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Colonoscopy advice?

(90 Posts)
FaithAscending Fri 04-Nov-16 08:49:16

Got a colonoscopy booked a couple of weeks to investigate ongoing abdo pain (? Colitis, I've had an IBS diagnosis for years). I'm geared up for it all but just wondered what I'm in for with the prep? I'm finishing work early afternoon so I can do the prep at home and DD is staying elsewhere. My advice leaflet said it might be worth getting incontinence pads. Is it really that bad?!

I'm torn between having/not having the sedation. When I had an endoscopy they would only give me a half dose of the sedation so I remembered it all anyway. I'm weirdly interested in this sort of thing (I'm
a HCP) and kind of want to see it anyway! Or would I be better not really knowing? Any advice appreciated.

imjessie Fri 04-Nov-16 08:52:30

I had one many years ago and I didn't take the sedation because I was going out that evening . It was a big mistake , I would take the sedation . It's a very unnatural feeling and I fought it because I was awake . To be fair this was before children and since I have dealt with much more but I wish I had taken the sedation . Good luck .

FaithAscending Fri 04-Nov-16 08:56:26

Thanks for replying. Yes it's probably better to have the sedation.

maxiflump1 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:00:20

I had one a couple of years ago after an abnormal smear. It really wasn't that bad:a bit painful bit nothing compared to childbirth!! No one mentioned anything about sedation when I had it! I was advised to rest up completely for a couple of days to avoid any heavy bleeding and I did and just needed some light panty liners.

Good luck!

Stopyourhavering Fri 04-Nov-16 09:01:35

I'd recommend the sedation, bit like having couple of good G&Ts!... But make sure you have someone to take you home and look after you for following 24 hrs as you'll be pretty groggy ( and they won't give you sedation if you're going to be on your own or driving)
The pads are just in case of any leaks as it can affect some people quite strongly
Good luck, it doesn't take long at at all, it's all the faffing about before that's a pain but if your bowel is well prepared they'll get a much better look and be able to get a clearer idea of what's causing your problems

wowwee123 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:01:57

My DM just had one this week and took the day before the procedure off as you have to start taking laxatives then and have very loose uncontrolable bowel movements.

She said the procedure was ok and had sedation and gas and air as she felt like the sedation hadn't worked.

All in all i think she was glad when it was over but had the day off the procedure off and the following day due to loose bowel movements and wind grin.

Hope all goes ok.

HonkHonkNose Fri 04-Nov-16 09:02:03

Yep I'd take the sedation, but I like feeling out of it!

I got pure apple juice and bovril to drink during the prep stage of it (when the hunger kicks in). The bovril especially was really nice when I was ravenous and just needed a bit of something warm.

The prep is worse than the procedure! I went for a shit 20 times!! No kidding. Just dab your bum with baby wipes as it will get sore. I used a sanitary towel at bedtime as I was scared I'd follow through if I farted and even the next day before the proceedure my tummy felt strange.

Take something nice with you to eat afterwards so you can focus on that. I got a subway on the way to the hospital. Cant remember if I ate it all or not but it was nice knowing I'd be eating something tasty afterwards!

You'll be fine, it's not as bad as you think and the staff will be professional and caring (from my experience).

Enjoy the sedation! lucky bugger

maxiflump1 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:05:04

Sorry just reread your post I had a coloscopy not a colonoscopy! Ignore my last!

eckythumpenallthat Fri 04-Nov-16 09:06:58

I've never had one but DH has had plenty of the past few years for his chrons. He said the worst bit is the bowel prep. It tastes revolting apparently. I slept over at my mums cos he needed constant access to the bathroom at very little notice. He has sedation but is getting to the point where he doesn't feel he needs it. I've asked cos I'm curious but he says it's not painful just uncomfy. Oh and the uncontrollable wind after is very amusing

If you can try and get an early appointment. Dhs last one was at 4pm confusedshock that's a long time to go without food and getting all dehydrated and week from bowel prep he'd took the night before

FaithAscending Fri 04-Nov-16 09:15:48

I'm booked in for lunch time so have to do the prep the evening before, I work long shifts so wangled the afternoon off, can't do the prep at work!! I probably will have the sedation, I've got a lift there and back sorted. I am most worried about the prep, my IBS is bad anyway but I really need to get the pain investigated, it's been ongoing since August (did a HFLC diet and it suddenly came on). I will take something nice Honk! Good idea!

Thanks for all the replies!

Raiseyourglass26 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:18:14

Definitely take sedation. Although it's not sore, it can be uncomfortable. I have never needed an incontinence pad so not sure why they have suggested you bring one confused I've had 3 and even though I can't remember the full procedures, I do remember a good dose of them with full sedation.

Biggest tip I can give is buy two different flavours of diluting juice and use them to mix with your prep. You'll very quickly get sick of the taste of one of the flavours which is why i suggest two!

Good luck!

INeedNewShoes Fri 04-Nov-16 09:22:56

The prep is manageable. Just stay close to the bathroom! By the next morning I was fine to get the bus to the hospital without fearing any incidents.

I've had them with and without sedation but for your first I really would recommend the sedation just because it'll help you relax in what is quite an unusual situation!

I didn't find my first colonoscopy at all traumatic and it was such a relief to get a diagnosis! (in my case colitis)

HonkHonkNose Fri 04-Nov-16 09:25:26

Just remembered something else - you drink the prep mixture (good advice from pp to take with juice) and you think nothing's happening. It'll get going though.

