Forum: Advice / Health & Nutrition

I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:00 PM

I'm having my first colonoscopy next week. I got all the paper work to fill out to take with me when I go. I'm assuming they are going to do it next week when I go.

I was told by someone I would have to drink something that is supposed to clean me out. If it's anything like the diharrea in a bottle I had to drink when they told me I had a hiatel hernia, that didn't go to well. I threw up twice and they told me I was all cleaned out. Besides the fact that it didn't look good, I'm a super taster so it didn't taste well either, hence the throwing up. Then I'm guessing they put me out and look up my butt to see what's up there. I have a hemorrhoid from some meds I took when I was sick about 5 years ago or so. Actually, there were 2 separate times when I was sick and one of the wonderful side effects was horrible constipation. Other then that, which I am guessing they will remove, I don't know what they will find up there. Hopefully they will find nothing and I will come home a happy camper.

What scares me is what happened to my sisters friend which I know is a one in a million shot. I won't go into all the details in case you are reading this and haven't had one yet but the doctor screwed up big time! He had to sign something saying if the doctor screws up, it's not the doctors fault. It can't be my fault, since I am under the whole time. My sisters friend had to have 2 more surgeries, wears an ostomy bag all the time, can't work and after 3 years is starting to feel somewhat better. He couldn't sue the doctor because of the paper he had to sign.

Have you ever had this done? How did it go? Do you have to have one again or do you only have to have one in your life? If my sister's friend didn't have his problem and she didn't explain it to me in great detail, I don't think I would be as nervous. The only cancers I know of that run in our family are my mom's mom had bone cancer, my dad's mom had stomach cancer he thinks but he's not 100% sure and my dad's dad had brain cancer because he worked in the coal mines so nothing like that runs in our family. My middle sister refuses to even have the test because of what happened to her friend and because it doesn't run in our family.

Wish me luck, guys. Say a prayer that everything goes okay for me.

22 Replies to I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?

re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:18 PM
One of the teachers I work with just had one. She's been reacting to food, and her doctors couldn't figure out why (although it's a by the book lactose allergy...we all figured it out), so as part of their trying to figure it out, she had a colonoscopy done. Seems to have gone well. I mean, she was real run down, but she even was at work later that day.

My MIL had one, and it went well, and she swears she'll NEVER do it again...just because. She's not ever given an especially good reason, she just won't.

And, just cause things don't run in the family, doesn't mean they can't happen to you. I've got twin sisters. There's no twins on either side, in any recent record. Bodies are funny that way.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By lildancergirl22
On Sat Mar 21, 2015 07:15 AM
I wouldn't assume that they'll do it when you take your paperwork in. I'd call to make sure you have a set appointment. There's a lot of prep you have to do to get ready for it.

My mom has had a few and I think the prep includes eating no foods with seeds for a couple days before than only clear liquids the day before than you drink the stuff so many hours before and start the massive clean out. She had troubles the first few times with vomiting, but I think they changed the substance and it's a bit more tolerable.

By the sounds of it, the prep is the worse part. My mom has had some nasuea after from the anesthetic, so the last time they used something different and she felt fine after. A little worn out, but not too bad.

You'll also need someone to pick you up after likely. Try to get an appointment in the morning so most of the stretch that you're going without food is in your sleep!

Good luck!!
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:24 AM
I drove my mom for one a few years back. The cleaning out is the worst part. All clear liquids and jello (nothing red for sure) plus the laxatives so you are cleaned out and they can see everything. She had it done at a hospital, I'm not sure if that's always the case or if out patient places do it as well. The whole thing is pretty fast, I didn't wait long for her at all to have it, wake up and go home. I believe the protocol is that your supposed to have your first one at 50 (earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer), and if they don't find anything every 10 years after that. If they do find any polyps they'll remove them right then and there while they are looking. Of course if they find something worse then you have to deal with that. I'd assume if they find anything then you would have to have colonoscopies more often to make sure it doesn't return. I'm not a doctor or anything, but my mom is so I've heard plenty of second hand medical talk throughout my life.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:30 PM
I'm 60 and I've never had one before. I forgot about the not eating anything with seeds in them, which I usually don't anyway so that is not a problem. I do know that just because something doesn't run in your family doesn't mean you can't have something. When I had pink eye once, the doctor said there were no known cases of pink eye. Well, someone has to be first and I guess I was. So someone in our family could be the first in our family to have something.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Naivohwmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Mar 22, 2015 07:37 PM
My husband had one a few years ago (at 31, he was having bum related gross problems). The doctor's office was very clear that he HAD to have someone come with him to drive him home, and that someone had to stay in the office the whole time the procedure was being done. So I would call your doctor and confirm if you are having it done next week, and if you need a ride home.

