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Colonoscopy advice

Hi so following on from my last post I am still suffering with the same symptoms and have seen the gastro clinic for my first appointment just over a week ago. It was so refreshing to speak to someone who didn’t make me feel like I was being silly. She was so understanding. I have to hand in another stool sample and I am waiting on appointment for a full colonoscopy which should be in the next two weeks. Although excited to be getting the problem solved after 8 long months I am extremely anxious about the whole procedure. The thought of being awake for it makes me feel sick just thinking about. I have suffered from anxiety since my teens which has been worsened lately due to my belly problems. In most situations I can deal with it very very well but in others I can end up in a panic attack. I’m worried I have a panic attack during the procedure or before the procedure. I will be opting for sedation but I know I will still be aware of my surroundings. I don’t know if this will be worse because I won’t feel in control? I’ve read up about the procedure online but still don’t really know what to expect. Any advice from anyone who has been for one? I’m thinking the more prepared I am and the more I know what to expect the better I will deal with the situation as it’s the fear of the unknown that can sometimes be the scariest thing. Is it painful? Do you feel the camera moving about? Will the biopsy be painful? Will I be able to take a family member in with me? I should have asked my gastro women more questions but once she mentioned colonoscopy my brain melted. Thanks in advance :)

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Can't feel the biopsies being taken. You can feel pressure of the camera moving round bends. Mainly drinking the stuff before hand is worse than the procedure

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Thanks for your reply :) Yeah I did read the clear out can be pretty extreme. Talking about that, is it gunna be a no leaving the house situation?

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Yep... definitely no leaving the house once you start the drinks, I think within about 20 mins of finishing the first 1 litre I was on the loo every 10 mins for a good few hours! It's pretty extreme, but actually once you're all 'pooped out' it's quite nice to think your gut is getting a rest from processing food for a bit.

The colonoscopy itself I found really uncomfortable, it's the air they blow up to get the camera round your system that gets trapped and uncomfortable, not pleasant. I opted for the mild sedative IV, but thinking back I should have gone for the gas and air option so I could have controlled my own pain relief when it got uncomfortable. I know everyone is different and I definitely have a low pain threshold.

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Yup..sure is!

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You are not being silly, it's normal to be apprehensive about an unknown invasive procedure.....the nurses who help you understand.

You may be a little uncomfortable/ aware of the camera moving ...but not pain.

I think you will find the prep (at home) is worse than the colonoscopy!

Leave your dignity at the door, try to smile...and you'll be fine!!

I'm due to have another one soon and have no concerns about it.

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Understand your concern especially if its your 1st one. I have had both Private and NHS. The only difference is with the Private I was fully sedated, I asked for sedation with the NHS but as you found out you are still awake believe me you do not feel any pain just the slight sensation of the camera going around the colon, a polyp was removed and I did not feel a thing, in fact I was so fascinated I actually watched the screen! The staff really understand your fears and any embarrassment you may have you can tell them anything and they will understand. Agree with Dippy and Brainbox the prep at home is the worst but it is important you take it all as the colon may not be clear enough to preform the procedure. Good Luck and I am sure you will be fine

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That's interesting. I was admitted to hospital with U. Colitis and Sepsis ...but the GP doctor decided to call it Diverticulitis, and I was put in the wrong ward (surgical), even though I protested that I thought it was colitis as the symptoms fit perfectly - I was too ill to argue much though.

After three delirious days on IV antibiotics and steroids, the consultant decided on a sigmoidoscopy once I was a little better.

Having had a very bad experience with something else years ago, I'm naturally very nervous, so asked for sedation (I had it with dentistry some years ago and it was brilliant - I went twice in two weeks and would happily have the same again!)

He reluctantly agreed, and I was given an enema the next day before going for it.

The doctor who did it refused to give me the sedation and she was quite a bully about it. Having heard that people don't feel more than a little discomfort, I let her go ahead. It was only after an excruciatingly uncomfortable 20 minutes with gas that did nothing to help that she eventually got to the UC that was so badly inflamed, and she understood the pain. She said a quick biopsy and she'd be out, and would go no further. She didn't apologise though, and I was really unhappy.

It turned out that for such badly inflamed colitis, an oscopy wasn't always recommended.

First time I'd let anyone do anything invasive since that dreadful experience I'd had, and they had to go and dissolve any trust I'd regained in them!

It was only then that I was put on the right GE ward, and recovered rapidly with a very good consultant.

Once discharged, I found a private GE at the local Nuffield - he was wonderful, and said that unless he had good reason, he wouldn't do another 'oscopy' so not to worry, as if he ever did, I could have sedation and would know little about it.

He started me on some medication that I still take, and fingers crossed, it's in remission.

But, should I need sedation again - what sort did they use for you?

I think from what I've read that there's two types now. One which can be administered by the doctor (Ketamine is one?), but also Propofol, which is full sedation & needs a properly trained doctor on hand - that's what my trained in full sedation dentist used.

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NHS sedation was Fentanyl 50mcg

Private sedation was Pethidine 50mg & Midazolam 3.75mg

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Thank you for that, I appreciate it.

I've wondered for some time what would be used in case I need to have another at some point.

Seems the private sedation was possibly best for being totally unaware.

