terrified of colonoscopy

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I have recently had both my overies removed because of pain in my lower right hand side and cysts however before this it was suggested that I would need a colonoscopy and now post op and still suffering from a burning pain on the lower right hand side and into my hip and groin and now left thinking I may need one after all.

I am more frightened of this procedure than having an op I think it's because I will be aware of what is going on if they could put you out I would be a lot happier.

I have read some recent posts on here and it has not helped so if anyone could put my mind at rest I would be grateful. I have booked an appointment to see a gp on the 5th May as this will be six weeks from my op just incase it's that causing me problems it should have settled down by then.

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  • Posted

    Hi there - I had a colonoscopy yesterday at a Hospital in Manchester. I must admit to being very scared, because of a previous colonoscopy carried out at a different hospital about a year ago.

    When I had my first procedure I was sedated with Midazolam, given pain relief with Pethidine and they gave me buscopan which is supposed to stop the colon from going into spasm. Despite all of this I found the procedure to be one of the most traumatic and disturbing I have ever experienced and I let the hospital know how it had affected me.

    Because the medication didn't seem to have any affect on me with my first colonoscopy, I decided to have my procedure yesterday without sedation. The consultant and the nurses were brilliant and the doctor explained he would try without meds but if I couldn't manage, then he asked if I would agree to let him use his judgement regarding sedation etc, so I agreed. What a difference it makes having a good, patient doctor and lovely caring nurses (something I didn't have with my previous proceudre).

    The doctor proceeded slowly and gently and talked to me all the time, telling me when I might feel some discomfort. The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes. I can't say it was pleasant, but I did it without any form of sedation or pain relief and I would definitely do it that way again if I had to.

    The problem I found with the sedation is I was fully alert and awake but I felt like I couldn't speak and when I had pain I felt unable to make my feelings known to the staff, so they just carried on regardless. I guess it's like being awake but having no control over what's happening. I found that very disturbing and wouldn't have it again by choice.

    Having a colonoscopy unsedated and without pain relief isn't for everyone. For some people the procedure is fine and pain free. Unfortunately for a smaller minority (mainly women) the pain felt can be substantial, but I would far rather be fully conscious and able to tell them to stop if it's hurting too much, something I feel that is much more difficult if you're sedated.

    You must remember that colonoscopy is undoubtedly a life saver and everyone owes it to themselves to have it done if it's needed, but unfortunately you won't get a general anaesthetic in the UK.

    Please try not to be too worried (although I know that's easier said than done!). When some people are sedated, they naturally fall asleep and remember very little afterwards. I hope you get a lovely caring doctor and nice nurses, because believe me, that makes ALL the difference to your experience.

    I hope I haven't made you feel any worse! :?

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    No you haven't made me feel any worse than I already do. I can appreciate from reading other peoples experiences that it is different for everyone, my problem is I suffer from panic attacks effecting my every day life so this now puts that off the scale.

    I have to go back to see a gp on the 5th May, it is unfortunate that I have moved area so no gp in this area really knows my medical history regading my anxiety and without pouring over 30 years of past history, which they don't have time to do, I am worried that I can't put across how anxious I really am and it will be dismissed as just being nervous.

    Again, I appreciate your reply though and I will have to try and be brave.

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  • Posted

    I have had many colonoscopy's done, every 2 years at the mo.

    The sedation + pain relief is not meant to knock you out, just relax you and I wouldn't advise going without especially if you are very anxious, which in itself can make the procedure more difficult.

    As I say i have had it done many times and although sedated have always been awake and able to communicate whilst watching things on the screen.

    It isn't a pleasent experience but it really shouldn't be to ghastly for you but I would strongly advise you have the meds offered.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your input - it is nice to hear from other people directly with experience because otherwise you feel slightly isolated with it.

    I'm even scared to take the prep, how rediculous is that.

    Thanks again

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  • Posted

    Being scared of taking the prep is not ridiculous, it's ghastly stuff and by far the worst bit, once that's over nothing to worry about.

    The prep is horrid but tolerable, just about. Take it mixed in with a fruit drink and drink lot's of clear liquid during the time it is working as that makes it more effective and once it's working you WILL need baby bum cream or vasoline, as ceratain areas become very sore !!

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  • Posted

    Hi - it's me again. (First response you had to your query). Just been reading through the other replies you've had.

    The prep isn't nice at all - but it is necessary to clear out the bowel. Like the other comments I agree that you should get as much clear liquid down you as is bearable and also you can eat jelly (so long as it's not red). I found that quite good as you feel like you're having something to eat as opposed to just watery liquid. I made up 3 pints of jelly the day before my prep started, in 3 different flavours and ate it all! Otherwise you can become dehydrated. (I'm sure they will come up with a better way to undertake colonoscopies in the future!).

    I'm sure if you explain to your GP AND the person carrying out the colonoscopy AND the nurses just how scared you are and mention your panic attacks too (my best friend has them so I know what it's like sad ). These are medical people and they are used to dealing with all sorts of patients with worries and problems, so they should be sympathetic. It's not ridiculous at all. A colonoscopy is a procedure that intrudes on a very private and sensitive part of your body and it's natural to feel anxious about it. Could you take someone with you who perhaps has the confidence to explain how you feel, just in case you can't?

    I told the nurse that I was very scared and then I told the consultant (twice!!!) that I was extremely worried about the procedure before he did anything! As I mentioned before - the staff were very supportive and reassured me all the way through which helped me immensley. I think the maximum amount of Sedative they give for this procedure is approx 5mg, so if you do decide to have it (which might be advisable), then you could always ask them if it's possible to give you the maximum dose which might help to relax you. I've had the procedure both ways and I know which I prefer. But that's my personal choice because I had a very bad experience the first time round and maybe that's unusual. Although if people never complain about these things, then nobody will ever learn lessons and make things better. Sorry to waffle on but this is a very emotive subject for me. I have done such a lot of research on the subject and I could talk for hours about it!

    I wish you all the best and I'm sure everything will go really well. Please place another post after to say how things went smile

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  • Posted

    Thank you for all the responses I can't tell you how relieved I am to have them - like I said I have a doctors appt on the 5th May so will then know what my fate is I suppose.

    I will post how I get on

    thanks again for advice etc

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