My husband said the prep was pretty miserable, basically just going to the bathroom a ton, he didn't elaborate on what went on in there and I didn't ask. The doctor did say he did an excellent job following all the prep stuff because his insides were very clear. Unfortunately with him they still haven't figured out his problems, but at least we know it's not cancer.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Sun Mar 22, 2015 08:14 PM
Glad to hear it wasn't cancer. My mom is going with me so that is not a problem. I'm sure if I'm not throwing up it will be coming out the other way, I'm not looking forward to this but hey, it's something we all have to have. You can be like my sister and say I'm not doing it or have it done and let them find out you don't have anything. I'm hoping for the I don't have anything except for a hemorrhoid the size of the state of CA & Texas! LOL
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one? (karma: 2)
By kinsidhe
On Mon Mar 23, 2015 07:40 AM
I just had one done in Jan. My first one and I was really nervous about it (much worsened by my abuse history). So I can understand feeling worried, scared and anxious. I was honestly ready to run but was lucky enough to have the reassurance from my wonderful dance teacher "it will be over before you know it" I kept that as my mantra to help me get through it.

What happened with your sister's friend is scary and terrible, but it is not common. Colonoscopies are done everyday and most people come through just fine!

Here is my experience:
The prep is the most difficult part. And if you are a super taster then this may make it more of a challenge for you.
There are several different 'brands' of prep and each one has slightly different directions. Mine was Surprep. So here's what

I remember:
The prep: The day before the test I had to go on a clear liquid diet. Chicken broth, jello ( not red or purple!, cant have anything red or purple), ginger ale ( my go to for churning tummies) hard candy etc. No solids, no dairy, no orange juice. So black tea ok etc. I found sucking on the hard candies helpful. And I got my choices for clear liquids all ready before I started. Aside from being a bit shaky from lack of food it was ok.
Then the evening before I had to take the first part of my prep. It was a small bottle of clear liquid stuff that I had to put into a larger container that came with it, add water to the line and that was 16 oz to drink. This was the hardest part. It smells like grape cough medicine, tastes like it too but is -also- very salty ( the salts being what will clean you out). So I had to drink that 16 oz fairly quickly and follow it with 2 more containers full of just water so another 32 oz of water within the hour. The taste was not pleasant and I learned after that first go around it is better to gulp it as quickly as possible rather than take it in smaller slips. Also, it has been recommended to drink it through a straw and that helps bypass most of your taste buds. I didnt try that so I cant speak to how helpful it was, but it is a thought.

So first warning, for me...the prep worked -very- quickly-for me about 15 minutes, I am not kidding it was fast! There was no real warning so I recommend taking a book or something with you into the toilet, drink the prep there and settle and wait. I was in there for about 1-2 hours and then felt ok to go to sleep. Shaky and a bit light headed but ok. No problems during the night and then in the morning of the test I had to do the second round of prep. So all of the above all over again. The drinking it fast as I could did help. And then just getting the water down as best I could. I did feel like I would vomit, but did not. Deep breaths helped. Round two after drinking it was again very fast acting but by this time I was just passing clear lquid. I did not experience cramping just sudden rushes. Again was about an hour or so in there and then I was ready to go to the hospital. I was worried about trip there in case I had another need to go. I was ok. had one mild further need to go while in the waiting room but they had a toilet right there so no worries.

At the hospital:
met with the anesthesiologist answered some questions, signed my waivers etc. They explained the type of sedation and the risks. All pretty standard.

Met with a nice nurse who explained the procedures to me ( I was also having an endoscopy ( down my throat) at the same time. She answered any questions I had and gave my my gowns to put on. Here I had a laugh because they were all 'one size fits all' and I am fairly small so I was lost in all the material. Gave me a gown, opening in the back, gave me robe to wear and pants to wear to travel from one room to the other. Was allowed to keep my bra on. She also put into my arm the IV port.

In the procedure room. Had to get rid of my robe and pants and hop on the table. they got me settled on my left side and attached the IV for the anesthesia, put an oxygen mask over my nose and said they would take good care of me, I felt a wave of dizziness and I closed my eyes and then woke up in recovery. I remember nothing of the procedure at all.

