recent colonoscopy experience - page 12

I had my first colonoscopy last Friday. I am 46 and my mother has had two surgeries for colon CA, so I felt pretty good about being so responsible. I went to every website I could find and... Read More

  1. by   CrohnieToo
    Quote from caroladybelle
    There is no "mandatory injection" given to relax the bowel, as scopes have been done without any meds at all. Do you happen to know the name of the med? ...
    You're right, its not mandatory and its now thought probably doesn't really do much good, but most likely that drug was glucagon.
  2. by   CrohnieToo
    Quote from mshultz
    ...Since this experience, I had been wondering about sigmoidoscopies done without sedation. Assuming my pain tolerance is as good as anyone else's, don't people find this to be extremely painful? Apparently, yes they do. ...
    I've only had one sigmoidoscopy (thank goodness!) but it was not at all painful. It was done in 1976 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I was apprehensive as all get out! They were VERY considerate of the embarassment. I was shown how to position myself in a "chair bench" on my knees. Then the nurse left me alone in the room and the chair bench tilted until I was almost on my head and my bottom was up in the air!!! A gentle voice then explained each step as the scope was entered. The worst part of the whole episode was my terror of expelling the air into the doctor's face!!! I got thru that with the thought "he deserves it for putting me thru this humiliating experience!"

    He mentioned if he introduced too much air and it got painful to be sure to tell him immediately. When done, he told me I could pull the gown around me and he exited the room before the chair bench was all the way down to normal position. The nurse then knocked and entered the room and showed me the way back to the dressing room. I never saw the doctor who did that scope. I never saw the nurse except when I was upright and fully gowned. I was given every bit as much privacy and avoidance of the humiliation and embarassment such a procedure causes as was possible and it was MUCH APPRECIATED!!
  3. by   Farquad Arnot

    From a patient perspective, it was the single most scary and uncomfortable experience I can remember having. They gave me something, but it wasn't enough. I was aware of everything and could feel everything. It was fine until the rounded the bend into the Traverse Colon, when the air opened it up, I flushed with a cold sweat and felt very nauseated. I told this to the nurse and doctor and they ignored me. It was like I wasn't there. Pressing on to the Cecum was nearly unbearable, but it didn't last long. I was able to deal with the rest of the procedure.

    I was so glad it was over, I felt great immediately after the procedure, but the next day I felt depressed, upset and angry. I thought back to the procedure and I remembered the pain and that at one point I thought I might be having a heart attack or something, because all I had heard was what a breeze these things are. I was angry that I could be in the same room with three other human beings and be that terrified and no one seemed to care.

    If you have a bad experience and you later feel a little traumatized, you're not crazy. This discussion thread really helped me when I found others had had my same experience. I really wish that I had been prepped that what happened to me was possible. I dealt with it anyway and it would have been nice to know that it was in the spectrum of possibilities.

    Thanks for letting me rant.
  4. by   CrohnieToo
    The transverse colon can be difficult to traverse w/the scope as it is very flexible and can dip down a considerable way into the abdominal cavity and then the scope and colon must rise back up to the hepatic flexure to negotiate that curve. It is a common area for the vagus nerve to get ticked off causing nausea, etc. If that occurs during my scopes my gastro always adds a little phenergan to my IV "cocktail". Once around the hepatic flexure they can use the scope to suck the air AND the ascending colon up and it should be a piece of cake until the ileocecal valve which can be difficult to enter to reach the distal end of the terminal ileum.

