It's been two months - time for another Colonoscopy Thread

Let’s start with the obligatory link to all the previous threads on this topic:

I’m assuming by the very nature of of the topic I don’t need a “TMI” tag? :stuck_out_tongue:

During my annual physical this year my doctor noted a bump on my perineum. He was torn between a diagnosis of lichen sclerosus and scar tissue from repeated fissures. I was diagnosed with IBS many years ago (after quite a few “fun” tests that found nothing). My doctor decided to send me to a colo-rectal doctor first before a OB-GYN for reasons I don’t remember.

While at the colo-rectal doctor she asked if I’d ever had a colonoscopy. I replied that I had not and she said with my IBS diagnosis and family history of Crohn’s (mother and two cousins), she would like me to have one even though I’m only 44.

Then came the exam. Now I, perhaps naively, thought she was just going to do an external exam of the perineum. What actually happened was, for no extra charge, I received a digital internal exam as well, and then a little light thingy to get a ‘closer look’ at something. That something? Turns out I have a little baby (1cm) polyp.

It was then I realised that the doctor’s “I’d like you to have a colonoscopy.” because the doctor’s “you’re having a colonoscopy.” On top of that I will also require surgery (!!) to remove the polyp (and the hemorrhoid that is under/near it). The surgery, or rather the recovery from, sounds very unpleasant, but that’s not until the end of May.

The colonoscopy is Thursday. :: cue ominous music ::

I am taking the Prepopik prep, so I don’t have to drink gallons of nasty stuff. Just 2 liters of clear fluids tomorrow during my “clear diet” day to make sure I’m well hydrated. The Prepopik box says it contains 2 packets of “stuff” that I’ll mix with 5oz of water each over two split dosages (for me, 9pm Wed & 5am Thurs - check in is at noon Thurs). After the first dose I’m then to drink 40oz of clear liquids of my choosing at my own pace. After the second dose, it’s only 24oz of liquids, but I need to be done by 8am at which time I’m NPO until after the scope.

I’ve got sublingual Zofran for nausea/vomiting caused by the prep (if any). I have a big ass phobia (and I don’t use the word ‘phobia’ lightly) of vomiting so I am planning on taking the Zofran one hour prior to each dose as a prophylactic measure, but I’m still really nervous about it. I’ve got ginger ale, some non red/purple vitamin water, and white grape juice. I’ve saved the three latest Entertainment Weekly magazines and will have a full charge on the iPad. Husband has already been put on notice that he’ll be banned from our bedroom/bathroom for the duration of the prep. And that further he’s not allowed to ask me “how are you?” at any point during the prep. Not unless he wants an earful! :smiley:

The actual procedure I’m not worried about as my doctor says she won’t so much as touch me until I’m nice and drugged up. So if it’s unpleasant or even painful, I don’t care because I won’t have memory of it. I figure if I can make it through an endoscopy with my vomit phobia with the twilight sedation, I can make it through this. I am a little worried about what she’ll find. More polyps? Seems likely from my reading that if you have one, you have more and I already have one. Signs of disease? Crohn’s? Colitis? Diverticulitis? All possible, I guess, and I do have frequent symptoms that I’ve just chalked up to IBS. So maybe finding something concrete would be a boon; at least it could be treated rather than suffering from nausea and diarrhea as much as I do.

Hopefully I can post later Thursday/Friday that I’ve been given the all clear and I can concentrate on stressing out about the surgery. :slight_smile:

I just had my first one. The procedure itself went quite well. My first reaction, when I woke up, was “I want some” of whatever drug they used to put me out. That was the best sleep I had had in weeks.

The prep was a bit annoying. I did the Prepopik. It tastes okay - sort of like Tang. I realized it would be a good idea to drink more than the minimum about of water afterward to help the process and to stay hydrated. So, I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was up about every 30 minutes all night. Every time I got up, I drank more water, so it become an vicious (and not viscous) cycle.

Good luck to you.

I had mine last October (some detail in a thread started by SiamSam). It was very, very easy. The Prepopik didn’t make me nauseated in the slightest. I was still “going” some when the time came for the colonoscopy, but they told me not to worry. The most annoying thing about the whole thing was that I didn’t return to normal, poo-wise, until the day following the procedure.

Also, I was able to sleep several hours after taking the initial dose, so it is possible you won’t be up all night going. The drugs made me very sleepy. I had a hard time waking up to leave afterward. According to my husband, I didn’t say anything stupid or repeat myself postop. I apparently just fell asleep.

Good luck!

I’ve had two colonoscopies…the first (about 3 yrs ago) went without a hitch prep-wise, so when I had another scheduled back in January this year, went in with full confidence!