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i do not know what third world country you are in to but the times I have had a colonoscopy other than the prep you are given Propofol by an anestehilosgiet and wake up fine.

Maybe that is how some wards operate?

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Think you replied to the wrong person - last time I had sedation (at a dentist) it was indeed Propofol) - I was just asking what was used for Linley with their sedation.

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Oops, sorry.

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No problem :)

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Do not leave the bathroom when you're taking the prep. It's works very quickly. But isn't painful, the procedure itself is a breeze, especially with sedation. You'll be awake but you won't really remember anything. You feel pressure but no pain and the biopsy doesn't hurt at all. For me, it was over and I didn't even realise.

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So true. I do not know where some of these people go for their procedures?

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Hey I had a colonoscopy on the nhs a few years back and I as awake. I remember being extremely nervous when I was wearing the hospital gown. The worst part for me was the injection on my hand to give me some pain relief as 3 nurses couldn’t get the needle in my vein. All I can remember I was lying on my side and the doctor used his fingers in my bum hole which was uncomfortable. Then he put lube I think and then tried to insert the camera. That was painful for me and I remember using the oxygen a lot trying not to scream. There was a screen on one side and you can see inside your body from the camera which was a strange experience. The doctor decided that the camera was too big so used a smaller camera which was a lot better when it was put in. The doctor was telling me what he could see on the screen. After the procedure you feel pretty gross, I’m ocd with hygiene. I had to go to the toilet to wipe my myself and my bum felt so sore. After a while I was discharged and got on the train home which was a mistake as it was uncomfortable to sit down.

If I had to repeat the procedure I would rather be sedated so I didn’t have to feel the camera or finger inside me. Either way the injection on my hand was way worse than the procedure.

I hope that it goes ok for you and you get the answers that your looking for!

Yas

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I had a colonoscopy last year, and like you was very apprehensive. The prep is lengthy and boring as you spend a lot of time in the bathroom, but as long as you remember to stay hydrated, it isn't bad. You won't be going anywhere though while doing the prep. For the colonoscopy itself, I had a small shot of fentanyl and didn't feel a thing, but watched everything on the screen. It was quite fascinating. I had no problem with releasing the air within about 10 minutes, plus a slight amount of blood from the biopsies. Do get someone to take you home though. I was slightly tiddly for a couple of hours afterwards, so definitely not fit t o drive. I got a diagnosis of microscopic colitis. Not all in my head then? If I ever need another, I won't be worried.

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HI,

I have had a colonoscopy, which came back normal. I am still having problems. In a way I was hoping they would find something that could be fixed! To get out of this horrible condition as I have IBS D. Anyways, I had the procedure by myself with no sedation. The hardest part for me was the laxative drink the night before, it is disgusting and so hard to drink. On the day I was very nervous but nurse was amazing. The last five minutes for me was very uncomfortable as I had trapped wind! So just breathed through it, but apart from that it was painless and I watch whole process on monitor. I was so glad after procedure that I hadn't taken sedative as got up and drove home and felt as if nothing had happened.

You will be fine, it's not a nice thing to look forward to but it's over before you know it.

Good luck x

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Hi, like yourself I also suffer with anxiety and in the weeks building up to my colonoscopy I was an absolute wreck!..The laxative experience the evening before was definitely the worst bit .. When it's prepared in the jug - drink a quarter of the liquid every 15 minutes through a straw and follow each drink with a drink of Lucozade or Squash. .It tasted like lemon sherbet!..Once I started going to the loo I couldn't stop ..I'd get to the bottom of the stairs and have to run back up to the bathroom- fast! .. Keep soft baby wipe and vaseline at hand as I became really sore. .I was going to the loo for about 10 hours until it finally stopped ..Once I got to the hospital the staff couldn't have been nicer ..They made me feel calm and relaxed - I had the mild sedative and was absolutely fine - I watched the whole procedure on the screen and it was amazing ..I felt slight pressure when the camera turned 2 bends, but no pain at at all ..I was shocked how quickly it was over and felt proud of myself ...I would never be scared if I had to have another ...Hope yours goes well and just think the sooner you have it the sooner it's over. .Good luck x

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I too suffer with anxiety. And panics too. So. Opt for sedation which made me feel nice and chilled and I don't normally like feeling out of control . Totally different feeling. Also as I've had two of these , I noticed it was much better when the first guy did it as he used buscapan in my iv to relax my bowel ! So ask for that if they don't offer it . It's not painful as such till they blow the air in . Thst can get uncomfortable and crampy. Not as bad with buscapan. 2nd guy didn't use it !! Biopsy is pain free.

The prep is pretty vile . Mix it with squash and drink from a pretty glass with a straw. I drank mine earlier than it said so I wouldn't be up all night . Hope this helps . Xxxxx

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All I can say is although it's not a pleasant procedure its curiously fascinating seeing your insides on TV. Like many on here I opted for sedation. The worst thing is the prep the night before but some tips could be to add a little orange squash to the mixture to aid the taste or even try and make it into jelly. Apparently this is a nice way of taking it. If you have IBS D you should clear our pretty quick so don't go far from a loo.

It is uncomfortable and a strange feeling with the camera moving around and the air they pump inside can make you feel uncomfortable for perhaps 24hrs after but this will fade. If you're sedated you'll need someone to pick you up. Main advice is to just relax.

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