Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » First colonoscopy - tips please ? :)


10-09-2018, 12:17 AM   #1
MissEire
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
First colonoscopy - tips please ? :)

Hi there, I received some great support on the abscess/fistula subforum so thought I'd try here too.


I'm due to have my first colonoscopy on November 2nd to test for crohns/UC. They want me tested because my perianal abscess turned into a complex fistula. I've also had bowel issues since I was a teenager - nothing too severe (diharrea regularly, cramps daily) until last week when I pooped blood about ten times one day!



Anyway. Tips and tricks? I've been told the prep tastes gross, can I add something to it? Lemon juice maybe?



I've got a 2 hour car journey to the hospital with no rest stops (there are no rest stops along the fastest route), somebody else is driving naturally! Should I buy adult diapers?



Also, having it without sedation? How bad is it? They don't give general anesthesia in my country for it, but I also don't want conscious sedation. Is it really painful without sedation?



Thanks guys
10-09-2018, 06:16 AM   #2
scottsma
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I can only speak for myself but you will get lots of advice when everyone gets online.The prep over here doesn't taste THAT bad.But mix and chill it early in the day and use a drinking straw .Before it begins to work make yourself comfortable and let everybody in the house know that when you need the bathroom you need it NOW !!! You will start to get sore so us baby wipes to gently clean and maybe baby bum cream too.Do not drink or eat anything red or orange for a day or so before or it might show up as blood.The test for me is OK.I have a mild sedative injection and am fully awake and usually watch the screen. I find it mildly uncomfortable but not painful and can ask for a sedative top-up if I need it.Your dignity and comfort should be top priority.It took over 12hrs before my insides settled down after the prep.so diapers would probably be a good idea for reassurance.Like I said,others will offer their experiances.Try not to worry,not easy I know.
10-09-2018, 10:11 AM   #3
Tuff
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A few days before a colonoscopy I start to eat lighter, so there is less to come out. I've done it without any sedation, and it wasn't bad. It would depend on your condition, if you have any strictures, swelling. My new doctor does conscious sedation, which is a sedative and an anesthetic. After about an hour, you're good to go home.
I would second the diapers, just in case, and you wouldn't have to worry all the way in.
10-09-2018, 01:56 PM   #4
Daisy26
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Uk
The prep is by far the worst bit, I mixed mine with some dilute juice and added some ice and it made it bearable, itís usually the last glass which seems like it never going to empty lol
Moist toilet wipes and a baby cream worked wonders so Iíd definitely recommend that, donít worry about the actual procedure cause itís unusual for them to not offer some sort of pain relief or sedative. I had gas and air, a mild sedative and it was absolutely painless just a tiny bit uncomfortable and obviously not the most dignifying. I was in and out on my way home in about 2hours. They like to keep you until you have passed most of the gas so donít be afraid to let it out, i was in a bay with 3 others and we were like trumpets lol
10-11-2018, 05:48 AM   #5
wthrsstphn
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Hi there, I received some great support on the abscess/fistula subforum so thought I'd try here too.


I'm due to have my first colonoscopy on November 2nd to test for crohns/UC. They want me tested because my perianal abscess turned into a complex fistula. I've also had bowel issues since I was a teenager - nothing too severe (diharrea regularly, cramps daily) until last week when I pooped blood about ten times one day!



Anyway. Tips and tricks? I've been told the prep tastes gross, can I add something to it? Lemon juice maybe?



I've got a 2 hour car journey to the hospital with no rest stops (there are no rest stops along the fastest route), somebody else is driving naturally! Should I buy adult diapers?



Also, having it without sedation? How bad is it? They don't give general anesthesia in my country for it, but I also don't want conscious sedation. Is it really painful without sedation?



