Terrified Beyond Belief

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hello All, I am terrified over my impending colonoscopy and endoscopy. I am due to have it done on November 23rd and am seriously considering canceling AGAIN. Colon cancer at very early ages is prevalent in my family and I know it's important but, I'm so terrified I can't sleep or function normally. The sedation worries me the most because I do not like medications of any kind due to bad reactions to different medications in the past. Any advice and experiences would be very appreciated.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I know this is probably stating the obvious and something you are aware of already but worst case scenario and there is something for them to find then the earlier it can be caught the better.

    At the same time though there is likely a big chance that it isn't something serious but either way it would be better to know so I would emplore you not to cancel it.

    I had a colonoscopy about 6 months ago and was the first time I had anything like that done before and was really apprehensive but for me personally the experience wasn't as bad as I expected and was such a relief when it had been done and the results were in etc.

    Everyone is different but if you have a decent pain threshold I would possibly consider not having the sedation and go with the gas and air if you have a choice.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply and I totally agree with you...i have an enormous pain threshold and like your idea. I am not sure if I have a choice or not but, I am sure going to find out. I will certainly keep everybody posted about my experience when I have mine done. Thanks again :-)
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  • Posted

    Ellen, I had my first endoscopy yesterday, a flexible sigmoidoscopy not a full colonoscopy but the principle is the same and it was fine. Took about five minutes, a little uncomfortable but certainly no pain. I had Entonox (gas and air) and I was able to get dressed immediately afterwards, have a cup of tea and go home. Of course, the colonoscopy takes longer and has to travel further and everyone's stress levels and pain thresholds are different but I would urge you to have this. If you remain conscious you can watch the screen, watch the passage of the endoscopy as it travels through the colon, hear the doctor and his team talking about what they are doing and what they are finding and ask questions. I found that took my mind off any vague discomfort. I have read some really hysterical posts on here about people's experiences but the most important thing is to get checked. Call the endoscopy department and ask to speak to a nurse to allay your fears. The team who looked after me were fantastic all the way through. The diagnosis was not great  - ulcerative colitis - but at last I know now and treatment can begin. Good luck and keep in touch.
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  • Posted

    I had my colonoscopy just over 3 weeks ago and honestly there is nothing to worry about. I had "conscious sedation" which relaxed me but also meant I was aware of everything going on around me. 5 minutes after the procedure I was having toast and coffee and ready for home before I had time to finish my second coffee. In my experience the nursing staff were brilliant. Their exact words were "we're not here to torture you so if at any time you want us to stop, we will. " in the event there were only a couple of moments during the procedure when I asked them to pause. A few puffs of gas and air and I was fine with them carrying on. The whole thing only lasted 10 minutes or so. Having been anxious about the whole thing before I had the colonoscopy, I 'd have no concerns if I had to have it done again. You're bound to be anxious - it's natural, but I'm certainly not a stoic when it comes to medical interventions so I hope you'll take some reassurance from my experience. 

    Good luck with the results. 

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  • Posted

    Reading the replies, all I can say is I agree with them. My experience was fine - just a few seconds of discomfort once and all over in a few minutes. Coffee and a sandwich then into a taxi and home to eat the cake I bought on the way. If you cancel it, you will just keep on worrying. And ruin your Christmas too! Do it! Keep us up to date please. 
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  • Posted

    I'm starting my prep tomorrow for colonoscopy 8.00am on Tuesday. I understand your fear. My problem is the preparation leading up to the colonoscopy not the procedure itself. We all have irrational thoughts about what might/is going to happen. Truth is we have to dig deep and conquer that fear. I have tried to keep myself in check and know that I have to have this done. So try not to torture yourself about something that may or may not happen. You might not have any reaction to the medication this time. Talk to the team about your fears and I'm sure they'll do all they can to reassure you. I on the other hand will be asking for as much sedation as is humanly possible!!
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  • Posted

    The vast majority of people are fine. But if you think that you will be the small percentage who do find it difficult then you may have to consider chancing it with the risks if you just can't do it. Why not do it without the sedation if that is the problem? I never find it makes that much difference.
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    • Posted

      I have high pain threshold so when I read abt ppl having it without sedation and the I instruction leaflet I was given that said discomfort I opted for none , I had to argue my case with nurses not to have sedation 

      They said and I quote , 

      look I won't lie to you this hurts at least take pethidine ,

      I said I'd be fine but ok put canular in in case ,

      I didn't get canular in as told next 4 nurses and surgeon I didn't want it .

      so much for choosing sedation free eh ?