In recovery: I took my time coming out of sedation ( I always do). Was dizzy and groggy at first and things seemed a bit dream like but that passed and then I was seated up and given some juice and crackers. Eventually got steady enough to get dressed. Got my results from my Dr. ( she was lovely) and sent home. I ate! and had tea!! going that long with out my tea was hard. Slept a bit and then was back to normal the next day.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions just ask and I'll see if I can answer them.

The main things are: it is very unlikely anything will go wrong. You are at higher risk driving in your car. and I really do recommend drinking the prep as fast as you can tolerate. I would also talk to your Dr. about your worry about vomiting, They may have a prep that would suit you better.

wishing you good thoughts!
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By cut12bum
On Tue Mar 24, 2015 02:39 PM
I never have, but wanted to wish a "good luck!".

I seem to avoid most testing. I know it'll catch up with me eventually. 😣
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SLBdancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 24, 2015 03:25 PM
I've had 3 so far and many more to come in the future - about every 2 years - as i have ulcerative colitis (and I'm only 27). All 3 have been just fine despite my messed up colon :) so I have high hopes yours will be even better!

The prep is definitely the worst part, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Ask your doctor if you can do miralax/gatorade prep, that one is the easiest since miralax doesn't taste like anything and you can pick gatorade flavors :) I am a super taster too and can't even take cough syrup if that makes you feel better. Another prep I prefer is Magnesium citrate and dulcolax, it's not too bad either. I get the lemon flavor and mix it with sierra mist or lemonade and you can hardly taste it. Stock up on clear liquids ahead of time (no reds though), like juice, jello, soda, popsicles, broth, etc. Make sure you drink plenty of water during prep because it does clean you out and can make you dehydrated - however when you go in for the scope they will give you fluids to fill you back up. Also get some good magazines, movies, and charge up your phone because you will be spending some time in the bathroom. I recommend getting some baby wipes to use since they are gentler on your bottom when you get towards the end of prep. I promise you will get through it though!

The good news is once you finish prep, you just have to get to your appointment and enjoy a nice nap :) They will get you changed and settled in a bed, then start an IV, and you get to relax while they do all the work. When you wake up you will feel drowsy but otherwise should feel good. Make sure you pass gas though, because they put air inside during the procedure so the sooner you get it out the better you will feel. After that, they take the IV out, give you some juice and snacks, get dressed in your clothes, and you get to head home. I recommend taking the day off and just relax. By the next day, you should be back to normal. Hopefully all is good and you won't have to go back for 10 years!

Proud of you for going to get it done, certainly important to get checked out especially because colon cancer can be silent. You will do great, and you will be even happier once it's over and done with! Good luck to you, feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By boleyngrrl
On Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:29 PM
Your sister's friend is a victim of malpractice. If they try to make you sign something like that, refuse and find another doctor. You can sign a consent form (and will most definitely have to), but the other thing is just... no.

I've had one. You should have gotten instructions from your doctor on the type of laxative they want you to use.

General rules:
No red/blue/purple dyes for jello or drinks
Nothing besides clear liquids (straight tea, powerade, water, black coffee, jello) for 24 hours before (I believe? Check with a doc on this one because my time frame was modified)
Don't plan anything once you start taking the laxative
I mixed the powder with the powerade and it worked really well. I used the yellow kind. Apparently if you use water it can taste oily or greasy, but I did not have that issue at all with the powerade. Also--drink it COLD. The warmer it gets, the nastier it is. I have severe stomach issues and I kept it down, but everyone is different. I definitely FELT nauseous, but it stayed down.

I vaguely remember waking up the morning before mine, getting ready, going in, putting on a gown, laying on the table, and then talking with my doctor some before they put the oxygen mask/nose thingies on and then I don't remember a thing until I woke up in recovery. There was a TV in the room that showed the view from the camera--I vaguely remember going "Dang, I don't want to watch this." Then... nothing. I felt just fine afterwards--a little out of it, but fine.

Mine came back with the expected results (fine for the most part). I have no idea if I have to get one again--my guess is with the stuff my body keeps pulling that I'll have to have one again, but I don't plan to. I certainly didn't find it the horror story that most people conjure when they think of colonoscopies. Pleasant? No. Tolerable? Yeah. Annoying? Definitely. But not terrible.

