

      I am in the UK. I'm talking about those who have some bowel disease like celiac or inflammatory bowel disease, (or diverticulosis, if they can get the scope through and it's got worse) have to be retested, 5 yearly colonoscopy checks. The take up UK wide was only 13% which is dreadful. I too always went for my smears (I'm now 65), do poo test every two years, and the mammograms. I'm starting to think that my gallbladder is inflamed again! It goes like a little football instead of pear shaped, been up and down for more than ten years now. As the constant pain I have is mainly on the right side I'm starting to wonder whether having the colonoscopy has aggitated my gallbladder. I will mention this to the GI doctor when and if I ever see one!

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