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The Colonoscopy for a First Timer.

This post may not be for everyone, so this is a forewarning for anyone not too keen on hospital procedures. Honestly? I didn't think it would be that bad. Like, I've given birth and there is no pain like having a baby. I think the bit that I most dreaded was the preparation; not being able to eat and uncontrollable diarrhea. Ha! You would think that I would be used to that by now though, eh?

I think when someone tells you you can't eat rather than it just being a simple case of not wanting to is completely different.

Anywho, my particular bowel prep (and I say particular because it's different for everyone) started 48 hours before and I was given a restrictive diet, a no meat (no problem!), no fruit or veg kinda deal. I'm not saying I didn't love this bit; I love any excuse to eat cheese sandwiches on white (gluten free) bread. 24 hours before however was nil by mouth as far as food goes. I could still drink which meant pounding the Lucozade - I didn't enjoy this so much as I hate sugary, fizzy drinks but it was the only thing that gave me the energy to stand upright at that point.

At 6pm the night before I had to take my first 'dose' of Moviprep. I say 'dose' and really I mean massive jug. It had a syrupy lemon taste to it which meant if I drank too much of it at once I was literally going to spew. It took me 2 hours to get it down with water and Lucozade in between.

The bit I was dreading the most actually wasn't that bad. I had imagined massive stomach cramps and running to the toilet with some sort of dramatic offloading. It wasn't like that at all really and I can only describe it as like, a twitch and a needing to go? Maybe my vegan diet played a part in that but it eventually ceased about 11pm meaning I was able to get a bit of sleep before my next dose at 6am.

Savage.

Anyway, the second dose seemed to go down a lot smoother which was surprising. I woke up feeling really nauseas, but that passed quite quickly after a couple of sips of water. Obviously the same effect ensued but it was just water. Sorry for TMI but it was just like weeing out of your bum! On the plus side I knew that was when the Moviprep had worked, and luckily the feeling of needing to go to the loo had subsided which meant travel is possible, so don't worry!

It was nil by mouth 2 hours before and then I think that's when the procedure started to bother me a little. It didn't help that another patient was full on scare mongering in the waiting room saying it was his 2nd time and the first time he had to have a crash cart! Some people just have no filter, right?!

At this point it reminded me of what I read whilst doing my bowel cleansing, and that was if you don't follow all the steps exactly, it wouldn't work. The rough part of that is that they don't know it hasn't worked until the camera is in and they have to cancel the whole thing.

So, follow all the advice on the leaflets you are given!!

After one more trip to the loo I was ready, or was I?! I was put into a gown with bottomless paper pants, sexy yes? And then lead into a very small operating theatre where I was given a nasal cannula and an intravenous cannula in my arm. You can opt out of sedation which I had planned to do but my consultant thought best I had it, and let me tell you! I am glad I listened to him. I was then administered pain killers, buscapan and a sedative.

The first bit actually wasn't that bad but as soon as they started to pump air into my digestive system that's what led me to cry out in pain. I was given gas and air at this point and they said to try and release the air myself. I felt like laughing because it felt like that was an actual physical impossibility.

Trapped wind has taken on a whole new meaning to me now.

The further up they went and the more corners they took the more painful it got. At one point I had to roll onto my back, have the gas and air prised away from me and given more sedative. This was obviously in preparation for the worst bit; when my consultant put both arms on my stomach and pressed down whilst the camera was in there.

I started panicking, tensing up and not really breathing. The lovely nurse next to me was telling me that I really needed to relax but the pain! It was excruciating. I could feel the camera moving in my abdomen, and although watching the screen was really fascinating I just wanted it to be over with. Biopsies were then taken (they just seemed to snip little bits of my insides out!) and finally the camera was out.

All in all the procedure lasted about 30 minutes. I was groggily rolled out into recovery where my blood pressure was monitored and I was able to get dressed and eat something.

The prerequisites of going home as quickly as possible!

I could have easily of had a little snooze but I just wanted out. Funnily enough my stomach felt fine, I didn't feel particular bloated just a bit woozy. In my discharge they said I had quite low blood pressure which I would have to watch; 24 hours of rest and lots of fluids. They weren't too happy about it but I just wanted to go home. At home I was ok, I had a massive bubble bath and made sure I went to bed early although, not before eating a whole gluten free pizza to myself and a handful of popcorn. Never had food tasted so good!

Now I am home and writing this the day after, and admittedly I feel pretty grotty. My stomach is sore (like I have been punched), bloated and a bit nauseated, more than likely a side effect of the painkillers wearing off and the air they pumped into me. I have had a small amount of bloody discharge too which is to be expected. I was advised not to be alone for at least 24 hours, but when is that ever possible! I wasn't to travel etc. So it is a day on the couch with Halloween films, my trusty Cyclizine and my heatpad.

If you have any questions, please feel free to hit me up in the comments. Before going for this procedure I tried to look for a few blog posts to read but couldn't find any! However, I would like to remind you that every procedure, outcome etc. Is different. My examine went quite high up because of what I have been suffering from, hence why I think I was given the meanest of all bowel prep medicines. But c'est la vie.
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