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Colonoscopy-psychological impact

Sandy7000 Sandy7000 (New) New

Hi. I'm not a nurse or a nursing student. I've worked only in health care as a support staff person in hospital admissions. I do deeply appreciate the difficulties of health care and your position.

After a recent colonoscopy, I was deeply shamed and upset by my behavior under sedation. It has bothered me so much that I want to see a counselor about it.

I vaguely remember that I took a swing at the doctor and kicked to get free from a male technician. As well, I had a creepy sexual sensation at first. I have a sinking feeling I responded until the air was turned on. I had NO CLUE what I was doing.

I didn't remember all that much. In recovery, the nurse came in wide eyed and asked me "do you remember what happened?" As well, the doctor said to me almost immediately after entering my recovery room "we're not used to someone so young...", but didn't elaborate.

I saw the nurse in passing when I was at the hospital for another reason. She gasped, got that wide eyed look when she saw me and then zoomed back into the GI services area.

I am so humiliated I wrote a short nice note and stated I wanted to be referred to another doctor. I don't want to ever go back to the doctor. If I hadn't been sedated, I wouldn't have behaved this way at all. I'm so frightened by all of this.

At first, I was upset at the doctor for all of this when the colonoscopy didn't turn up any more information.

Then, I realized that he did what he could because I am needed in my family. A friend of mine died (of bacterial meningitis) at 28 with advanced colon cancer discovered at autopsy. It really wounded and touched so many lives when we lost Dan.

So I'm sure also this doctor's heart was to protect all the lives around mine who need me to be healthy and strong. Reframing all my humiliation this way helps me put it in perspective.

I put roses on Dan's grave last night and the rest I have at home in a vase. Each time I look at them, I try to remember his family's pain and how my shame is a small price to pay to protect my family from that.

Anyway, I'll get over it. I have suffered from PTSD in the past (sexual assault). My reaction the past several weeks resembles that. I couldn't eat for about a week and relived the event. It was very painful. However, PTSD is akin to viral infection. The next time one is hit, immunity kicks in and makes the impact less and less if one faces it.

Is there anything more I can do to get beyond this? I do have small hemorrhoids. I had the colonoscopy for 3 1/2 months of diarrhea (which has now gotten better).

Aw hun, I'm so sorry *hug*

Staff knows these things happen when someone is under sedation. I understand you feel badly, but trust me, they don't see it that way. Because of your history, perhaps it would help to talk to someone at EAP.

SICU Queen

Specializes in SICU. Has 16 years experience.

I am SO sorry that happened to you!!

Please know that people react in strange ways to sedation, but I suspect your particularly violent reaction was in part due to your past abuse. In younger people, survivors of sexual abuse, and police/military men seem to be particularly prone to violent/inappropriate responses. I consider all "little old people" as potentials for extreme behavior, and they usually don't let me down!! LOL!

I, and 99% of the nurses I know, NEVER judge anyone by what they do when they're under sedation. Working in SICU for so long, and recovering thousands of patients, I have seen many a "demon" patient -scratching, hitting, kicking, cursing - go to Mr./Mrs. Nice and Normal within minutes or hours.

It may benefit you to find out exactly what drugs you were given, and in what dosages, so that the next time you need to have sedation for a procedure perhaps something can be modified. It would also be beneficial for you to let any staff know that you get verbally inappropriate and violent when you're under, so that they can protect themselves.

You sound so traumatized but please, PLEASE, try not to be. Go see a counselor if you feel the need to, but take some advice from an older nurse... you are NOT alone in your response to sedation!!!

Thank you very, very much to both of you for your kind words.

The sedation medication issue is one I did have concerns about. Thanks for confirming that.

I had started to thrash around during an emergency angioplasty in 2004 (for a viral heart infection).

I remember I couldn't respond to the doctor and the nurse when they became alarmed and told me over and over to stop moving my legs. Finally, the nurse had to hold my legs down.

Yes, it's a good idea to know. Both were probably typical sedation methods for a healthy woman. I know the colonoscopy was the typical M and M stuff (can't remember the clinical names..oh yeah..midazolam and meriperidine (sp?)). The heart one I'd have to dig up.

Oh well. Thanks again for the perspective.

Yeah, part of the reason doctors and nurses make more than clerical is that they're required to keep a straight face and cool head..no matter what mischief the patient has gotten himself/herself into!! :lol2:


People do respond differently to anesthesia. I will give you my story. I recently, 4 months ago, had my appendix removed. I was introduced to the surgeon and met the anesthesiologist in the OR. Now, I have had 6 surgeries prior and I know that I am one of those happy sedated people, ya know love and peace and all. Well, this particular day I was wheeled in and moved to OR table, strapped arms down to table, Anesthesiologist leaned over the table telling me about Cricoid pressure and intubation and enters the surgeon looking down upon me smiling, and I with absolute seriousness, "While you are down there can you do a little lipo and my labia needs tightening." Well the last thing I remember is the surgeons face going red......

Needless to say when he came into my room post-op he looked at my husband and said, "Your wife has quite the sense of humor and could you tell her I was unable to grant her request."

We laugh about that still. Don't let that get to you. I went for my 2 week check up with the surgeon and he looked at me when he entered the room and I simply said, "I do remember and I think you have a great sense of humor as well." We laughed and all was good.

I ripped out the tube and mouthpiece more than once during my last gastroscopy and needed way more sedation. I remember I was trying to tell them something and had to remove tube to do so. I think it was very painful and I was choking! I was fighting the doc and nurses until the versed took hold. Who knows what else I did!!!

The one before that I peed my pants all over the exam table and did not realize until I got up out of bed to leave after sedation wore off.

As far as the so young comment, it could have been a refernece that many older pts have these procedures done. Older pts who generally need less sedation and therefore woulod have been incapicated at the point you were able to be combattive and act the way you were.....

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