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I had a colonoscopy yesterday

(11 Posts)
BerylStreep Tue 14-Jun-16 11:16:18

I thought it might help others if I shared my experiences of preparing for and undergoing a colonoscopy, as I had heard horror stories from my sister's bf, and was really dreading it.

To prepare for it my last meal had to be 1pm at the latest the day before, and it had to be low fibre - I had a cheese roll. You can't eat anything after that, and any liquids must be clear - i.e. no milk in tea or coffee. I drank bone broth that I had in the freezer. Some people are told to go on a low fibre diet for 3 days before the procedure, but I wasn't.

I had to take Moviprep at 7pm the night before. It is two sachets mixed together, and then dissolved in a litre of water. You are supposed to drink 250ml glasses every 15 - 30 minutes until it is finished, plus have another 500ml of clear liquids. It tastes very sweet and a bit soapy. I think it is supposed to be lemon & lime flavoured. It wasn't the nicest thing I have ever tasted, but it was ok. I could feel my tummy starting to bloat, and at 8.40pm I had my first 'movement'.

Now for TMI - the loose movements went on until about 10.00pm. I basically sat on the loo for most of the time, and brought my kindle in with me. It wasn't painful or crampy - just gushes of liquid coming out. I went to bed, and woke up at about 2.30 to go to the loo - one more gush, then back to bed.

I had to start taking the next litre of moviprep the next morning at 6am. It only took about an hour for it to start working this time, and I had quite sudden movements until about 9am. This time it was completely clear - nothing but water. Another 500ml of clear liquids to keep hydrated.

I had planned to stay at home all morning as I was worried that I would be caught short, but actually it was fine. My appointment was at a hospital a 45 minute drive away at 3pm, and I was fine to drive to the appointment without any incident. My DH had to come with me because you need to have someone to accompany you home again and stay with you overnight if you have been sedated.

At the hospital a nurse took a few details, took my blood pressure (quite high) and inserted a needle in my arm for sedation. She told me that I had the choice of gas & air, a sedative, or nothing at all. I opted for a sedative. This meant I would be kept on a ward for an hour after the procedure for monitoring. I got changed into a gown and put my dressing gown over the top.

The doctor performing the procedure came and walked me round to the room where the procedure was taking place, and he was lovely. There were three nurses who again were lovely. I was asked to climb on to the bed, and lie on my left side with my knees pulled up to my tummy. Somebody administered the sedative, and it was lovely, I could feel warm relaxation moving through my veins. Throughout the whole procedure I recall having a very pleasant and earnest conversation with one of the nurses who sat beside me the whole time. I have absolutely no idea now what I was talking about, but I do remember that it was a very enjoyable conversation hmm. I could still feel what was going on - a few times there were some quite painful moments which made me wince a bit, but on the whole it was ok. I could see the inside of my colon on a huge screen in front of me which was pretty cool. I remember the Doctor pointing out my appendix. I think the procedure took about 45 minutes, but I'm not really sure. They waved a little bottle of biopsies floating in water at me (suspected colitis apparently) and I was wheeled off onto the recovery ward where I had a really pleasant nap whilst people took blood pressure from time to time.

My rear end felt very farty, and the nurse told me that there would be quite a lot of air used during the colonoscopy, and that I would expel the air over the next number of hours.

My DH was brought in to take me home at 4.45. You can't drive, or operate machinery, or take important decisions for the next 24 hours if you have had the sedative, hence me working from home sitting at home this morning MNing.

Last night it sounded like somebody was playing the tuba in my intestines. I fell asleep on the sofa at about 7pm, and went to bed, sleeping right through to 8.30 this morning! I've been told that it will be 1 -2 days before I have a bowel movement since my colon was so completely emptied.

I hope it hasn't been too graphic, but I thought it may be useful to others who are told they need a colonoscopy. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Bremain Tue 14-Jun-16 11:50:03

Excellent explanation.

Hopefully it will put other mnetter's minds at rest.

I haven't had a colonsocopy, but have had a sigmoidoscopy - which is less uncomfortable (and no Movicol prep).

Hope everything is fine for you now.

trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 10:52:26

Beryl - thanks for posting this. I am going to the DR today as I've had intermittent diarrhoea for past few weeks and last night, some light bleeding. I'm pretty certain they'll recommend the colonoscopy. Can I ask - re. the colitis - what your symptoms were? I'm am petrified I have colon cancer!! Thank you.

littlemaemae Wed 15-Jun-16 12:37:45

Thank you for such an informative piece.
DD will be having one soon (fingers crossed) and I have a much better understanding of what it will entail.

Hope you get the answers you need from the biopsy.

Dakin1 Wed 15-Jun-16 13:18:28

Thank you for sharing, that's a really thoughtful thing to do for people who may be nervous with no idea what to expect.
I had an endoscopy recently and it was quite similar - really enjoyed the sedative too!

ZacharyQuack Wed 15-Jun-16 13:22:57

Thank you for that. I've just C&P it to send to my Mum, she's having the procedure next week and is very worried what to expect.

BerylStreep Wed 15-Jun-16 17:53:54

Tricky I started having really urgent and explosive diarrhoea in March, accompanied by a lot of blood. I was pretty much fecally incontinent, and as soon as I stood up I would have to race to the loo.

It didn't help that I went skiing in Italy at the time - that was a barrel of laughs!

I was a bit worried about cancer too, but I had an appointment at the hospital about 6 weeks ago, where I was examined and the consultant said she thought it was ulcerative colitis.

I was given Asacol suppositories to use between the consultation and the colonoscopy, which belong a group of medicines called 5 ASA - from what I can gather they are topical anti-inflammatories. It was pretty unpleasant using them just because of the method of insertion.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday Dr Ruscio podcast on inflammatory bowel disease which suggested that there are probiotics that can work very effectively on ulcerative colitis and medicinal herbs such as boswellia, if going down the naturopath route is your thing.

BerylStreep Wed 15-Jun-16 17:56:16

Reading back at my OP, I am blush at all the times I use the word lovely. You can interpret that as when the drugs kicked in and I was full of love grin.

trickynicky Thu 16-Jun-16 10:33:46

Thanks again Beryl. As I thought, I've been referred for an urgent colonoscopy.....I am petrified but reading your post definitely helps re. the procedure.

Thingy1972 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:43:58

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Thingy1972 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:50:45

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