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What is a Colonoscopy & How Do I Prep For It?

Updated on August 21, 2014

Does the thought of having a colonoscopy scare the living crap out of you? Ah, It's no big thing

You want me to have a what?!!!! and you're going to put what where?!!!

I have many friends who would rather have their teeth pulled out without any Novocaine than have a Colonoscopy.

And you have probably heard the phrase

"I'd rather die from cancer than have a Colonoscopy"

The fact is that you just may die from cancer if you don't have a Colonoscopy completed when your doctor suggests and colon cancer is a lot more painful and embarrassing than spending 30 minutes knocked out with a camera up your butt.

Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is easily detectable and once caught early is easily treatable.

Pound this into your head - colon cancer is - easily detectable and easily treatable if found early.

And how do you find colon cancer early?

By setting up an appointment and having Colonoscopy as part of your routine physical exam usually at the age of 50, but some doctors are now talking about having your first one at 40. Then a second one at 50.

On this page I will share with you my recent colonoscopy and will also list resources so that you can find out more before you have your procedure done.

I'm going to be very open and frank on this page and if you think that it may offend you, then I suggest you leave now & get this information from your doctor or you could hang with me and tough it out a bit.

Ok, ready...let's go.

Lets start off with a bit of fun with Homer's Colonoscopy

We are going to work backwards

We'll start with the procedure and

work towards the night before prep

I was in my room for less than 15 minutes when I woke up, got dressed & went home

The Procedure or as some people call it - the crap shoot

The last thing that I remember is being wheeled into this tiny little room where the doctor, anesthesiologist and equipment was.

To confirm that I was indeed there to have a colonoscopy, the doctor asked why I was there ( this is a standard hospital question to make sure that they have the right patient for the right procedure).

Once I told him that I was there to have pictures taken of my ass, he laughed, they gave me the sleepy juice in my iv and the next thing I knew, I was waking up from a very restful sleep in my room.

The entire procedure lasted only 30 minutes.

This section is very short - isn't it? That's because I don't remember any of it. I think that I might have dreamed about being back on Kauai

Wish that I could say that about the night before prep part!

Here comes my favorite part of the whole deal

colononscopy medications
colononscopy medications

Yipee, It's time for la-la land

For many (if not most) colonoscopies you are given a combination of two different medications.

The first one is to relax you and let's you go into a light sleep while the second one is a

amnesiac drug to help you forget.

So if you tried to pick up the nurse or made a play for the doctor, they'll remember, but you won't - Whew - now don't you feel a bit better?

Unlike when you have major surgery, this combination let's you sleep but you don't wake up groggy or hung over.

You also don't have some of the side effects that you would have when you undergo a longer surgery.

We're going to be get a bit nosey now

How high is your fear level about getting a colonoscopy?

See results
colonoscopy photos, colonoscopy pictures
colonoscopy photos, colonoscopy pictures

I know that this is kind of like our first date and we don't know each other that well - but heck I'm a Woodstocker so let me flash you my colon.

I won't tell, if you don't.

Funny thing... I never received a sonogram picture when I was pregnant, but here I get photos of my insides and when I had my gallbladder removed they gave me those photos also. hmmmmmm

They found, removed and biopsied 3 polyps.

I've had malignant melanoma in the past and luckily these polyps were caught in time. Had I put this off another few years....well I hate to think about it.

I also found out that I have diverticulosis. But that's no big deal.

If the pictures don't make sense to you don't worry, they didn't make any sense to me either unless the doctor explained what I was looking at. They are hard to see, but the lighter colored areas (that kind of look like a pimple eruption ) are polyps and on the last photo on the bottom row the back spot is the diverticulosis (basically a dent in the wall ). Diverticulosis can turn into diverticulitis (where the dents are larger and foods such as nuts can get lodged) but more than likely it won't.

celebrity red carpet
celebrity red carpet

Arriving at the Hospital & settling in

They often schedule colonoscopies for early in the morning.

I guess that's so your colon does get a chance to get filled up with crap again.

As the doctor starts working the camera up your butt it blows air so that it can open up the colon walls. Now if they scheduled these procedures for later in the day there might be a bit of ...well you know....getting blown out.

I was scheduled for 5:30 AM, so I had to be there at 5:00 AM.

After a quick rundown of my health history (they already had info from my doctor's office) they just have to double check a few facts and make sure that you have not had any food or water after midnight.

Then it's on to putting on the gown - I was surprised to find that I could leave my shirt and socks on. Kind of felt like I was getting ready to be in a porn flick. You know leaving the socks on thing.

Well anyway,

If you have had anything to eat or drink after midnight you might have to have your procedure rescheduled since you can puke your brains out if have had anything in your stomach while under the anesthesia. The only exception is if there are certain medications that they allow you to take with a sip of water no later than 2 hours before your scheduled time.

You should also be aware that you can't even have gum or breath mints - so brush your teeth good so that you don't knock out the hospital staff when you talk.

Now it's time to stick in the IV needle where the "magic potion" will soon flow.

Ok, it's camera time.

Are you feeling a bit more relaxed yet?

See results

Clicking on the above photo will take you to Wikipedia -- but please don't leave us yet the fun is just beginning.

Now it's showtime

Go grab a cup of coffee, bottle of water or go pop some corn.

It's time to kick back, relax and watch a few short but very informative videos.

Actually I lied - the second video is 10 minutes long but her voice is so relaxing and sweet that the time will just fly by

Katie Couric's Colonoscopy

This is the famous Katie Couric video.

It was this video that was shown on TV that alerted many to the importance of having a colonoscopy as soon as you are 50 or whenever your doctor recommends one.

Since Katie was going to be filmed while her procedure was being performed she was given a fairly light sedation.

