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Got your colonoscopy yet?
  • slimjm
    Posts: 497
    Got mine today. Thank the Lord, nothing of significance found. Felt it was worth the occasion to remind members and all those interested in preventive health of the importance of colorectal cancer screening along with cardiovascular and prostate disease screening as we reach our 40's and 50's and beyond. Here are some things I thought were worth suggesting to those who will find either soon or at some point in the future you will be getting this done. Any additional suggestions or comments are welcomed.

    1. The preparation, though not pleasant, is easier than when I did my last one about 7 years ago. The most palatable colon prep to drink is a 64 oz bottle of gatorade (don't use a red or purple flavor) into which is dissolved a "14 dose" bottle of Miralax powder. Unless you have a constipation tendency it is not always necessary to take Dulcolax tablets or Fleets as a part of the preparation, but if there's any doubt, 2 Dulcolax tablets a few hours ahead of drinking the prep will make sure.
    2. Avoid seeds, nuts, foods with husks, or fiber rich foods for 3 days ahead, and on the day before the procedure eat a light breakfast but only something very light like snack crackers for lunch and drink plenty of fluids through the day. Starting early in the evening before the procedure drink the solution one 8 oz glass each 10-15 minutes.
    3. Obvious as it sounds, secure a toilet for your use exclusively for the whole evening and pull up a comfortable chair nearby and things you've been needing to catch up on reading. Defecating the prep doesn't cause pain or cramps, but comes suddenly and urgently. First will come some solids, then muddy fluid, and finally you'll know you've been successful when only greenish-brown tinted fluid without particles is coming.
    4. Best tip I read somewhere this time around was to get a little tube of baby diaper rash ointment and apply it generously to the anus before and frequently during the prep. Also, when using tissue never wipe, just blot.
    5. Don't worry that some leftover prep will come later on when you're asleep. It's amazing how but a few seconds before the sphincter has to let go you'll wake up in time.
    6. Don't feel embarrassed about what you're about to go through the next day. Everyone caring for you has either been through this or will, or is ashamed they need to and haven't.
    7. Find some things pleasurable about the experience, like knowing you're ahead of the general population for doing this, enjoying seeing how your alimentary tract can function, and experiencing some enjoyable prostate tingles along with the anal muscle activity. I got a prostate buzz that lasted until the next morning; too bad I couldn't do a session with it.

    Good luck and blessings to all who soon may also be anticipating this otherwise often unpleasant reality of seeing those birthdays go by.
  • CockadoodleCockadoodle
    Posts: 397
    Slimjim, thanks so much for the reminder an the good information. My GP has ordered me to get mine done, so I'm gonna do it soon.

    I have to clear up a little heart issue first, and then I'll get the colonoscopy performed.

    Your advice, as always, is terrific. It's nice to have a pro on the board.

    Cockadoodle
  • Car_01
    Posts: 58
    The prep is the worst part! I was told not to eat anything after midnight the day before. After I got home from work at 2 PM the day before I started the Half Lytely Prep. That's an awful lot of liquid to drink but I tolerated it just fine. However, it didn't start working until about 10 PM that night. So I was up all night. I was so tired at the time of the test I instantly fell asleep when I was sedated.

    I had the test because I had severe gas and bloating. Nothing abnormal was found during the test, no diverticulosis (which the doctor thought I had) and no polyps. One thing the doctor mentioned was that I have a redundant (extra long) colon. They could not see all the way to the other end so I get to have the test again in five years. Since nothing was found in the test I have to assume I have IBS or some type of food allergy. One thing I know is I can't tolerate sugar very well at all. Just as well since sugar is unhealthy anyway.

    The doctor said I need to use a stronger prep next time. Just wonderful..............................

    Car_01
  • rickg
    Posts: 94
    I agree, the prep is the worst part of it. I had one last Sept. and no problems, slight diverticulosis. Five years ago, I had a couple of small benign polops. This time, He did say that there was a small amount of irration in the rectum. Hmm.......... I did not confess what might have caused it. LOL
  • rookrook
    Posts: 1,604
    We have it easy this century. Back in the, "not so good old days" (when we walked to school, both ways uphill and into the wind etc. etc.) it went like this:

    Three days before the event we went on a liquid diet (green jello was OK). The next day started "the violence." Breakfast was two or three small laxative tabs (quantity dependent upon how nasty Nurse Cratchet had been feeling when she handed you the Fleet #2 box and the instruction sheet.) Lunch was a bottle of metalic tasting salts that weighed about the same as Mercury -- that acted as a chaser for the little pills. Alarm got set for 2 a.m. when you filled yourself with 2 liters of Fleet "Bagenema." If it came out clean you could nap till 6 a.m. and head for the clinic. If not, you got to fill the bag with tap water and repeat. Then, head for the clinic. The rest of the procedure hasn't changed except the video display is now larger.