Oh my…after the first glass of PicoPrep (same stuff as you guys over the ditch) I became violently ill with projectile vomiting that would put a javelin thrower to shame! This kept on all night…abated briefly during the procedure, then back to severe nausea and vomiting for the next three days.

NEXT time I get an anal probe, I’m going to ask about alternative prep procedures, 'cos there ain’t no way in hell I’m going through that again. :frowning:

Crap! I have one next week. The prep is worse than the procedure for me, need to stock up on ginger and Zofran.

Update: Here are the latest additions to the list since then:

Good news for colonoscopy prep! ( Mama Zappa 07/09/2013 )

Colonoscopy in a week ( Ike Witt 9/30/2013 )

Another Colonoscopy Thread ( Siam Sam 12-05-2013 )
(This appears to be the thread that Ellen Cherry refers to, above.)

It’s been two months - time for another Colonoscopy Thread ( Mauvaise 03-25-2014 )

I had my colonoscopy last year. It was really no big sweat. The prep was sort of a nuisance, having to stay within micrometers of the can for a whole afternoon, but there was nothing particularly unpleasant about it. I used Miralax: Some of it mixed with Gatorade, and some with plain water. Even with plain water, it wasn’t really bad tasting – just mildly salty, sort of. Also, a few Dulcolax, and finally a bottle of some clear liquid that you can get at the drug store for 99 cents.

I thought I’d do them one better: I started on the liquid-only diet a day earlier than directed (but not necessarily all clear liquid that day). I think that helped. The doctor noted how amazingly clean I was inside.

Why do they need to schedule an operation sometime in the future for you? Just to remove a few little polyps? (Or did I miss something you wrote?) Typically, they do that on-the-spot during the colonoscopy.

Apparently because this polyp is – how to put it delicately? – just inside, it requires stitches and a general (rather than the conscious sedation) and they aren’t allowed to remove it during the colonoscopy. I asked. :frowning:

I think, judging by the 4 pages of pre & post-op instructions (mostly post) and my research on the 'net it’s similar in scope to a Hemorrhoidectomy, if not exactly the same thing, but substitute ‘polyp’ for ‘hemorrhoid’.

That was likely propofol, the drug that killed Michael Jackson. It is a widely abused drug, especially among the medical community. Of course you want some.

That name sounds familiar. Thanks. She said I would be asleep in about 2 seconds. She was wrong. It took about 10. I had time to say, “I can feel my face tingling.”

So it’s done. I followed all instructions to the letter. I took the Zofran 1 hour before I started each prep and whether it was because of the meds, I didn’t vomit (Yay!).

I took my first dose of prep at 9pm and waited. I felt like I was a ticking time bomb and even though I was tired (9pm is normal bedtime for me during the week) I was afraid to go lie down to go to sleep in case stuff starting happening. I should have slept while I had the chance because stuff didn’t start moving until about midnight. Then it wasn’t too bad until about 2.30 when the bulk (pardon the expression) of it all went down.

I had kicked my husband out to the guest bedroom for the night so I could have bed, bathroom, & tv to myself all close together in the master. I also closed the door to the bedroom almost all the way (had to leave room for the cat to come in and out). Around 2.30 I was in the bathroom when I heard the door to the bedroom open. I knew it was my husband coming to check on me and I was in no condition, so from my 'throne, I just said very firmly, “No!” Later he twisted that to a couple coworkers of ours that I told him to “Get the fuck out!”

I got about 45 minutes of interrupted sleep Wednesday night and was up at 3.45 taking my Zofran so I could take the second prep at 5am. I drank the prescribed water by 8am and then it was NPO until after the procedure. I got my good drugs (versed and fentanyl) before they wheeled me in, the Propofol for the main event.

I actually took the next day off work (Friday) because I was still feeling the effects of the prep strangely enough (or maybe it’s not strange). They found one polyp which was removed and found to be benign. Doctor wants me to repeat colonoscopy in 1 year. Which doesn’t seem fair, but I’ll do it.

In my case, they found and removed two small polyps, and told me I don’t need to have another colonoscopy for TEN years. They don’t even want to do an annual fecal occult test in the meantime.

They say that colon polyps are so slow growing that this is often enough.

:dubious: ???

I guess it is different for everyone. My stepmother has to have one every five years, where I was told I could wait 10 year for my next one, which is fine for me since the prep drink was awful.

I am 54, male, and have never had a colonoscopy. I have had the standard digital prostate check during every physical since I was 30. I’ve been getting medical care through the VA, but I also have the military’s Tricare insurance and could be seen at the nearby AFB or anywhere, really.

For the past 2, maybe 3 months, it seems every single meal upsets my stomach. A little TMI, but you wouldn’t even be reading this thread if you want to avoid such, eh? Nausea and diarrhea. I have settled on using Pepto Bismol or somesuch, which usually settles things down pretty quickly.