I was, as are most patients are ---out 100%

Preparing for your colonoscopy

Great video and well worth watching & will make you feel more informed and also more relaxed.

Diverticulosis is a common gastrointestinal finding during a colonoscopy

Just a quick addition 3-2011

My 95 year old

mother-in-law just had

her first colonoscopy &

sailed through it

with no problems at all.

If a 95 year old can do it -

so can you!!

Ok, it's time for the day before prep

This is the hardest part of it all

The day before prep or as I refer to it as the night of the living dead

Before I start freaking you out, I'll be very honest - 95.9% of people have no problems with the day before prep and I'll let you know how my personal night of hell differs from most.

There are several different ways to prep the day before your colonoscopy and each hospital, medical center or outpatient clinic has their specific way of preparing so you must follow their instructions to a t. -- I can't stress this enough.

The day or night before prep is to meant empty out your colon and there are many different ways that can be done.

Some facilities give you a pill to take the afternoon before, others have you take a laxative and then have do an enema.

Now this is the part that scared me. I've seen those colon cleansing photos with several feet of goodness only know what coming out of your butt.

Oh the horror of it all!

I got prepared - bought the large package of toilet paper & the hospital recommended purchasing those baby wipes thingies saying the I'll basically be shitting my brains out for a few hours.

Oh, lucky me.

Ok, so here is the prep instructions that I received (remember to check with your doctor or hospital for your instructions)

One week before the colonoscopy I couldn't take any blood thinners, aspirins, ibuprofen or NSAIDS ( I don't so I breezed by that one)Two days before the colonoscopy if you often get constipated you have to take Milk of Magnesia at 8 PM. (Ok, didn't need that either)so far I'm sailing through. The day before the colonoscopy you can't have any solid food (including any dairy) and can have clear liquids only. This includes all the water, sports drinks like Gatorade (any flavor except those colored red), Kool Aid (again no red) , ice pops (no sherbet or fruit pops) - yep, no red, soda( no red but cola is ok), coffee or tea - without milk or creamer and hard candies-yep again no red. You can also have juices such as apple, white grape or cranberry (hmmmm cranberry is red - how come you can have that?)

So far so good. It's 3 PM the day before and I'm feeling great. Sucking down ice pops and chillin on jello.

It's 4:00 PM & time to mix the prep

But before I do that I have to take 4 Dulcolax tablets.

Now I have to mix 1 large bottle of Miralax (238 grams) with 64 ounces of a sports drink, water or Crystal Light.

Since the store didn't have the large bottle of Miralax I picked up 2 smaller ones and then mixed each bottle with a 32 ounce bottle of Gatorade.

I don't usually drink Gatorade or sports drinks so I choose 2 different flavors (next time - and yes, there will be a next time I'm using Crystal Light since I prefer the flavors and I'm use to it).

The Miralax dissolved instantly but was told to put it in the fridge for 2 hours.

At 6:00 PM I have to start drinking the prep, 1 cup every 10-15 minutes until it's gone. However, you must finish it in 2- 3 hours.

The hospital suggested to drink the liquid cold and through a straw --so I did.

They said "stick close to the toilet"

It's starts off pretty good

Finished the first bottle of prep with no problems. The Miralax has no taste and absolutely no grit.

Had I not mixed it myself I would not have known it wasn't plain sports drink.

As I started drinking the second bottle I started feeling full as as I drank I felt fuller and fuller until I felt as though I couldn't drink anymore - bit I had to. The last few ounces had to be forced (next time I'll drink less during the day so that my stomach isn't filled with liquid before I start the prep).

Ok, I'm starting to feel that urgent urge to hit the bathroom - this is what I had feared -now all those colon cleansing photos came to my mind and I dreaded going to the bathroom but I had to.

Hey, you know what - it was like my regular morning crap - I felt like this was a piece of cake and I was cruising.

I thought that I was going to get though this easily.

Then the next thing I know I running to the bathroom -whew just made it -- and the weird thing it's looks like plain blue water ( I had blue colored sports drink). No yucky poops or anything.

This went on for several times. What had surprised me was that I had taken only 1 normal crap and then the rest of the times that I went to the bathroom it was just blue water ( I was drinking blue sports drink ). There was no diarrhea, no loose stools. I don't know if this is average or not but it totally surprise me.

What may have helped (but I can't be sure 100%) is that a few days before I happened to see a Crystal Light product that had added fiber in it. Since I love Crystal Light I picked it up. Maybe having the extra fiber a few days before had helped the "poop part of the prep".

So now I have had 1 regular crap and 5 blue watery one so I figure it's time for bed. The instructions said that if by chance the bowel movements wasn't clear or yellow that you have to drink a bottle of Magnesium Citrate - thank goodness mine was blue cause I couldn't drink anything if my life depended on it.

So I'm watching tv, feeling a bit nauseous & I have to jump up and run to the bathroom cause I felt the gurgling starting..

Didn't quite make it & the pretty blue liquid gets on the bathroom floor, I slip fall on the floor, bang my hip and hit my head and feel so sick to my stomach that I just lay for for about 30 minutes before calling my husband for help.

By now I am incredibly sick to my stomach & for some unknown it spurred on a panic attack.

I don't know if you have ever had a panic attack but they are not fun at all. And if I get one I don't get the normal symptoms, I do get the sweats, rapid heart beat & oh, nausea. Just what I need more nausea.

By the way - they tell you that if you do by chance toss your cookies on the liquid you have to reschedule your colonoscopy - so I'm trying my darnedest to keep it down- but hell it's hard.

I was afraid that I would be too sick to go for the procedure the next day.

So after lying on the floor for a while, my husband helps me up, cleans the bathroom floor & I hit the shower. Gosh that felt good

Finally was able to fall asleep right before the alarm rang.

Still felt kind of crappy but after about 45 minutes I began feeling like my old self & was feeling good again.