I hope this helps ease your mind a little bit. Call your doc for the instructions for prep. It's an outpatient procedure, but you will not be allowed to drive nor is it a usual "office" procedure. Good luck!
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 01, 2015 03:45 PM
Since I had colon cancer 21 years ago, caught early by colonoscopy and cured by surgery, I have been through a number of these. Nothing has been found in the last 3 or 4 of these and I'm now on a 6 year schedule. In fact the six years is up and I made my preliminary office visit just today. The procedure will be on May 6. It's no big deal. They give you some Valium though I usually fall asleep during the procedure. It takes about an hour with prep work and you are released about an hour to an hour and a half later. You have to have someone take you home as you can't drive with the Valium.

The day before you get a solution to "clean you out" and you have to have a clear diet....jello, broth, clear liquids e.g. no coffee, milk. You get a sheet of instructions. The solution used to be rather nasty tasting, but I was told today that there is an entirely new protocol for this and the new bowel cleanser is not nearly as unpleasant, at least that is what the physician's assistant told me. It is taken the night before. Don't plan on going to a big party while the solution is working.

You probably should plan on not returning to work, but you will be OK the next day. You can eat on the way back from the procedure.

I likely am alive today because of this procedure.

re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Mon May 25, 2015 09:55 PM
I'm having mine this week instead of when I said I was having it. We have one bathroom in our house and I care give 2 parents. Dad has prostate problems and he's 91 on a feeding tube. Mom is 87 and had bad knees. She's on meds because she pees a lot, so it's going to be fun with 3 of us here. Mom wanted me to postpone it till it got warmer so dad could go sit outside when I have to take over the bathroom. It's going to be quite a problem but I'm sure with God's help we wil get though it. My problem is that I am a super taster. I can't eat sweets, sour and some textures. As soon as it hits my tongue, I'd better be near a toilet or sink because I am going to hurl. I've been like this my whole life. This should be a lot of fun for me but I know I have to have it done. I've been through 2 stomach viruses and lost 8 lbs both times. It was coming out both ends. That was fun! LOL I don't need a repeat of that. Also, this week it is supposed to be hot and humid, like in the 80's but it will feel like 90. I'm glad I'm having it done really early although I'm not looking forward to getting up early after spending the day in the bathroom on the toilet. I probably won't sleep much the night before. I just hope I don't have to go all night. My dad is on a new medication for his prostate problem and it won't have fully kicked in by Wed. which is when I will be spending my day in the bathroom. At night he sometimes gets up every 1-2 hours to pee so I am hoping I don't have to get up except when I have to get up to drink more of that stuff before I go for my procedure. I'm eating popcorn tonight because I can't have any until Thurs. night or Fri. depending on how I feel. I am a popcorn-a-holic and it really helps me to go and cleans me out and I love it! I hate when I can't have something because that's because I really crave it.

If you are so inclined, please say a prayer that God will guide the doctors hands and that they don't find anything wrong with me and I am just fine with doing all of this. It's going to be quite an adventure!
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By wembley
On Tue May 26, 2015 12:35 AM
I'm having a gastroscopy and colonoscopy next Monday, so I'll be thinking sympathetic thoughts for you!
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Tue May 26, 2015 06:37 AM
Thank you so much! I don't know what your other test is but you will be in my prayers too. Who knows? If this turns out to be fine, which I'm hoping it will be, when I have to have it done in another 10 years they may have invented a pill you can swallow that will take care of everything! Wouldn't that be great? No more drinking that stuff they are going to give us. They might just do away with this test altogether. I'm just glad it's not the middle of winter and they are predicting 2 feet of snow on the day of my test. What if I couldn't get out of my driveway?
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2015 07:26 AM
I just had mine done last week. This is a follow-up to having colon cancer 21 years ago. It was fine.

The current bowel prep is a piece of cake compared to what it used to be. The old phosphore soda was bad and its replacement was awful. The one I had last week was very easy to do. There first was a dose of Ducolax or its generic at 4 PM the day before. Then there was a 2 packet powder you mix with water. One is taken 2 hours after the laxative, the other the morning of the procedure at 4-5 hours before. The powder, while it won't replace Coca Cola as a favorite drink, is not unpleasant like the old stuff was. Hint, if you hold your nose while taking it, you minimize the taste. I did that with phosphor soda. The stuff just before what I used this time was very nauseous. This time it was nothing like that. You have to drink five 8 oz. glasses of water. As you are one a clear diet the day before (Jello, broth) you don't have to stay up all night as I once did. I've had 8-9 or these procedures....rather often in the first years after detection of the cancer and the surgery I had for it. This time was six years after the previous exam. Fortunately my cancer was discovered very early. The exams I now have every six months with an oncologist helped to discover prostate cancer at a cell level some 12 years ago.