Thanks guys
I don't know how much help I will be but I have had 7 colonoscopies in my lifetime & am now doing them yearly, so I do have some experience. I'm in the US & the prep they used to have me drink was salty, grainy & a little gross, but nothing terrible. The prep they give to me now isn't bad at all. I would eat very light for a few days prior & do liquids only the day before & while you're prepping. It does help. Drinking it chilled & through a straw helps also because it helps bypass your taste buds to a certain extent. Don't eat or drink anything red or orange for several days prior either.
Adult diapers are always a good idea! I buy them every time as a "just in case" precaution. If you don't need them - no harm. If you do need them you'll be very glad you had them! I would also recommend some gentle baby type wipes to use & some kind of barrier cream like a diaper rash ointment. It really helps to use this during your colon prepping. Use it from the start & before you think you even need it. It will cut down on skin irritation.
The sedation question is a little harder for me to weigh in on because they put me completely under for all of my scopes. I have had sigmoidocscopies where I was awake with no sedation at all & watched it on the screen & that was a little uncomfortable, but not bad. I've never had a colonoscopy without sedation.
I think the most important thing to focus on is that it's temporary. You need the test to get your answers so that you can get to feeling better. There is always more fear & anxiety from the unknown & you're alleviating that by educating yourself. You're going to do great & it will be over before you know it. Best wishes for you & prayers that you get the answers you need.
10-12-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
Scipio
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The prep goes down a lot better when I put ice in it. Ice cold prep is much more palatable than room temperature.

I recommend that you push your doc to give you as much sedation or pain relief as the rules will allow. Members from the UK, where sedation is not commonly used, report that some colonoscopies can be very uncomfortable. Here in the US sedation is routine, so it's all I've ever had - which meant no pain or discomfort at all.
10-12-2018, 06:29 PM   #7
BlindLogic
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Springfield, Missouri
My experience about the pain of a colonoscopy without any sedation...

Before I tell you about my firsthand experience I will tell you about my mother's experience. My mother had her first routine/preventative colonoscopy a couple of months before I had my first exploratory colonoscopy and she insisted on no sedation of any kind. (This is in the USA where sedation is routine.) She was told by a nurse that the pain would be similar to childbirth contractions and my mother told me after her colonoscopy that the pain was bearable.

When I had my colonoscopy I also decided on no sedation of any kind (I couldn't let my mother out-tough me) and the following is my description of the pain. The most important thing to know about the pain is that it is not constant but instead only occurs about 4 times during the procedure for a duration of about 5 seconds each time, and the remaining 99.9% of the procedure is completely painless.

The pain occurs during the insertion of the probe when the tip of the probe reaches a 90 degree bend in the colon, and to facilitate getting the probe thru the bend, they inflate your colon with air (while vibrating the air pressure) to widen the bend and vibrate the probe thru. (There are about 4 of these bends.) This only occurs during the insertion of the probe and not during the removal as the tip of the probe can't catch/snag on anything as it's being pulled backwards.

I would describe the pain as similar to a serious muscle cramp and it caused me to constrict my stomach muscles as if I had been punched in the stomach, and the pain is actually quite similar to getting punched in the stomach but on a milder scale. So the pain only lasts for about 5 seconds and then it's on to the next bend. If I ever have another colonoscopy, I will definitely do it again without any sedation.

If you can see the monitor during your procedure, you will notice that the doctor does her observations and biopsies when the probe is being pulled out, not when it's going in. If you choose to be sedated, you will likely not see (or not remember seeing) the fascinating movie starring your colon.

Now about the question of whether you should wear adult diapers on your way to the procedure. (What could go wrong if you didn't?) Yes, absolutely wear the adult diapers and take some spares with you. Good Luck.
10-13-2018, 03:01 PM   #8
MissEire
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Thank you all so much for your replies!


As to the sedation issue, I'm in a country that doesn't give general anesthesia (I'm in Ireland), and sedation is optional. I despise the feeling of being sedated so was considering asking just for pain relief. I'll discuss that with the doctor I guess




Thank you for all the tips for the prep! I've already bought flushable gentle, unscented wipes, diaper rash cream, vaseline and a new dressing gown to keep warm lol.


Apparently adult diapers aren't commonly available in my size (I'm a woman, US size 10), so I'm going to hope I can order some online on time. If not, it'll be 8 jumbo sanitary towels in my underwear!




I'm not too worried about the procedure itself. In the six months since my abscess drainage surgery (it was 25cm deep so is super slow to heal), I've seen easily 50 people about my butt so I have no shame anymore lol.



Thank you again, especially to those who commented on pain levels without sedation!
10-14-2018, 11:23 AM   #9
Tuff
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The flushable wipes aren't really flushable. You could clog up your plumbing. It's better to just put them in the garbage.
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