      I've complained and it's been upheld backed up by nurses in unit 

      and changes are being made to instructions etc .

      it does hurt ,

      firt bit is ok but after first bend it's downhill fast it burst as gas overstretched bowel and as each turn is done Iannaged to complete scope all the way tp terminal ileam and slightly Inside it ,

      it hurt like crazy going put was supposed to be easier it was slightly but still sore 

      as a result of sneaky way I was led to believe it didn't hurt and being told I needed sedative to relax when I wasn't nervous I can't trust this unit again hence I refused endoscopy which I was told yet again was not painful but I would get sedative to make any discomfort blah blah blah ,

      no , heard it all before your creeping me out now doc .

      I won't lie or mislead you my colonoscopy hurt I had no pain relief or sedative and completed it .

      if your worried or confused ask about alternative tests 

      or give it a go with only pain killer and if it hurts say stop 


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  • Posted

    Hello Ellen, I had my colonoscopy yesterday at Torbay and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I had a mild sedation which relaxed me and I was able to watch the whole thing on the screen, they removed a couple of polyps which I did'nt feel at all. The doctor and nurses were brilliant and explained the whole process and we joked. I was talking to them during the procedure. They kept me covered all the time and I never lost my dignity. Am going back for another one in 2 weeks for removel of another polyp and am not worried in the slightest. The 24 hours before the procedure is the only bad bit, having to live on the toilet. But drink plenty of Lucozade Sport and you wont even feel hungry. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Paul, your experience really has put my mind at ease. Here in the U.S we don't have Lucozade, not sure what that is but, I think it is the same as what we call Gatorade. It's a sports drink with extra nutrients and electrolytes. Good luck with your impending polyp removal. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Plz let me know how that turns out.
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  • Posted

    My advice is probably not going tp be popular but if so.ergo g is stressing you out so bad it's probably having a negative effect on your health then do t do it put your mi d at rest knowing it isn't gpu g to happen .

    alternative procedures like virtual colonoscopy or ct exist for detecting cancer ,

    poop tests also exist none require sedation or pain relief .

    there just isn't any point worrying yourself sick over this like it's the only way it can be done dig in say no or dont turn up .

    I had scope without sedation and refused endoscopy later no problem it's your body your health your choice .


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  • Posted

    Hi everyone

    I had a colonoscopy today with sedation and mild pain relief, both administerd by canula, I declined gas&air.  It hardly hurt at all, I was awake all the time, was able to chat to the nurses and dr. and watch on the screen what was going on.  I'd definitley recomend sedation & pain relief as there is little risk and in my case, no side effects I can detect at all, in fact, the staff all being wonderful, it was a most pleasant experienece and really put my mind at rest when they told at the end that I didn't have any abnormailities at all.

    I was more worried worried about the bowel prep, the restricted diet for a day followed by a strong laxative called picolax and a day and half on clear fluids.  It was mildly irritating spending ages on the loo but thats all.

    So I would say, take the offer of sedation and just do it, the reduction in anxiety knowing one doesn't have cancer or any other abnormaility far outweighs the minor discomfort.

    They also took the opportunity to do a gastroscopy on me at the same time, that was much quicker but was unpleasant, though again, not painful.

    Be encouraged if you read this, it was no where near as bad as I'd expected



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    • Posted

      Glad it went ok for you .

      Maybe next time youl be ok with no sedation if it only took a mild dose to make it pain free and you won't be nervous knowing what's expected .

      during a colonoscopy .

      bet your wondering what all the fuss is about now you know it's painless 

      with mild dose of pain killer and sedative .

      Did you get canular in stage one or two , 

      I was offered in both and even in stage three .

      if I had it in stage 3 it wouldn't have had time fo work as it peaks in twenty mins and procedure only lasts that long .

      was in stage stage 3 total of 40 mins mnd you so . . .?


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  • Posted

    Am I the only person who foo d picolax a hellish experience due to blinding headache that lasted entire day , I passed out twice due to the pain ,

    I mentioned to the nurse before colonoscopy and she I had probably not drank enough water I said I followed I instructions and drank plenty to which she just shrugged and said it's a common side effect .

    I've had headaches before but that was incredible so bad was it my wife was concerned 

    when I blacked out on sofa for four hours after secound sachet ,

    my eyes hurt head hurt So bad and I couldn't escape it .

    I've never heard of a reason for this  or anyone else who had this problem 

    I wasnt  dehydrated or taking any other medications I didn't even have a paracetamol for the headache for fear it would interfere with the picolax .

    it was truly hellish toilet visits weren't a problem and no stomach issues just the  headache which I do not think was dehydration I've been dehydrated and had that headache this was ten times worse a  complete thumping relentless ache that started almost immediately after first sachet .


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