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Thread: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2015
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    Question My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Good evening all, so as per the subject line..
    I unfortunately have to have a colonoscopy this coming Friday.
    I’m struggling quite a lot with the thought of this and so I feel like writing about it might help, but I was also wondering if I was to do a post about this, which I update every day, maybe sometimes more than once a day between tomorrow and just after the colonoscopies, would anybody be interested in reading this?
    i’m just off to bed now but I was thinking tomorrow I would update this post to talk about what has led me to need a colonoscopy, preparation I have been instructed to do for it, how the preparation itself goes… my thoughts on the run up to my procedure etc etc?
    Would this be of interest to anybody? if so then I will do the post.

    Okay.. so, I have decided I will do this post and I will update it every so often over the next few days.
    currently it is just before midnight on Tuesday, the 28th of June. My colonoscopy is booked for 9:30 am on Friday, the 1st of July.

    A bit about what has led me to need a colonoscopy…
    so, I am 40 years old and I’ve had what I have always been told is irritable bowel syndrome, for 20 years now. For a long time, it was really an intermittent issue and did not affect my life as regularly as it does now. I’m not going to go into loads of detail about my medical history because this is not what this post is about, this is just my colonoscopy journey.

    Btw - before I continue, Please excuse me for my bluntness when it comes to terminology in terms of body parts and bowel movements lol.. I think it is good to talk about these things because if you are experiencing any symptoms it’s absolutely essential that you see your doctor as soon as possible and try so hard not to feel embarrassed about this!
    they will have seen it all before.

    So - as I was saying, I’ve lived with what I’ve always been led to believe is IBS for a long time now. Diarrhoea and urgency have always been the main concerns. Very occasionally, and I do mean only once in awhile, there may be a bit of constipation but the diarrhoea is by far the worst part of it.
    in particular, over the past I would say several years, I have had a couple of flareups that have lasted weeks at a time. I definitely think things have got progressively worse over the years.

    In April of this year, I started with what I assumed was just another flareup. I gave it a couple of weeks and things were not settling, so I saw my GP. The GP sent of a stool sample to check that I did not have anything like food poisoning in my bowel. That test came back normal.

    I was advised to just see how things went, but things rumbled on and on.. I even, to my horror, had one episode of incontinence in my car. I was driving the 8ish miles back from my parents one afternoon. That was a horrible experience, I was in tears by the time I got home. Clothes straight in the wash…!

    In May, I spoke to the GP again and asked for more help. It had got to the stage where I was not leaving the house for days at a time . Because the urgency of when I might need to go for a bowel movement was too unpredictable. This time, the GP agreed to do some more testing.

    The GP arranged a faecal calprotectin test, which looks for inflammation in the bowel, a FIT test (the one you do yourself at home by poking the little stick into your poo, and then posting it off), this looks for any traces of blood in your poo, and also a full lot of blood tests.

    The results of these were as follows..
    - my blood tests were normal.
    - The calprotectin test came back positive for some form of bowel inflammation- however the result was not massively high. It was something like 106, where the upper end of normal is 50.. however the GP told me that when people have inflammatory bowel disease it can be in the several hundreds or even thousands, so my result was not horrendous by any means.
    - the FIT test came back positive for microscopic blood in my poo. Again, it was only a very slightly raised result . My result was 8, and the upper end of normal was 7!

    The GP told me that I was unlikely to have cancer, but they obviously could not just ignore the above results.

    By this time, I was experiencing quite an amount of abdominal/bowel discomfort and bloating. All these years I have had the what I’ve been led to believe is IBS, it’s only ever been the diarrhoea that’s been an issue, never a massive amount of bloating, but I definitely have had more bloating than ever this past few months since this whole thing since April started.

    Towards the end of May, because of the above, and the fact that issues were persisting, the GP sent me for an urgent two week wait CT scan of my thorax, abdomen and pelvis. This was the sort of CT scan where you drink the big jug of contrast before hand, so that it shows up things better on your scan.

    I got the results of that scan really quickly later that week, and thankfully everything was reported as normal.

    But the GP mentioneD that because of the results of my calprotectin and FIT test being positive, she had to put me on a ANOTHER two week wait pathway, for a colonoscopy. I’m sure you can imagine my anxiety by this point!

    I was meant to have the colonoscopy originally last week, because of having just had Covid, it was rebooked, and I’m now having it on Friday this week.

    The preparation for my colonoscopy starts on Wednesday. Which, it’s now today, because I’ve been typing for a while now lol.

    I have received comprehensive instructions and bowel prep medications in the post from the hospital endoscopy unit.

