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Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

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Old 10-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #1
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Ellzeena HB User
Question Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

I just canceled a colonoscopy (tomorrow AM), absolutely terrified of the prep and possibility of colon damage (even though my gastro Dr. is supposed to be one of the good ones). I had a slight (mild) "attack" of diverticulitis last summer (CT scan in ER said that's what it probably was) and took antibiotics (horrible poison) for THREE DAYS (because they almost killed me), "attack" cleared up totally, took WEEKS to get over the terrible mess the antibiotics made of my intestines. I literally had to go back to eating very carefully, was lactose intolerant for weeks, etc. OK so naturally all these doctors want to give you a colonoscopy (even for the SNIFFLES at this point, it's getting ridiculous already) so I signed up for one. THEN I went on the internet and read about people who have had serious life changing problems from the colonoscopy itself AND I read that the Miralax prep (huge tub in 64 ounces of water you have to drink it all) can CAUSE diverticulitis (due to diarrhea, dehydration, inflammation/stress) SO WHAT'S THE POINT? My BMs have always been fairly normal, no constipation ever, occasional diarrhea (always food related) then of course I got hit with a viral colitis for three weeks followed by the Diver attack. SO now I think: if THAT dehydration/inflammation (brought on by virus, my kid got it too for one MONTH) caused a Diver attack what will THIS PREP DO TO ME? I guess Dr. will be annoyed/angry (too bad) but I'll tell you I AM TERRIFIED OF THIS TEST. I don't see what the point is to have a test that can HURT you if they already know what the PROBLEM is. Then there's that guy Mysturskey (or whatever) from that says MORE PEOPLE are HARMED by colonoscopy than DIE every year from colon cancer. ANYONE OUT THERE to discuss this with, please? I feel like a FREAK, am I the ONLY ONE that's terrified of this test? HELP!!!! My other forum they were YELLING AT ME for canceling this appointment and now I feel SO AWFUL I could just SCREAM.

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Old 10-13-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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Re: Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

I'm 35 yrs old and I've had 3 colonoscopies, the third was last week. They really aren't a big deal. Sure, the prep is never fun, but I think you're getting yourself worked up for nothing. And this is coming from someone that can't tolerate cat scans or upper GI tests without having a tube put up her nose and down into her stomach (I can't drink the barium, it makes me sick!). Ask your surgeon or gastroenterologist to prescribe the pill prep if you are worried about having to drink the stuff. Some will do it, some won't. My surgeon let me for 2 of my scopes, my gastro didn't. Even if you can't do the pill prep, there are several liquid preps out there. Talk to your doctor about your fears and together you can come up with the one best for you.
If you do go ahead and schedule another colonoscopy, I've found that it helps to watch what you eat several days beforehand. Then, two days before my procedure I start a liquid diet. Just makes it easier for me!
Good luck!

Old 10-19-2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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Re: Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

Ellzeena, I had one eleven years ago to determine the cause of my chronic bloody diarrhea. I was instructed to be on a clear fluid diet for two days and drink a Fleet soda in the evening the night before the procedure. The most horrible part of it was the Fleet soda - it tasted like thick, salty ginger ale and took me over an hour to choke down.

For the actual colonoscopy I was wide awake - they couldn't anaesthetise me because I was alone and had no one to pick me up. The only problem I experienced after was getting rid of the air that was introduced into my colon by the scope.

From what I understand it really isn't a procedure that can cause a lot of serious problems - but I'm in Canada, and things may be different where you are. Any cases of serious problems after a colonoscopy are probably worst case scenario situations, or possible medical malpractice.

Good luck in whatever decision you make.

Old 10-20-2010, 01:09 AM   #4
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Re: Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

I'll keep this very simple for you. Some places offer to put you out during the colonoscopy. I to was extremely scared, and only 20 years old. (had this test 2 months ago) I literally cried before they put me out, my anxiety was eating me alive. Next thing I know I wake up, and was told by the nurse that it may be a little irritated for 2 days or so. I felt absolutely no irritation, and I cried for nothing. The end. I promise you my experienceis 1000% true, and you have nothing to worry about. Have courage, get done what you need to get done.

Old 11-01-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
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geme HB Usergeme HB User
Re: Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

I am a 6 foot tall 290 lbs bald guy with a goatee who has seen combat, gone to 28 countries, eaten things that could take the paint off of a car, but I was pretty scared of someone putting a camera up my butt. I would say that anyone that does not have some apprehension about twentieth century fox traveling their bowels for the first time, is probably abnormal.

I have diverticulitis and they needed to go in and take a look. While I was not excited about having the procedure, I did it anyway.

Yes, the prep sucks, but honestly, I got worked up over nothing. I woke up after the procedure and felt embarrassed by how much a of a big deal I made it out to be.

Old 11-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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AThena53 HB UserAThena53 HB User
Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

Like ImagineLennon, I've had them without anesthetics. Twice. It was choice, not necessity- I just got it into my head that I didn't want to be doped up for it, did some research and found that it was feasible. And I'm such a coward about dental pain I gotta have anaesthetic for anything but cleaning.

The anticipation really is worse than reality, especially if you get sedated for it.

Old 11-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #7
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dexatech HB Userdexatech HB Userdexatech HB Userdexatech HB Userdexatech HB Userdexatech HB User
Re: Fear and TERROR of colonoscopy, advice?

I've had 3 colonoscopies with a bowel resection in between. That's 3 preps!!

Talked to doctor after 2nd one. The prep I had used was 4 ducolax and then Miralax with 64 oz. gatorade. The doctor said that it did not matter what I drank it with(of course, no red coloring and a couple other restrictions). I could even divide the miralax up and maybe use 1/4 with water, 1/4 with tea, etc.
The main thing is to get down as much liquid as possible to clean out your system.

Got down about 2/3 thirds of 64 oz and was clean enough for doc to proceed.

If you don't think you need a colonoscopy then don't do it.
There as some thoughts that colos are oversold but my thoughts are "Which is worse, a colonoscopy or possibly a bag or chemo?"

If having a colonoscopy is the worst thing ever to happen to you, you've had a wonderful life!

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colon damage, colonoscopy, diverticulitis

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