After the procedure I had last week the Dr. said "see you in seven years."

re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Tue May 26, 2015 09:54 AM
I am so glad that you are doing well. So many people it seems have Cancer of some form or other and they pass away that's its good to hear someone is doing well.

I'm also glad you are saying the stuff to take it easier to take then it used to be. I just know what will happen as soon as it hits my tongue. I still have a hiatal hernia and had to have a test for it. The doctor whose doing my colonoscopy asked me how I know I have one. I had to drink something that looked like someone pooped in a bottle and It smelled bad too. I had to drink it all. I had 2 sips and I threw up everything I had in my stomach twice. I called the place where I got the stuff from and they laughed when I told them what happened. I might have even gone to the bathroom too which is what I guess I was supposed to do, not the throwing up. She said she was pretty sure that I was all cleaned out. I guess I was. When I went to have it done they gave me something else to drink which made me throw up too so they didn't make me drink anymore, they just did the test. They said I have the start of one, which is what I told the doctor. He acted like he almost didn't believe me! This was in the 80's I think. I know what I am talking about when I say I am a super taster. Brushing my tongue was an experience I hope to never relive but it's the same thing that happens when I eat ice cream, a cookie, lemons, anything sweet or sour. It hits me that quick.

I just want to get this over and done with. I just wish my sister haven't told me about the problems her friend had because I keep thinking of it. My doctor told me he's been doing this for 30 years I think he said and there have been 10 accidents in 30 years. That's not a bad track record.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue May 26, 2015 06:03 PM
Maybe drinking it with a straw would help, less time in your mouth and you can suck it down faster?
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Tue May 26, 2015 06:26 PM
That's what I've heard. At this point I will try anything since I do have to get it down. I wish I didn't have this problem, believe me. Normally, so what if I don't eat ice cream, drink soda or eat cakes and cookies. In the grand scheme of things i won't die if I don't have any of that. However, in this case, I do have to clean myself out which means I have to drink all of it no matter what. Is it Fri. yet? LOL
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Fri May 29, 2015 10:03 PM
I got through it just fine. I hated drinking that stuff but with holding my nose and a straw I was able to tolerate it, although I wouldn't want to make it a part of my daily routine! LOL I was in their for 2 hours. My mom brought a book with her because we didn't know how long it would be. I did spend a lot of time in our bathroom but it was okay. God helped out a lot because dad & mom didn't need to go all that much and boy was I cleaned out! I'm glad to be able to eat again and boy, am I enjoying it! I'm eating popcorn right now!

My test showed no polyps, no problems, I'll see you in 10 years. Score! I am a happy camper.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Straatdance
On Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:11 AM
That's good to hear! At first it may seem rather scary, but it's very much worth it. :)

re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By SoloJazzDancer
On Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:40 AM
Oh yeah, for sure it was worth it. I was just so nervous. My mom had one years ago but she didn't remember much of it. My youngest sister just had one but she refuses to talk about it at all and I asked her about it. I guess she was embarrassed about it or something. They found a polyp on her and removed it. She had to go back so they could make sure she didn't have anymore and make sure they got it all. When my mom found out she called her because she was concerned. I don't blame her for being concerned. She said my sister didn't want to talk about it much to her either. That's why I came on here. In fact, that sister didn't ask me how I was or how I did or anything. My middle sister asked how I did though.

The problem I have now is I don't seem to be pooping as much as I did before the Colonoscopy. It's almost like I'm a little constipated somehow, even though I am eating popcorn every night which always kept me regular and drinking High Fiber V-8 and eating high fiber bread and pasta. If I could get that normal again I'd feel better. Otherwise, I'm good to go!

Thanks for what you said. Testing isn't always something we want to do (think school & pop quizzes) but if it makes us feel better knowing we don't have something that could be very serious, I'll take it.
re: I'm having my first colonoscopy. Have you ever had one?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 01, 2015 03:05 PM
^This is a pretty normal reaction.



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