Took another shower ( don't you just love showers - they make you feel great), then left and breezed through the colonoscopy.

Now you know why I started this lens with the procedure an not the prep - I didn't want to scare you away

Ok, what you need to know

Very rarely does anyone get sick from the prep mix.

I just had a weird reaction so please don't let my experience stress you at all.

Be sure to read the section about Jane's Colonoscopy that is down below, as this is more like the "normal" experience that most have. Honestly the prep part for most people is more of an inconvenience for a few hours than anything else.

Since going though the full cleanse type of a thing I feel better than I have in a very long time.

My cravings for carbs and sugars have gone away.

I sleep better and I'm much more relaxed.

It was actually worth going through that hellish night just to feel this good now.

Did get a pretty good bruise on my hip from the fall and my back aches a bit but it's all cool and will go away.

Since I do have a history of cancer (and have recently "failed" my latest mammogram- but that's another story), I have to schedule my next colonoscopy for 2 years from now and not the normal recommended 10 years.

For my next visit I will not drink the liquid cold, but at room temperature. I think that drinking so much cold liquid fairly quickly kind of did me in. I probably won't drink the liquid through a straw just drink it down. I mix the powder with Crystal Light or water since I'm used to those flavors. I also won't try to fill up on liquids during the day, but stay a bit hungry.

I will probably also pick up a pack of Depends (or another adult type of thing) just so you don't have to worry about accidents and having to quickly run when needed. May not need them but for ease of mind it would be worth it.Sometimes when you have polyps removed there may be a little bit of blood -don't be concerned this is normal. I didn't have any bleeding and I found out that most don't.I thought that I might feel something after the colonoscopy and didn't know if when I took my next crap if it would hurt at all.Seriously - you will never know that you had a colonoscopy - there was at least for me no side effects- (well I did fart a bunch as I walked out of the hospital- but always being the lady that I am they were quiet and only I knew about them) but otherwise I felt "normal"Since the medication is so light, I didn't feel any after effects. Yeah, I did take a nap but I hadn't slept the night before.My first crap after the colonoscopy was like 4 or 5 days later & it was like everything was normal - if you call waiting several days normal - but I guess if your totally cleaned out it takes a while to fill up ( and I do eat a lot of fiber) so if you don't it may take even longer.

In all honesty --

a colonoscopy is a walk in the park

and can save your life!

Digestive Health with REAL Food

Digestive Health with REAL Food: A Practical Guide to an Anti-Inflammatory, Nutrient Dense Diet for IBS & Other Digestive Issues
Digestive Health with REAL Food: A Practical Guide to an Anti-Inflammatory, Nutrient Dense Diet for IBS & Other Digestive Issues

Most digestive issues are caused by our diet - or by being on the wrong diet for us.

When our digestive system gets out of whack we feel tired, sluggish, our skin looks pale and lifeless and we will often find that gas is a problem and so are irregular bathroom trips and heartburn and weight gain ( or loss) and we will often catch every cold that comes along..

When we feel this way there is a tendency to run to the medicine cabinet and either take an over the counter product or one of the common prescription pills.

While they will relieve your symptoms they won't help to get rid of the cause.

You have a better chance of changing the way you feel by making a few small changes in the food that you eat. We are not talking huge changes, but by discovering the best foods for your own digestive system you can change the way you look and feel.

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders
The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

Do you already know that you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Now you can learn how to reduce your FODMAPs by identifying which are irritating your digestive system.

Includes 80 low FODMAP and gluten-free recipes.


Don't be too embarrassed

to have a colonoscopy

It can save your life --really!

Before you freak out

Please read the next section

as it quickly describes my best friend's

Colonoscopy & her prep -

which is more like the "average"

Colonoscopy adventure

Jane's Colonoscopy Adventure

No, Jane is not her real name but her story is actual and from what I understand closer to most people's experiences & should make you feel at bit more at ease.

On May 10th, at 5:00 PM, Jane started drinking her prep concoction. The mixture that she had was a bit different than mine but each hospital or doctor has their own preferred mixture.

When she just about finished her first 8 ounce glass, she already had to use the bathroom (it was just like your normal crap).

Then as she was half-way through her third 8 ounce glass, she found herself running to the bathroom but this time - excuse the expression - she was pissing out of her ass - I think you know what I mean.

For the next 3 and 1/2 hours she went to the bathroom approximately 15 times, each time it was very watery and was a light yellow. I know that it is hard to understand but when you get to the watery part it's basically just the mixture that you are drinking - it's not like diarrhea so it's not disgusting or stinky.

By 9:00PM, basically all her pooping was over and done for the night.

When she woke up at 4:00 AM or so (remember that many Colonoscopies are scheduled very early in the morning) she had one more "liquid" crap.

Her experience with the prep was what most should expect. It's easy - sure it's annoying running to the bathroom a dozen or so times but there is usually isn't any nausea like I had.

Jane's Colonoscopy procedure sounded just like mine however, she did sleep for about 2 hours in the hospital before she was awake enough to be driven home. Remember that due to the medication you can't drive for 24hours and there must be someone with you to drive you home. She also slept for another 4 or so hours after she got home--not a groggy sleep but a very relaxing one.

Do you have any comments that you would like to share?

Maybe you've already had a colonoscopy and want to share your experience or if we have possibly made you a little less skiddish let us know.

You can even stop back after your procedure & let us know how it went.

Thank you for stopping by today & please, please if your doctor has recommended a colonoscopy don't put it off.

It's that important!