    All day Wednesday, today, I have to follow a low fibre diet. Also known as a low residue diet. This is to prepare my bowel for the colonoscopy - The idea is that the person carrying out the test needs to be able to get really good visibility of the lining of my bowel in order to make an accurate diagnosis of any issues.
    The low fibre diet basically consists of a very limited list of foods I can choose from.. White bread, certain lean meats white rice, macaroni pasta, noodles, clear drinks, Bovril, eggs, cream cheese and other things.

    Just before I go to bed Wednesday night, I have to take three Senna tablets.

    On Thursday, that is when the fun begins… lol. Thursday morning I’m allowed a good breakfast from the list of low fibre foods. At 8 am Thursday, I have to take my first lot of the bowel preparation which is a strong laxative. Apparently I will then spend the day on and off the toilet.. and then at 4 pm Thursday I then take the second lot of bowel preparation. The laxative I have been given is called Picolax. I have got some bottles of Lucozade on hand in the fridge, ready to have, as well as clear apple juice, lemon squash.. and of course lots of water. I have been instructed to make sure I stay well hydrated whilst I am doing the laxatives. And then the sugary drinks to keep my strength up. It’s a very invasive process and I’m not looking forward to it!!

    On Friday morning, we go to the hospital. I’m a little concerned as to how I’m going to make it to the hospital, without having any incontinence in the car.

    I will be offered sedation which I fully intend to have.

    I’m very scared of the procedure. I’ve never been sedated before, I’ve had several general anaesthetics in the past but never sedation, so I just don’t know how that is going to be! I have heard that some people remember them being given the injection and then the next thing they are coming round in the recovery room being told the procedure has been completed. I hope that is how it is for me. I don’t want to remember the colonoscopy itself!

    And then, of course, ultimately, I am scared of the outcome.
    naturally, cancer has entered my head more than once recently. I am trying to remind myself on a daily basis that my CT scan, which covered a large area of my body, was normal.

    oh, I did forget to mention something above. A few weeks ago now, as part of the two week wait process, I had a phone call appointment with a colorectal consultant. He did say, that he would be very surprised to find that I have cancer. As he would expect to see other symptoms such as unintentional weight loss. And that has not happened. He said it is possible I have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s or diverticular disease. Some years ago, I did work as a gastroenterology medical secretary so I know a little bit about inflammatory bowel diseases, and I really do not want one!! ��

    But, I am trying to take things one step at a time, go through this whole thing, go through each step of the process and take it as it comes.

    My husband is being wonderfully supportive, so are my parents.

    I will do another update to this post when I start the bowel preparation……

    Thursday, 1 pm ish. Just had some food from my permitted list of low fibre foods. Boiled plain noodles with Philadelphia mixed in, and two slices of white bread. That’s going to make me bloated, but never mind.
    Last edited by silver_shoes; 29-06-22 at 13:08.

  2. #2
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Hi

    This is just a courtesy reply to let you know that your post was moved from its original place to a sub-forum that is more relevant to your issue.

    This is nothing personal - it just enables us to keep posts about the same problems in the relevant forums so other members with any experience with the issues can find them more easily.

    Please also read this post:

    http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=213239
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    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

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  3. #3
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    I'm always up for a good colonoscopy story. I enjoyed mine (prep part aside)
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  4. #4
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Can I ask why are you having one?

  5. #5
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Hi, I have just updated my original post with more information

  6. #6
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Make sure to take your ipad or a book into the toilet once the clean out starts.
    I was there for quite a long time.
    It's a case of as soon as you stand up you need to sit again so just staying there is easier.
    By the time you get in the car there will be nothing left so you won't need to worry about accidents.
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  7. #7
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Oh joy… can’t wait ���� lol. I had a feeling it would be like that. I’ll camp out in the loo with Netflix.
    Yes, I’m hoping I get to the stage where there’s nothing left inside me by the time we get in the car.
    we live in the countryside so have 20 minutes-ish drive to the hospital, but we are planning to do is leave really early on Friday morning so that we get through time before the rush hour, and we are going to go to my parents and wait there, because they only live a couple of minutes down the road from the hospital.
    I did consider staying there to do my bowel prep, so that I was close to the hospital for the following morning, but I felt I would be happier in my own home going to and from the toilet for the day and night…!

  8. #8
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    I live about 45 mins from the hospital and had no problems along the way.
    That stuff really works!
    Netflix is a good idea
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    Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

  9. #9
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Good luck tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Re: My colonoscopy journey- would anyone be interested?

    Thursday morning, 8:40 am.
    I’ve just managed to finish my first dose of the Picolax. Not the nicest thing I’ve ever drunk. I drunk it through a straw, which is advice that I had read everywhere. It has made me feel very nauseous but I’m trying to deep breathe through that feeling.

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