Doctor has suggested a colonoscopy for the last few visits, but I’ve not done it for 2 reasons, mainly: friends and family who’ve had this procedure (only a handful, admittedly) describe it as extremely painful over a prolonged period of time, Yikes! Further, I’ve never had a catheter inserted into my penis, and I think you’ve have to either knock me out first or have at least 4 people holding me down, ‘cause ain’t nobody doin’ that to me. Intense fear, there.

I read about the ease of the procedure itself which you folks and others elsewhere describe, but I’m still intensely apprehensive (and am already on medication for anxiety!). I know I need to have it done sooner rather than later, and detection of prostate cancer has a much better outcome if I have it diagnosed sooner rather than later. The recent stomach problems have me really going around and around in my mind (although the one might have nothing to do with the other) as I fear that if I see the doc about the stomach problems, a mandatory colonoscopy will almost certainly follow.

Yeah, I know I’m not manning up, but I also have real, diagnosed anxiety problems. I forgot where I was going with this, but there, I finally said it out loud (so to speak).

Don’t let your (very real, I know) fear & anxiety postpone your scheduling of this. Your penis will be safe - it’s your asshole you’ll need to worry about being invaded. :smiley:

Seriously, I am the biggest baby when it comes to medical stuff. While talking to the nurse and getting my IV for the procedure I started hyperventilating because I was so anxious. I started crying when talking with the anesthesiologist because I was worried about vomiting from the sedation drugs after (I have a true phobia of vomiting - not hyperbole), so much so that he gave me the anti-anxiety drugs earlier than they normally would and promised me an anti-emetic after, even though he didn’t feel it was warranted.

That being said, I wouldn’t describe this procedure as “extremely painful over a prolonged period of time”. An annoying experience? Absolutely. Were there periods of discomfort? You betcha. Truly, the only thing I would describe as “painful” was some burning pain (really more strong discomfort) towards the tail end of the prep when you’re a little raw from shitting so much. And the pinch of the IV being inserted. The procedure itself is a breeze because you’re out. Or if not out, completely unaware. Seriously - they said, “We’re going to start the drip (meds) now” and the next thing I remember was being in recovery asking my husband if I farted yet. :o

Since this thread isn’t all that old, I guess I’ll just add to it instead of starting another one.

I had a colonoscopy last Friday (today is Tuesday).

For the prep, I had a product called Go-Lyte-ly. I mixed the powder with a gallon of water and also added a package of Crystal Lite Lemonade (which the instructions said I could do). I mixed it at noon and put it in the fridge to chill. At 5 pm, I decanted two quarts of it into a pitcher, got an 8 oz glass and a straw, and a timer and sat down to watch an hour and a half episode of Vera (see my thread in Cafe Society). Every 12 minutes I drank an 8 oz glass. It did not taste bad at all. It took pretty much the whole episode to finish the two quarts. No nausea, no queasiness.

I had eaten very lightly the previous few days (per suggestions here–and no meat). I did have diarrhea about an hour after finishing the prep solution, but not all that bad. Yes, your asshole is sore by the end of this process. I used Huggies baby wipes (get the ones labeled “One and Done” – they’re thicker than the regular ones) and a diaper rash cream called Boudreau’s Butt Paste that I smeared on the wipe and applied LIBERALLY to the affected area EVERY TIME I used the toilet. A word to the wise.

I went to bed at the normal time, 11-ish, and set the alarm for 3:30 am to drink the second two quarts. Repeated above procedure with another episode of Vera. Never went to bed. Friend picked me up at 7:45 to go to hospital outpatient department.

Here’s the interesting part. Everyone I’ve asked, and just about everyone here has said they got the i.v., went to sleep, and woke up when it was over. I remember feeling the substance go into my hand through the i,v, because it burned very slightly. And I remember commenting to the nurse and I was drowsy throughout the procedure but by no means out. I felt the probing device as it made its way through my innards. Yup I did. I remember thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know my intestines went all the way up behind my rib cage.” I was very drowsy, but *aware *the way you might be *aware *of something while you’re sleeping that doesn’t actually wake you up. There was no pain and no discomfort, just surprise that I was feeling it when everyone had told me that I would be dead asleep.

When it was done, they may have kept me in the procedure room for a while, and then I was wheeled to the recovery room where my friend was waiting, and by then I was awake. Awake enough to ask the nurse/aide to help me to the bathroom so I could pee. She also gave me my clothes to put back on. (I wore yoga pants and a t-shirt and one of those sleep bras that’s really soft. IOW very easy clothes.) When I got back to the recovery area, the bed was gone and there was a recliner, which I sat in for maybe 40 minutes til someone wheeled me in a wheelchair out to the car. They started the procedure at exactly 9:40 and I was wheeled out to the car at 12:40. My friend asked what anesthesia they used, and they said Versed was one of them, but I don’t remember (get it? Hehe) the other one.