I want to hear from you and so do my visitors and friends

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    • agedefyingworkout profile image

      agedefyingworkout 3 years ago

      The prep is 10 times worse than the procedure. I got the anesthesia through an IV. Best nap I've had in a long time!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 4 years ago from USA

      @ben-worth-96: I am glad that you faced your fears and went through with it. Although the prep part of it kind of sucks (well sucks big time) the procedure itself is pretty easy. I think that until someone actually has one done they can't understand how it's not painful and it really isn't embarrassing. Hope all of your test results come out good.

    • profile image

      ben-worth-96 4 years ago

      i had a colonoscopy two weeks ago , i worried myself sick for weeks before hand, and to be honest

      i worried for nothing, just a little discomfort but it was over quickly, glad i had it now.

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Great lens for my prep ! Thanks !

    • profile image

      LivingIntheMoment4 4 years ago

      I had a sigmoidoscopy inmy early 50s, and it TOTALLY SUCKED. I went in figuring it was a routine test. No sedation whatsoever --- I got a little nervous, but no big deal. BUT IT TOTALLY SUCKED!!! Asshole doctor (in more than one way....) kept going ahead even though I found it agony. When I started squirming around a lot, the A. doctor started going really fast ,.... said it was clean, that he didn't see anything. Of course he didn't see anything. He was going so fast what COULD he see. But I know he saw insurance reimbursement for just going through the motions. Personally, I think he probably had 3 kids in private colleges, the tuition was due, and if he would have been thoughtful enough to reschedule me another time when I would have been sedated and have somebody drive me home, but that would have been a loss of revenue as he would have gotten no payment for not completing the procedure, and I would have then taken a slot in his schedule at another time as well. After the sigmoidoscopy was completed, the assisting RN told me I definitely needed sedation. I probably have colon that has more curves than usual. By the way, did I mention that I am an RN as well?? Now I am 63 years old. Have a colonoscopy??? Stick that where the sun don't shine!! Even if I was totally out during the procedure, what about the "night of the living dead" bowel prep leading up to the colonoscopy?? These days, I practice "living in the moment" and a colonoscopy is a moment (actual a pure hell for 2 days) that I choose now to live through.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      my son just had one and they didn't put him to sleep or anything and he felt it all. he was in agony and said he felt the camera turning in his stomach and them taking samples. he gripped the bed and moaned but the staff barely spoke English. it was a total sham for my poor little 17 yr old boy and im discusted he was tortured in this way. the NHS staff are thick as shit and the London hospital is a butchers. not heard of anything good coming from that hell hole..ever!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great info and easy to read. Thanks

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 4 years ago from USA

      @geosum: That's one excellent perk of getting older!

      Here's to good health :)

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      Had my last one at 75. Decided that would be my last one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      today was for the camera to be put up was ery nervous but after being told what they was going to do felt at ease going to have colonoscopy in bout 10 days time watching this bit ov film has put me at ease a bit and know wots going to happen thank you very useful film

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Are you kidding??? I hate doctors, so this was NOT A WALK IN THE PARK!! The prep was a nightmare, I didn't sleep ALL NIGHT BECAUSE I WAS ON THE THRONE!! Give me a break!! If I NEVER have to have this again, it will be TOO SOON!!!

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      I've had three now ...the worst part is prepping. The actual'll not remember anything and for one split half-second (just as they give you the meds) you feel really amazing. Next thing you know you're waking up and it's time to go home! *blessed*

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm having one tomorrow morning! I'm really not nervous at all. I'm hoping to find out why I only have a bowel movement 2-3 times a week! That really sucks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm going for my first one tomorrow and I'm so scared. I'm only 16 years old... I can't stop crying!!

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      Great info for an important topic!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Greetings from Ireland,

      I just had to write with my colonoscopy experience, which I had this week.

      I had one several years ago and it was just like you described....

      However, this time it was completely different......

      I will start with the prep bit too.

      The powder I had to take was called Kleen Prep....

      My procedure was scheduled for 12.30 the next day.

      I had to have 2 litres (just under 2 pints) from 7 in the evening and the same again from 7 the next morning. The nighttime bit was ok ish, but the morning was horrible... Luckily the hospital is not far from my house...

      It was 2 pm when I was brought into the theAtre.... They put the iv in my arm etc. put a horrible plastic tube in my mouth, gave me oxygen, which nearly choked me. And then we all looked at each other and absolutely nothing happened. If I could have spoken I would have said ok guys you can start giving me the sedative.

      Put the tube Down my throat and went for it. I can't even talk about the pain and choking I had.

      Then they told me to turn over and did the other bit. That pain was even worse as they took some biopsies. I was hysterical when both procedures were over and I slept for 5 hours in the hospital.

      Apart from a sore throat I was fine the next day.

      The consultant told me after that I was immune to sedation..... Thanks a lot..

      Don't mean to scare anyone, but that was my experience.

      My friend had one the next day with a different doctor, he only had to drink half the liquid that I did and sailed through both procedures.

      Not fair!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks that's answered a few questions x

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm 35 and my father has been treated for colon cancer and he lost both his parents from bowl cancer - i had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago and it really isn't anything to worry about- I would do it again tomorrow if i had to... so don't put off doing could save your life

    • profile image

      vaileria123 5 years ago

      Colonoscopy is a secure, efficient technique of analyzing the complete coating of the digestive tract and anus, using a long, versatile, tubular device. It is used to identify digestive tract and anus problems and to execute biopsies and eliminate digestive tract polyps. Most colonoscopies are done on an out-patient base with little difficulty and pain.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had a gastroscopy and colonoscopy done today As people say the prep is the worst part. Disgusting flavour to the moviprep and difficult to finish second lot but best to hold your nose and just drink it quickly

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was just so worried, but thanks to you I have a much better idea of what to expect. I'm sorry you had to endure the 'ickies' with it~ that was sort of an ordeal, I'm sure. But thanks again for sharing your experience and your friends. Now I'm not as freaked out by the whole deal.. :)

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Wow, very comprehensive. I know someone who went through one and it's a breeze if you simply follow directions. It helps to keep in mind that the doctor and nurses do this all the time, and unless you have a very different and exciting colon, they aren't going to remember either.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      Great info, well-presented. a friend just had this procedure, and remembered nothing after.