    Last year I had a "virtual colonoscopy." The prep was still "cleansing" but -- offered in several flavors -- I had Grape -- OK flavor. Whole trip through the CT scanner took less than 15 minutes. No need for sedation and it's OK to drive yourself home after it's done. Biggest issue was expelling all the gas that was pumped into my colon during the scan. I think though I'd opt for the scope as I'm not fond of the amount of radiation that's involved.
  • Badger
    Posts: 648
    I've had a rectal exam for hemorrhoids over 25 years ago, and that was with a sigmoidiscope, or as I like to put it, "Up Periscope". Having the bottom several feet of intestines straightened out is probably one of the most painful experiences I've ever had the displeasure to experience.
  • buttfunbuttfun
    Posts: 60
    [QUOTE=Cockadoodle;88415]Slimjim, thanks so much for the reminder an the good information. My GP has ordered me to get mine done, so I'm gonna do it soon.image

    I'm starting to get older, and my GP was bugging me about it as well. I had it done about a month ago and it went just fine, and gave me peace of mind.
  • churney
    Posts: 42
    Well I had three within about nine months. With a family history of colon cancer my GP started pestering when I was about 45. I waited unit I had health insurance and was 54.The prep really is not all that bad. I got about half way threw the first prep before the vomiting started. Lets just say sitting and going and then quickly standing over the sink to vomit was not pleasant. But I have to tell you that the last time I had the flue, was by far way more unpleasant. Numerous "spots" were biopsied. The Doc told me that they "did not look like they would be cancerous" " but I took samples anyway".

    If he had followed the standard of care and removed them, then I would not have had to go back for a second scope in about a month. The pathology came back as precancerous. I was not a happy camper that I had to go back in again and with the fact that the call came in on Christmas eve. After much arguing and many problems from their end I went back to this little clinic that only does Colonoscopy's. My HMO would not allow the procedure without a "referral", my GP thought it was in my best interest to go back to the Doc and Clinic. I asked for a different prep. I was told that "you don't want the procedure because of the prep". I told them that I would do whatever they wanted as long as I did not have to drink the glycol again. So the second prep was Nurse Cratchets "old school". Diet restrictions, Tablets, Magnesium Citrate, and two fleet enemas in the AM.

    Flash forward 6 months and I was Hospitalized for a week, for a colon infection. Because it was of unknown cause and origin, yup another scope (#3) after I had time to heal. And Yes I was able to change Docs and have the procedure done in a hospital setting. I explained to the new Doc my problems with the glycol prep and he said ok that this one.... still has a little glycol but you should do OK. Well two glasses in, prompted a 4 hour projectile vomiting session. After about a 6 hour tummy cool down period I was then started back on the Magnesium Citrate. Very little sleep. The new Doc found no real reason for the infection. A little remaining inflammation and 4 more polyps that he removed and biopsied. 3 were precancerous. He did not want to wait the recommended two years before another one, so in about a year from now I will have another.

    Moral of the story.... Find a Doc that you can call and talk to. One that returns your calls and is willing to meet you before the day of the procedure. Not one that pumps out procedures and is to busy to talk to "average" patients. Have the procedure done in a Hospital or Medical vacillity, That way there is some oversight of the Doctors, And his staff cant close ranks around him. Will I have the Colonoscopy? Yes I will. I watched my Mom and a Uncle go threw Colon cancer treatments and surgery. Both were very lucky and lived. I am extremely fortunate to only have precancerous polyps. Mom had no complications. My uncle was left with a bag.. If I can avoid what they went threw. Then a little diarrhea, vomiting, and a few days discomfort is a very easy decision.
  • slimjm
    Posts: 497
    Hey, Churney. Sorry to hear you have such vomiting with the PEG solution. On my last one 7 years ago it was still a prescription, you know the gallon plastic jug with the powder in it you mix up and drink and it was quite nauseating to me, but I held it down and thankfully, I'd eaten really light during the previous 24 hours and so about half way through, I was "clear" and stopped. I don't think I could have tolerated any more. This time my gastroenterologist's preparation instructions called for the over-the-counter Miralax which I looked up on line was pretty tolerable in Gatorade. I used a two quart bottle of the "original" lemon-lime flavor and it was really tasty--definitely surprised me. Seemed a little slower going through me however as compared to last time. It took about one and a half hours this time to make the 25 foot trip from mouth to anus and before it was only about 45 minutes to an hour, producing more "explosive" effects that time. Makes me wonder if the PEG in the old prescription gallon prep bottle is more concentrated or something. If the old prescription type is what you vomited with, I wonder if the Miralax/Gatorade cocktail would be more tolerable. Can't think of many things worse than starving several days and taking a series of harsh laxatives and enemas.