Hi, I had a colonoscopy for the first time today and I was a little bit nervous about the procedure to say the least! I have long standing symptoms so I was determined to go ahead with it, even though the thought filled me with dread! After spending most of the afternoon yesterday reading reviews on other people's experiences, I was definitely not feeling any calmer about it! But I can honestly say it wasn't so bad.
I had a hard time drinking the bowel prep (Klean-Prep) as after half a glass I was already feeling sick. After the first two sachets, I had not been to the loo and was starting to think it wasn't going to work. But after 10 minutes or so of finishing it, it started working. I spent the best part of 2 hours in the loo and daren't venture further than the bedroom between visits. After an hours break I managed to drink the third sachet and after 45 mins or so I was able to go to sleep.
I didn't have the best night's sleep as I'd had to stop taking my painkillers for two days as they were opiates and can cause constipation so I was in a lot of pain. I was also still really anxious about the procedure.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was taken into a little room by a nurse who checked my blood pressure and other obs. She also explained the procedure to me and asked whether I would like sedation or gas and air or both. Obviously I opted for both! Then I was taken through to get changed into a hospital gown and they also give you a pair of disposable shorts, which made me feel not quite so embarassed.
When I was taken into the theatre room, the doctor spoke to me about the procedure. I mentioned that I was really nervous and he promised he would give me as much sedation as possible to relax me. They put a cannula into my hand and gave me oxygen. When they gave me the drugs I didn't feel any different at first and was worried that they weren't going to work! But after a couple of minutes I started to feel a bit drowsy and lightheaded, although I was still aware of what was happening. I can honestly say I didn't feel the scope going in and the first time I felt any discomfort was when they reached a bend in the colon, but even this wasn't anything more than a period-like pain. I found it quite fascinating to watch the procedure on the screen and could see that some biopsies were being taken, but couldn't feel it! Before I knew it the procedure was over. The doctor told me that everything appeared normal and he would see me back in clinic for the results of the biopsies.
They wheeled me through to the recovery area and observed me over around 30 minutes. Then they said if I was up to it I could get dressed and go home. They called my husband for me whilst I was getting dressed and then I was free to go. They said I might feel funny for a few hours because of the sedation but I felt absolutely fine from leaving the hospital. So much so that we went out for lunch afterwards! I'd not had anything to eat for 36 hours so as you can imagine I was a little bit hungry!
So all in all my experience was actually not that bad and I wish I hadn't wasted so much time worrying about the procedure as it was all over and done with in 90 mins from arriving at hospital to going home. I'm glad I read the reviews yesterday and hope that mine can reassure anyone in future that it really isn't so bad and definitely necessary if you are having bowel symptoms, as you can rule out anything serious straightaway. The worst part of it for me was drinking the horrible bowel prep stuff, but I found that mixing it with orange cordial and leaving it in the fridge for 30 mins beforehand made it a bit more palatable.
Hope this helps!!