    • playercoach profile image

      playercoach 5 years ago

      Okay-great job in terms of information presented here. Not a pleasant thing to go through--but necessary as we age.

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 5 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Martha,

      Each doctor and each hospital has their own sets of rules. I would suggest that you give your hospital a call and see what they have to say.

      Normally the hospital has the last say in what you can and can not have in the days leading up to the colonoscopy so check with them.In many cases if you do not follow the hospital rules they can postpone your test.

      It's better off to get the answer as soon as possible so that you definitely know one way or the other. You should also let them know about getting your tooth pulled, sometimes this can also get the test postponed depending on how it was extracted ( was it impacted or infected) , if there was any anesthesia and if your dentist put you on an antibiotic or other medication.

      I feel for you. A tooth pulling and colonoscopy all within a week of one another. To tell you the truth, I'd much rather go for the colonoscopy than get a tooth pulled!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the info. I am 31 yr. old female and am going for my first colonoscopy tomarrow morning. I am very aprehensive, but this did help settle me down a bit. Nice to know that it's not as painful as I had feared. Still VERY scared though!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just curious. I'm scheduled for my first colonoscopy next Tuesday at noon. But, having a tooth extracted in 2 days. I know i will be on liquids pretty much afterwards. Had 3 pulled last year and was on liquids for almost a month. I'm trying to avoid that jug of prep if humanly possible. Wondering if i could just get away with a week of liquids and magnesium citrate the day before with half the prep solution. Mainly, i just hate going to sleep, but it's required by my doctor.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Oh gosh, may I be totally honest on National Honesty Day? I've had a colonoscopy a few years back, followed by an upper GI endoscopy ... and then a barium enema. Holy smokes! The big C was a walk in the park compared to the BE. It's good to know that it all works out in the end!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Drinking the poly now scope tomorrow at ten.. This stuff is gros, nerves still going. Just want it over with .

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for this! I am only 23, and have to go for my first one next week. It is mainly due to having constant stomach and the doctors not having much of an idea on what it is, so they sent me to the G.I. doctor and she wanted me to get one done. I remember when my dad went through one, and he hated the prep. Reading this article help me put my mind to ease a little bit though, so thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for this! I am only 23, and have to go for my first one next week. It is mainly due to having constant stomach and the doctors not having much of an idea on what it is, so they sent me to the G.I. doctor and she wanted me to get one done. I remember when my dad went through one, and he hated the prep. Reading this article help me put my mind to ease a little bit though, so thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The worst part of the actual procedure was that my Doc said he'd heard all the jokes before. I was especially proud of "well, this is no different than a day at at the office as someone is always up my a-- there anyway", Alas, he's heard that, and variations, before. The prep was actually not too bad. I guess I was not as full of s--- as I thought I was (my career is a type of sales). The solution tasted like saltwater and with a swig of Gatorade after, pretty bland. The "aftereffects" were annoying and caused me to miss most of my favorite TV shows but that was about it. The sedatives were lovely. I did feel some tugging and pressure during the actual procedure but didn't really care. The Doc said I have a "tortuous colon" and he found a polyp high up in the tortuous part that needed to be "snared" rather than cauterized so, of course, I am a basket case until biopsy results are in. He said there was a 99% chance it was nothing but as I am a rather negative person, that 1% looms LARGE in my mind. Other than that, I'd actually do it again tomorrow for the restful drowsiness it afforded me. My husband spent the time waiting for me trying to come up with a unique pun but no success. Ate right after but not hungry yet today. Boy howdy, though, when I am, look out. Someone here mentioned Waffle House and a pecan pancake sounds pretty good! Please, everyone, DO THIS.

    • ashroc profile image

      ashroc 5 years ago

      Very informative thank you. The rest of my family have all had one done as Dad has survived bowel cancer. Its my turn next for a colonoscopy.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband had a colonoscopy today. It went well, the prep was bad, he came home and slept for 2 hours after the procedure. When he woke up he drank a cup of coffee then threw up. He's fine now but that was weird because he doesn't even get sick from general anesthesia.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My dad is getting this hope he has fun durning this proeduce sigh. He is going to be so drarined its not going to be even funny.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am getting mine tomorrow, But I was offered nothing to prep with?? I rang my doctor to make sure and he said if the hospital sent me nothing I was not to take anything?

      I will also be having mine without any pain relief or sedation as I am pregnant and breastfeeding so I don't want to risk any medications... my friend had hers done last week with no mads as she is alergic to most pain/sedation meds and she was okay, she found it a little sore, but she had preparation the day before, Any one been in my position before??

      I usually have constant diarreah (IBS) but today, just my luck, I am a bit bunged up because of the pregnancy!! :O

    • joykennel profile image

      joykennel 6 years ago

      I just read this while I am drinking the stuff, going in tomorrow. My Mom had colon cancer, so it is now a habit that I have to go every few years. The prep is unpleasant but it is not as bad as MANY other things in life. Small price to pay for keeping your health and peace of mind. Great info--thanks for writing. Gotta go.....................

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great website :) I'm sure put many minds at ease with some humor added. It's all also very true. Thanks for documenting your adventure.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for posting this, you really helped to ease my fears. I have been having acute abdominal pain with extreme amounts of vomiting and diarrhea for about two weeks now - and after having lost 14lbs in 13 days - I was referred out to the GI doc, and you guessed it... I get a Colonoscopy and endoscopy (Yay... :() I completely agree bowel prep is horrible and yes I made the same mistake as you by drinking blue gatorade... (hello, smurf water).