    The pain or discomfort encountered during colonoscopy is due, not so much to the air, but even more so to the flexible scope looping back on itself and stretching the colon, it is the stretching whether from too much air or the scope shaft looping back on itself that causes the pain or discomfort. The colon can and does stretch lengthwise w/no problems but stretching the "circumference" can be very uncomfortable or painful.
    Last edit by CrohnieToo on Oct 7, '07
  5. by   trepinCT
    Quote from ICU_floater
    They were supposed to do a fluid push to raise your bp to sedate you, YES, they were to stop, PAIN is the 6th vital sign and pain is an unacceptable response to diagnosis and treatment. They were to stop, give you fluids, then meds then schedule you under anesthesia..... like you had with diprovan/propofol. THAT is what a good doc does and should do. I never would have gone back.... but at least NOW you know what works and NEVER settle for less. The nurse there to care for you needed to speak up.... that whole group IMHO is lacking.... twice is a crime.
    I thought pain was the 5th vital sign????
  6. by   Sabby_NC
    Nope mine was blissful because the guy I see uses Profanol (sp) any ways out like a light... Love it... did the same for the endoscopy and liver biopsy... Three very good sleeps LOL
  7. by   dbmc
    I've had 2 colonscopies. The first one was a piece of cake. I went to a very experienced doc. They started sedating me before he came in the room Once he began inserting the scope I moaned, he said something and that's all I remember until I woke up in recovery. The second scope was entirely different. I was admitted to the hospital with a suspected bowel obstruction. Before they took me to endoscopy, the floor nurse gave me Valium 10mg po. Once I got to endoscopy, the doc (who was new and I'm betting had done very few scopes prior to mine) told the nurse to give me a "little medicine" IV. Well, it took 4 nurses lying on top of me to hold me down for the procedure. I've never felt such pain. I was begging, screaming and crying for mercy the entire procedure. The sadistic SOB continued and I was not given anymore sedation. To this day, I remember every bit of it. Like the first poster, I had PTSS for months afterwards. And I was as mad at the nurses as I was the doctor, because being a nurse, I knew that they were supposed to be an advocate for me. As soon I they took me back to my room, I asked to speak to the charge nurse, who immediately called the DON. I told them what happened and they kept saying I must have dreamed it, that it couldn't have happened that way, yada, yada. I told them to go to Endoscopy and read the nurse's notes and if any of the nurses wrote that the patient tolerated the procedure well with no distress then those nurses were liars. About 3 weeks after leaving the hospital, the CEO of the hospital called me at home, apologized for what I went through and told me that I would not be charged for the colonoscopy. I'm sure he was afraid of a lawsuit. The doc who did the scope left town shortly afterwards. I have vowed to never have another scope, although I think most docs in my area now put their patients completely to sleep now before the procedure. I wouldn't do to my worst enemy what that doctor did to me.
    Last edit by dbmc on Nov 24, '07
  8. by   CrohnieToo
    CONGRATULATIONS, dbmc, and GOOD ON YOU for lodging the complaint! Thank you for doing so. I only wish more patients would do so when the encounter such an experience!!
    Last edit by CrohnieToo on Nov 23, '07
  9. by   dbmc
    How could I not report it? I didn't want anyone else to go through what I did! I'm not one to hold a grudge, but to this day I would love for those nurses to look me in the eye and tell me why they didn't stop that doctor...
  10. by   suanna
    Its amazing how many replies are posted to this question- do all nurses have a colonoscopy? My doc wants me to be scoped every 2-3 years-I've had 4 so far. The posters that say the trick is to find a doc that isn't afraid of medicating are right- I don't remember a thing. It helps to tell your doc your expectations- for me "more narcotics less benzos" I dont want to forget the pain I don't want to feel it to start with. Besides narcotics are easier to reverse if they do knock me too far out. Interesting to note, in most of the world a colonoscopy is not a sedated proceedure. We are spoiled in the USA in that we "waste" all that money sedating patients for this proceedure. All I can I'g glad I live in a wasefull country.
  11. by   CrohnieToo
    Quote from suanna
    ... Interesting to note, in most of the world a colonoscopy is not a sedated proceedure. We are spoiled in the USA in that we "waste" all that money sedating patients for this proceedure. ...
    It is not so much a matter of "pansy" Americans needing sedation and analgesia as it is a matter of US doctors not taking the TIME to properly do a colonoscopy. It takes considerably more time to use less air, to proceed slowly w/the scope and to stop when the scope shaft loops back on itself to pull it back and straighten it. I have my colonoscopies w/o sedation by choice. I do have a light dose of Demerol. But my gastro is caring and considerate of my wishes in this respect. It also takes her considerably longer to do my scopes because of no sedation. I enjoy watching the monitor and REMEMBERING what I saw. "Our" problem area is the transverse colon, I never have even discomfort at the sigmoid colon or the splenic flexure. Due some Crohn's disease scarring the ileocecal valve can be a bit of a challenge but no more than discomfort.

    Gastrointest Endosc. 1996 Feb;43(2 Pt 1):124-6.
    Why is colonoscopy more difficult in women?
    Saunders BP, Fukumoto M, Halligan S, Jobling C, Moussa ME, Bartram CI, Williams CB.
    Department of Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, London, England.

    Patient pain during colonoscopy: an analysis using real-time magnetic endoscope imaging.Shah SG, Brooker JC, Thapar C, Williams CB, Saunders BP.
    Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, Harrow, London, United Kingdom.

    Colonoscopy How To
    Last edit by CrohnieToo on Nov 24, '07 : Reason: Update a "dead" URL
  12. by   BSN74
    I have had Ulcerative Colitis for 32 Years. I am supposed to have colonoscopies every year or two for the rest of my life. I was so scared it took me 20 years to ever have a colonoscopy. Back then, the doctors all refused to do anything other than light sedation. They said I would be awake. I knew I could not stand this. I was terrified. I went from MD to MD and got the same information. I finally got so distraught because I had to have them for the rest of my life because of the cancer risk, but I could not stand it, but I had to have it, but I could not stand it etc.etc.etc.

    Finally, I went to a Psychiatrist. I knew she was paid to listen to me. I told her all about it. She immediatly said "why don't they just put you to sleep?" I said "Yeah, why don't they? I've been trying to get them to for 10 years." She called a collegue who was a GI. He saw me the next day, and did the scope two days later. I knew NOTHING.

    Today, they seem to care more. At my every-other-year scope last week, I just mentioned past trauma in the holding room and I could see them thinking about how to help me.

    Here is what I do:

    Ask for MAC (Monitored Anesthesia Care)

    Ask for something (about 2mg Versed) in the IV as soon as they get it in.

    I tell then I don't need to see the endoscopy room.

    Last week, a CRNA with a college do-rag on his head showed up in the holding room and WHOMP it was over and they were telling me to get up and get dressed. Thanks to short-acting Propophol, I could. We stopped off at Chili's on the way home. The next week, all biopsies came back negative.

    I feel cheated because of the 10 years I lost being terrified. It was on my mind almost every day. That was when my children were little. I remember them missing the fair one year because of an insensitive doctor.

    Just some words from a long time Ulcerative Colitis sufferer who has had many colonoscopies every other year and will for the rest of my life.
  13. by   careerchoices
    Quote from CrohnieToo
    It is not so much a matter of "pansy" Americans needing sedation and analgesia as it is a matter of US doctors not taking the TIME to properly do a colonoscopy. It takes considerably more time to use less air, to proceed slowly w/the scope and to stop when the scope shaft loops back on itself to pull it back and straighten it. I have my colonoscopies w/o sedation by choice.

    I would rather NOT be sedated; I am allergic to Fentanyl (not a full anaphylactic rxn yet, but I've done vomiting, been told that I am allergic by an anesthesiologist and ended up in the ER twice after procedures on a nebulizer) and I get bad post-procedural depression from Versed. But my doc (colorectal surgeon) always forgets, and then argues with me because he is afraid if I'm not sedated, it will slow him down too much. He does not say that outright, but makes comments about the "tight schedule" until I give in.