The rest of the day (Friday), I napped, drank water, ate a little, and felt okay. Went to bed and slept all night. Maybe got up to pee a couple of times.

The next day (Saturday) is when I messed up. I felt really good, and I had been told to drink lots of fluids, which I did, but no one said to “take it easy.” Should I have known that on my own? Maybe. I went grocery shopping, did laundry, changed the bed, ate real food, and felt perfectly fine.

Sunday morning I woke up and felt okay. I had two cups of coffee and a scrambled egg and about an hour later I started feeling reallyreally bad. Dizzy, woozy, and just punky. I thought maybe my blood sugar had shot up because I had a croissant with the egg, but I tested it and it was 117, which is okay. BTW, for those in the know, it did go up to 150 and stayed there all day. (I’m type 2, don’t take insulin.) The anxiety might have driven it up, as I was plenty anxious about feeling so bad. (Contributing to the anxiety was the fact that my neighbor two doors down was found dead in her kitchen earlier in the week. She was mid-50’s, 10 years younger than I. Did I mention that getting old deeply sucks?)

For the rest of the day I felt awful. No pain, no tummy discomfort, bowels working again… but I just felt punky and non-specifically bad all over. I didn’t feel like lying down because that made me dizzy. I walked around and around in the house-- waaaaay too hot to walk outside-- heat index well over 100. I did take the dogs out for a short walk (15 mins) late in the day because they will not take no for an answer.

I can only conclude that I overdid it on Saturday. I should have sat around and done not much of anything except drink water, in spite of the fact that I felt okay. Going out and running errands in the heat was not smart

By Monday morning I really did feel back to normal, but holy shit (as it were). If and when I have this done again, I’ll make sure I “take it easy” the next day.

The doc said she did remove a polyp.

The end.

When I had my last colonoscopy a little over a month ago, I had a polyp removed near my appendix, and they want me back for another check in 3 years.

I found the prep more time-consuming than anything else, and was awake for and watched the procedure with a lower dose of Versed. It was interesting and not at all as horrible as I’d been led to believe. YMMV, obviously.

  1. Get the damn colonoscopy. We have one friend who had 12 inches of his colon removed after he finally got his colonoscopy. Had he had it on schedule (around age 50), it would have gone much better for him.
  2. Painful??? The procedure itself is probably uncomfortable but unless you’re trying to tough it out for some reason, you won’t know anything about it. The prep is unpleasant - and your skin can get a bit raw from that - but the procedure itself is a non-issue.
  3. Penis??? Where on earth did you get the idea that catheters were involved??? If they try that, RUN - because you’ve happened on a very confused clinic.

OK to clarify 3: If you were to require surgery, it’s conceivable a catheter would be required (though I don’t believe they’re routine for surgery in general; certainly I didn’t have one for my two non-childbirth surgeries.

And if you had something like a hemmorhoidectomy, sometimes the sphincters say “oh HELL no” and won’t let you pee. If that goes on more than a few hours a catheter might be involved. But again, this has nothing to do with a colonoscopy.

Excellent advice. The humorist Dave Barry AFAIK has written just two non-humorous articles in his life. One was about the death of his mother, the other about how a colonoscopy saved his brother’s life.

I am a total wimp when it come to medical procedures but I had my first one a few years ago and it was totally a non-issue. Mainly an interesting very deep drug-induced nap. The worst part is the prep, but even that isn’t so bad with the new stuff that you only have to mix with water and drink two cupfuls about 8 hours apart, instead of having to drink gallons of crappy tasting gunk.

My understanding is that there are two different approaches to anesthesia, the older approach that involves a sedative/amnesiac like midazolam (“Versed” was one of its brand names) in combination with a powerful painkiller like Fentanyl (much more potent than morphine), and the newer approach that knocks you out with propofol (Diprivan). The latter, AFAIK, requires an anesthesiologist, while the former does not, so while the propofol approach I think is considered superior both are still used, or at least, they both were a few years ago.

I’ve written about the prep methods in other threads, but yeah on the 2 cups of stuff: I had Prepopik (sodium picosulfate) last year; that was newly approved in the US at that time. MUCH less nasty. I’d never done the “gallon of glurge” stuff in the past - I did a pill-based prep (OsmoPrep) which had its own issues but was better than the gallon.

I’ve only ever had propofol, and at least on one occasion I was VERY faintly aware - for a second or two - of “something” happening (but I didn’t care). I mentioned that, and the next time they gave me a bit more of it I think.

There’s a lot of discussion out there as to whether an anesthesiologist truly is necessary with propofol - the anesthesiologists of course say hell yes. I’ve always had one there.