      I so needed this laugh, thanks again.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am getting mine because of IBD, but this still really calmed my nerves!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Just had mine done today. Used Suprep, which was not too bad at all. The procedure went by with no problem; no pain, no bloating, smooth sailing. No polyps, no issues (yay!). Afterwards I was hungry and sleepy, hit the Waffle House on the way home and pigged out; then home for 4 blissful hours of sleep. Still a little "hung over" & moving in slow motion 9 hours later, but no big deal. Go for it!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this funny, down-to-earth information. I am scheduled for my colonoscopy tomorrow and feel slightly better, although still terrified! It was helpful to have a real-life account rather than clinical doctor-speak.

    • ben10ten lm profile image

      ben10ten lm 6 years ago

      Great Lens! I feel much better now that I am informed, as this is surely something nobody wants to go through.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this relaxed, humorous lens that tackles a very serious medical procedure head on. Well done from someone who performs these procedures!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      very good information waiting for urgent appointment

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      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Very good info - it really wasn't nearly as scary as I was anticipated it being. Certainly wouldn't consider it something I'd look forward to again. lol

      Thanks for sharing! :)

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 6 years ago from USA

      @asiliveandbreathe: I know that this subject is not glamorous or fun and can be a bit delicate but it is very important. Thank you for sharing the link with those you care about :)

    • asiliveandbreathe profile image

      asiliveandbreathe 6 years ago

      Someone was just asking about this procedure on Facebook, so I have posted a link to this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm waiting for an appointment as my doctor is pretty sure I have IBD. Need the colonoscopy to figure out which it is, crohns or UC. Hope it's neither but we will see. You have made me feel much better. I'm still really nervous but feel like I can handle it now. Will let you know how it goes :0)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This was really helpful- my colonoscopy is in 12 hours. Thank you for posting!

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 6 years ago

      Wow, what a detailed coverage on a very uncomfortabe topic. Well done.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      im 20 and had to have one. i woke up in the middle of the colonoscpy. they did my endoscopy first. i woke up said holy s*** that's my colon. and they gave me more meds bc i was trying to get up. the prep was hard. especially being a 20 yr old it was the worst thing ive ever experienced. they found pulps they r testing and other stuff. i took a s*** 2 days after and ever since ive been having rectal bleeding. so they may do another.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My husband will have one next week so this is good prep for us. Thanks for putting this up here.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Had a colonoscopy last week, and I'm here to tell you IT WASN'T NOT BAD AT ALL!!

      The new prep, called "Pico-Salax" tasted good, and went down well. The result was much more gentle than previous preps I had done, and in fact after taking two doses I was still able to get a good night's sleep before my 10 a.m. colonoscopy. No stomach pains, no non-stop running to the toilet, no heartburn, no big deal!

      The procedure itself was nothing dramatic. I was given a sedative and then put semi-under. At some point during the colonoscopyI believe that I woke up feeling some pain, but it all became a blurr after the procedure was over.

      All of my fears were for nothing: a colonoscopy doesn't have to be a traumatic experience!

      Make sure that you get the humane prep, and when you are wheeled into the room, confirm that you will be getting something to calm you and put you to sleep. DO IT!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Glad you posted this! I had one last week and was terrified but it was soooo easy and no pain at all! the prep wasn't even all that bad either. Drink up and out it comes. Just be very very close to the bathroom ;)

    • rtsurvivor lm profile image

      rtsurvivor lm 6 years ago

      Lady Oz I know this may sound trite but putting the scoping off caused me a lot of grief. I ahd much the same symptoms you mention so I figured what the hey; it can wait. NOT!!!

      I had a stage 3 cancer growing in my colon that was about to advacne to stage 4. (A stage 4 will pretty much take you out.) The stage 3, if caught in time can, and in my case, save your life.

      I do have to wonder why all the problems with the prep. They are not fun but it should not have casued you that much grief. As for waiting 4 to 5 months for another go, yoou might want to check around to see if you can have that moved up a bit. I pushed my luck right to the edge and, lucky for me, it held. I wish you all the best.


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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi....I am lying on my bed right now....feeling and hearing my gut churn and bubble as a result of doing the prep for a scheduled Colonoscopy that was postponed by the hospital after I had been waiting for three hours to have the procedure AND that was after having to have an Enema due to not "cleaning out" fully! I am scheduled for the third time in 4 to 5 months (as my first attempt was not successful). My digestive system is sluggish at the best of times and the prep doesn't (so far) seem to work quick enough. When I read the stories of how "quick" the prep worked and how quick others are to recover I wonder if it is for me. I am still very physically uncomforable - every time I eat, it agrivates my digestive system (I can feel the bubbles of air moving through my, "what feels like my intestine"? I don't know if I can do it all again, but don't know what my alternatives are?

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: The colonoscopy was no big deal - I wrote a lens about and am featuring this awesome lens, many thanks :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I've been on a waitlist for a colonoscopy for the past 10 months - now it's next thursday. I had one when I was a kid - woke up and remember the biopsy. I have some latent fear about the procedure - I do hope the drugs are better than they were 25 years ago. Thanks for sharing - your tips will come in handy :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Richard2 LM: Where was the tumor located exactly? Most polyps that can turn into cancer are found in the rectum and sigmoid colon. If that is where it was located, then a colonoscopy would not have made a difference. Doing it earlier, that it could have been caught in an earlier stage. I wish you a speedy recovery...God bless.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This narrative is truly the best!! Thank you so much. It made me feel "normal" and not so scared, although still a bit worried about the actual findings, but not the test. Thank you, thank you!!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @SofiaMann: what is lotd

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I think I'll be laughing all weekend at the thought of your experiences... well, not the actual experience of course but the down to earth way you've written it. Blessed by a Squid Angel ;)

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 6 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Colleen, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. There is a good chance that it will help relax a person enough to get a colonoscopy and possibly saving their life.