Have you thought about doing an exclusion diet? My dp suffered badly with IBS but once he cut wheat out of his diet it massively improved. He was tested for coeliac disease but that came back negative, but I definitely think he's got some kind of intolerance to it.

Just a thought anyway.

FaithAscending Fri 04-Nov-16 10:35:50

Honk yes I'm gluten free as I tend to react to that. I'm avoiding nuts too because I suspect they may have triggered this off (I had lots when I low carbed but hardly have them not normally). I did the low FODMAP with good results but it's so restrictive! No diet change seems to have any impact on this abdo pain. The other possible diagnosis is a kidney stone that's stuck (got a CT abdo soon too) so it'll be interesting to get the results.

wowwee123 Fri 04-Nov-16 12:57:21

My DM got a diagnosis of diverticulitis which she had not heard of before. Nothing serious but obviously not good due to its effects on the bowels and the abdominal pain she gets.

Having scans etc to check for colitis but tbh her symptoms don't see in line with that.

gobbin Sat 05-Nov-16 08:46:51

Take the sedation. I 'remembered' every bit of mine but on reflection there were definitely gaps. In my hosp you're not conked out, they give you a painkiller/Midazolam mix so you don't feel anything/do forget it afterwards.

Inco mats - cheap from Asda. Much easier to lie on one in bed I found rather than having to tear inco pads off. Very useful if you value your underwear/bed sheets...

Pud2 Sat 05-Nov-16 22:06:52

I've had quite a few colonoscopies. The prep is a bit annoying as, apart from anything else, you get really hungry! It's not too big a deal though. I would definitely have the sedation as it relaxes you. It wears off pretty quickly afterwards. The procedure isn't really painful and you won't remember most of it. Im generally fine to go to work the next day. Good luck!

BusterGonad Mon 07-Nov-16 09:27:03

I know I'm going against the grain but I had one just over a year ago and it was hideously painful, the sedation was crap, I couldn't even do the gas and air as I was in much pain to breath! Ask for as much pain relief as possible, I was diagnosed with Crohns so maybe I had a lot of ulcers, all I can say is do the prep properly and when the pooing starts wipe your bottom with moist wipes and sudo cream each time otherwise you backside will be red raw. Good luck OP

BusterGonad Mon 07-Nov-16 09:28:47

Oh and they won't let you leave without a 'carer' and you cannot drive, I was shaky after and my stomach really hurt so take it easy.

Natsku Mon 07-Nov-16 09:41:28

I've had two. Definitely have the sedation - they didn't sedate me the first time and it hurt a lot (I think I have a pretty low tolerance for pain though) and apparently I was screaming so loudly it was scaring people in the waiting room!). The second time they were supposed to sedate me but didn't give me enough. If there's ever a third time I'm making damn sure I'm properly sedated!

The prep is pretty nasty, tastes horrid and is hard to drink quickly enough. I mixed mine with gatorade powder to disguise the taste a bit (now I can't drink orange gatorade at all because it reminds me of the prep so if you do mix it with some kind of flavour don't choose something that you really really like). Have some baby wipes ready and maybe some vaseline/lansinoh to put on your bum when it gets sore and have books/tablet/magazines in the toilet to keep you occupied.

Natsku Mon 07-Nov-16 09:43:10

Oh and incontinence pads/maternity pads are a good idea just in case as you might still 'leak' on your way to the hospital and even afterwards for a while. I had to stick one of DD's nappies in my knickers on the way to the hospital!

FaithAscending Mon 07-Nov-16 09:55:02

Ok, so shopping list so far: incontinence pads, wet toilet wipes, food for when I get out!

My Dad is taking me and bringing me home. Thanks for the honesty Buster. I had an endoscopy and that was extremely unpleasant, I'm not expecting this to be great for me! I have ASD and sensory issues so I know I'll squirm! Ok, definitely taking the sedation and hoping my heart rate is normal this time so I get the full whack!

katyk81 Mon 07-Nov-16 09:55:02

I have had a few colonoscopies and have always been lightly sedated which has worked fine for me and have also watched it on the screen- very weird when your bowel goes into spasm!

The prep is by far the worse part of it.
My recommendations for that are to stay very close to the bathroom with some reading material or a dvd as sometimes it takes a while to get going. Use vaseline beforehand and then very soft toilet tissue.

I can only stomach the prep very cold and either with flat sprite or apple juice and I suck a clear sweet or lemon sherbet whilst drinking it (nothing red or purple!)

I have found the clearing out process a lot easier if I have eaten quite a bland, reduced fat diet for a few days beforehand.
I have never managed to finish the second dose of prep as am always throwing it back up by then but this has never been a problem for the proceedure- if it happens just make sure you tell the nurse beforehand so they are forwarned and can decide.

Afterwards you will be full of gas and a bit uncomfortable and I have always been exhausted so plan the rest of the day as a write off and get a good rest.

Good luck, I hope it goes well and you are able to get started on the relevant treatment.

BusterGonad Mon 07-Nov-16 10:01:34

I've got to say OP I cried, yep like a whimpering baby! The doctor was talking to me one nurse was stroking my hair and another trying to keep me on the table, the doctor asked me a question and as I answered she shoved the thing further up my ass! Sneaky, very sneaky!!!!

JunoMilo Mon 07-Nov-16 11:41:20

I had one a couple of months ago. No sedation. Did not hurt at all. Wasn't even uncomfortable.

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