      Having a colonoscopy is so important yet, most people are so scared that they avoid it for as long as they can.

      Like you had mentioned, it's the prep that's the hardest part & some research is now showing that it is possible that some of the prep that we have to go through may be over kill and that they may cut back a bit. Sure, it still will be annoying but possibly a bit easier.

      Unlike surgery where you hurt for days or weeks afterwards, a colonoscopy is just a diagnostic test and a day later you don't feel any after effects.

      A few hours of bathroom misery is worth it.

      Thank you!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I read this two days ago..the day before my prep! Loved it. My prep was a bottle of magnesium citrate and 2 ducolax tablets at 5pm. Nothing much happened. 8pm, do it again. Finally an hour later things got moving. I wish I had known it would start so late and I would be up until 1:30am, still not clear though. Slept until 2:30 than back to the bathroom again and finally it's looking clear. At 3am take another bottle of the mag citrate and 32 oz of water. Wow. Back to sleep about 5 and up at 7. More bathroom time. Then drive 1 1/4 hours to the appt. Good thing I did the last bottle at 3 or I would never have been able to make the drive since things were still moving 5 hours later! (They originally wanted me to take it at 7 but I called questioning that since I was concerned about the drive. Good thing!) Of course, now I had a migraine from lack of sleep and couldn't take med for....The colonoscopy itself - I have no idea. Out like a light. Everything looked great. Now 12 hours later and I've only eaten a little, my stomach is uncomfortable but bowels feel fine! End result: the colonoscopy is not to worry about, the prep timing was horrendous but the prep itself isn't bad as long as you are close to the bathroom with nice soft toilet paper. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hysterical. I read it to my sister who is having the procedure done tomorrow. Thanks a lot!

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      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Been there, done that. The prep is the worst part.

    • rtsurvivor lm profile image

      rtsurvivor lm 6 years ago

      I had a "Colonoscopy" March 12, 2010. On March 13, 2010 I had a bit over 80% of my colon removed. The Colonoscopy revealed that I had been invaded by a "Level 3" cancer. That was very dangerous. The actual exam is a walk in the park. It does not hurt and putting it off, as I did, can get you into a really tight spot. I am clean of cancer now so that makes me very lucky.

      You might get a bit embarrassed because somebody is looking where they do but if you put it off you will be more than embarrassed for neglecting having the procedure done. That type of cancer in nothing to play games with. I was fortunate. A lot weren't!


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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens was very informative I am meeting with my doctor soon and I intend to raise this issue with him... thanks for the information

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      i am having a colonoscopy next week your article has put my mind at rest. i also thought it very

      funny thank you.

    • profile image

      JewelRiver 7 years ago

      Love the booty pic! Very funny!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      A very important topic presented in a fun and humorous way - I really enjoyed some of the photos you chose - the red carpet with waiting paparazzi was hilarious. Blessed by a SquidAngel and featured on my angel lens.

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

      I had my first colonoscopy (and serial endoscopies) about a year ago. I'd been terrified of it but really it wasn't that bad other than the horrors of getting the IV in and the obligatory bout of projectile vomiting after. Whatever that drug is they use to put me out is WONderful. I feel like I can conquer the world for the 24 hours after. (And then the crash comes, which sucks.) I had been dieting for about a month prior to the colonoscopy, eating small amounts of meat and lots of vegetables and I think that made the elimination round a lot easier. I only almost threw up the stuff you have to drink once, but I tipped my head back and hung on until the nausea passed. And I'm happy to say I don't have to have another one for nine years. Awesome, funny lens, by the way.

    • Joyfulmusic90 profile image

      Joyfulmusic90 7 years ago

      I recently had my first colonoscopy. No big deal - except the night before stuff wasn't so hot. Oh well, it can save lives. - I wonder if it is more awkward for the patients or the medical staff?

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      i've had two of them. I never look forward to it, and agree the prop the day before is worse than the procedure itself. The best thing about it is that if they don't find anything serious, you probably won't need another one for ten more years.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I do feel better about the procedure now after reading you lens, thank you for sharing it with all of us. I just need to make that phone call now.

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      Deeishere 7 years ago

      Thanks for writing this lens. I went for my consultation and plan to have a colonoscopy next year (when I have the money for the co-pay). I am so glad you wrote the details of your experience. It does seem more scary than what it really is. The biggest problem according to a friend of mine, is the preparation. When you have to clean out b4 the procedure.

    • asiliveandbreathe profile image

      asiliveandbreathe 7 years ago

      Hi. There is now a link to this excellent lens on the LINKS PAGE of

    • mskaylay profile image

      whatnextk 7 years ago

      You had me lol, until you felt in the restroom. Hope you did not hurt yourself. I learned a lot from your lens, keep up the good work.

    • joeties profile image

      joeties 7 years ago

      Wow! unbelievable graphics and pics. really brave of you to put your insides out there so to speak. I guess it's something you shouldn't fear. As I get older those kind of treatments are routine.

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      milleetary 7 years ago

      I don't know about a walk in the park, but this article has certainly let my nerves settle a bit. Come to think of it, I should probably go in for a colonoscopy soon, never had one before.....

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 7 years ago

      Although I've never had one (still too young yet to be required to get one) I've known lots that have had colonoscopies. Unpleasant yes but a very simple preventative measure that could save you so much trouble down the line! Congratulations on your LotD!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      This is very helpful and informative. It is good to know much about this through a personal experience. It makes people understand why it is necessary.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Glad you shared your story. I just had one on Friday. I wasn't too nervous about the procedure except what they might find. I have had endoscopies before so I was familiar with the medicine and day of procedures. The prep is what got me. I was not told I could mix the solution and it was the most awful stuff I have ever had. And of course the fear that it had to be finished and within 2 to 3 hours or I would have to reschedule (or have an enema) didn't help.

      About an hour into it (having barely drank any of it) I started throwing up. The instructions didn't mention this as a possibility anywhere and I have some other issues that caused some slight panic. Then the phone number we were supposed to call for help didn't work. A little more panic. We finally called our Dr. at home (only the 2nd time in our life) and she couldn't be much help other than the throwing up was unlikely to be an allergic reaction and I just had to finish the stuff.

      Finally, we got a hold of my surgeon and she said you just have to finish it, but said don't worry too much about the time frame. She did say I could drink it along with juice so I would take 3 sips of the solution and then a sip of Apple Juice. I did that for about the next two hours and finally finished.

      I would love to have just mixed it ahead of time with the juice or something so that is what I would suggest you ask your surgeon. Because, you will have to finish the solution (mine was a gallon).

      For me nothing major was found so that is good, but it was important to make sure nothing major was there.

      Now that you know the prep will probably be the worst of it, you can prepare and get psyched. Hopefully, your surgeon tells you, you can mix it with something palatable.

    • TerriLynnC profile image

      TerriLynnC 7 years ago

      Diverticulitis is what landed me in for a colonoscopy. I am considered "young" for one but because of the multiple bouts, my doc wanted to just check things out. I wish I had this information before I had the colonoscopy done because I was terrified! I had just seen Harry Smith have his done on CBS and I wasn't convinced. LOL

      Praising GOD! everything came out alright in the end...(no pun intended of course!) There were no polyps to be found and to be honest with you...the worst part of the entire process was the cleansing the day before. No one likes to have to poo uncontrollably.

      The colonoscopy also helped to break free whatever was causing me so much pain from my diverticulitis! I haven't had a problem with it since! I am eating plenty of fiber and drinking tons of water! (good for you anyway!)

      Thank you for sharing this! Congratulations on LotD!!! Great job!!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Cool lens, my time is coming VERY VERY Soon! ha!

    • Mrplant profile image

      Mrplant 7 years ago

      Wow sounds like you had a hard time, had to giggle a bit. Great honest, informative lense thank you

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      AdriennePetersen 7 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! Feel a little better about a colonoscopy now, but I'm making my hubby get one first!

    • GODis4me profile image

      karen vance loudermilk 7 years ago from charleston wv

      really good lens, informative, I have had a colonoscopy so I know its not a big deal but I would have lliked to read this before I had it. good work.

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      jgelien 7 years ago

      I think all of my questions and concerns have now been addressed in glowing detail. Great lens on a very important topic.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congrats on your LOTD! This is a very informative and helpful lens for those planning on going through this experience. Very important for those over 50 to get off their butts and take care of.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the Day! I can see why it was picked; a humorous view on something everyone needs to go through at some point. I've had one of these when I was in the hospital for two days with on-going severe stomach pain. And yes, I was in the bathroom most of the night. Don't remember a thing about the procedure though.

      People really shouldn't be such a chicken about this. Just read the comments in here from those who had cancer found. Especially the ones who waited to have this procedure done. Just suck it up and get her done - YOU CAN DO IT!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 7 years ago from USA

      I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. Although talking about your Colonoscopy is not the easiest of subjects, there are several who have shared stories about loved ones who may have died had they not had a colonoscopy. Their can cancer was caught just in time. I especially want to thank those who were brave enough to talk about loved ones who may have been saved had they found the time to have this procedure done.

      I personally don't have any health insurance and it can be quite expensive without it - but even if you do not heave any insurance please -please find the time and the money to save your life.

      They say that more women then men have this procedure done --so men get off of your butts (no pun intended) and make that appointment.

      If you won't do it for yourself -do it for your family.

    • cherylsgifts2go profile image

      cherylsgifts2go 7 years ago

      Before I check out your other lenses I wanted to tell you what a great job you did on this one. I know I should go to get this procedure done this year and, was not looking forward to it at all. You conviced me with your lense in fact, it sounds easier than getting all my teeth pulled. LOL. Thanks so much for much for this down to earth description of what will happen. Loved it.

    • profile image

      Gail47 7 years ago

      Very important topic - thank you for sharing your personal experience. Angle dusting you lens today!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing the facts and the intimate details. This lens was very informative and well written. I'm off to visit some of your other lenses. I like your style.

    • Richard2 LM profile image

      Richard Rossbauer 7 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA

      Don't put off your colonoscopy procedure. I did.

      Here's my brief story - 10 years ago I has a Sigmoidoscopy. The results were satisfactory and all thoughts of a colonoscopy left my mind until this past June when I experienced rectal bleeding - resulting in a fast rip to the Doctor's office and even faster to the ER at my local hospital. Procedure scheduled, wasn't easy but I was able to drink all of that stuff and then a stretcher ride to the procedure room. The prep took a few minutes, the anesthesiologist explained that I'd be asleep, put breather tube in my nostrils and next thing I knew, I was awake ad the procedure was finished.

      Results- a tumor was found that looked threatening and the pathology report confirmed that the biopsy showed cancer.

      Next was a surgery to remove the tumor and enough of the colon to determine if there were any cancerous lympth nodes - there were. So today I am a Stage 3 Cancer patient doing Chemo-therapy.

      I have to wonder if this could all have been avoided if I had pursued a colonoscopy 4 or 5 years earlier (by the way, I am in my mid eighties)

    • profile image

      huvalbd 7 years ago

      Been there, thank heaven my doc preferred one of the gentler cleanout routines--gentler except it starts with a clear liquids diet for 3 days instead of one. Much much better than undetected cancer would be!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      A great narration and I hope it would not be the same tedious experience for people who have to undergo it now.