Yesterday I underwent a colonoscopy. I have had several bouts of diverticulatitis, and because of that plus my age, my doc has been trying for over a year to get me in for this test. Waiting on full report, which I won't bother with until I see the doc again in 3-4 months....but he said after the procedure that the only thing he saw was the diverticula. I'm sure he'll send a report to my surgeon, but looks like no surgery is in my future!!!! AND!!! I don't have to have this repeated for 10 years!!!!
I want to give you all an idea of the whole procedure and prep. First off, you can't have any aspirin, ibuprophen, etc for 10 days prior to the procedure. This can be tough when you have chronic back and neck problems, but I only had to take my aspirin once (with doctor's permission) once in the 10 days. You also can't have any nuts of seeds for a week prior, which was probably the hardest restriction for me!
Now the prep....wow that was not fun or pleasant. I'd had loose stools for some reason for several days prior to the prep, so I'm amazed there was anything still in me. One and one half ounces of Phospho-soda taken twince, first dose the night before the procedure, the second the morning of. Believe me....you are clean when you finish with this!!!! The day prior to the procedure you are also restricted to a clear liquid diet. With LC, that pretty much means water and plain tea. I guess a little bit of broth would also be ok, but I didn't have any in the house. I mainly had water, tea and sf popsicles.
For the procedure you have to have an IV started....luckily it was just normal saline (salt water), so I didn't have to worry about getting IV sugar! The nurse that started the IV was great....got it first try. Another nurse asked my history....and was VERY thorough with any meds, supplements, etc I took. Another nurse took care of my son (21), who was there to drive me. And the last nurse was the one that was in the proceedure room with me. She actually sat with me while we waited for the doc (who was doing another procedure). When it came time for the procedure she's the one who got me all hooked up (EKG and Oxygen), positioned me (left side) and made sure I was comfy prior to giving me the meds. Fentanyl and Versed. Wonderful drugs. They knock you out....and even if you were to wake up, you won't remember anything. When the procedure was done, my wonderful nurse stayed with me until I was awake and able to get ready to go home.
After the procedure I slept off and on. I was starving when I got home, so my son got me a wrap from subway....but I could only eat half of it. About 3hrs after I got home I suddenly felt more awake and alert. Versed is known to impair your judgement, so it's important to not drive, etc for 24hrs, but about 4hrs after getting it I felt perfectly normal.
Today (1 day after the procedure) I still feel a little "off", so I'm being careful on what I eat....but I can eat everything I did prior to my test.
Now I want to mention the nurses....the wonderful nurses that worked with me when I went for the procedure. There were 4 all together, but unfortunately I can't remember their names....I'm terrible with names. I went to Durham Regional Hospital (Durham, NC) for the procedure and was amazed at just how great they all were there!!!! Actually, the woman that checked me in and the other one that gave me directions to where I needed to go were also extremely nice and helpful. I was surprised, although I must say I've never had a bad experience at this hospital. Since I was there last, however, they were taken over by Duke University....which is not known for it's warmth. Too often at Duke you're treated like a number....or "the colonoscopy in room 14". As a nurse I understand how hard the work is....but as a patient all I know is I'm afraid and need some reassurances.
Another note I'd like to make. My doctor, Scott Brazer, is a specialist in GI problems. I started seeing him about 8yrs ago due to esophageal issues. I've had trouble with GERD, esophageal strictures, esophageal spasm, and hiatal hernia for almost 24yrs. When I first moved to NC I had to find new docs and was sent to a doc at a hospital in another city. I had to have a gastroscopy (they drop a tube down your throat to visualize your stomach, esophagus, etc)and I woke up in the middle of it!!!! After that experience (I've had this done at least 6 times prior and this was the first time I woke up!), I decided I needed to find a new doc. And I found Dr Brazer. At the time he was on staff at Duke, but has since left and opened his own proactive (but does still have privileges at Duke). You feel like a person when you're with Dr Brazer. He is friendly, and seems to really care about his patients.
All in all, this was worth the effort. I now know that I have no polyps, which can in some people lead to cancer....and I have no signs of cancer. I also know that while I have diverticula, I know that it's not important to have them surgically removed (which consists of removing a part of the large bowel), at least at this point.
Current goal 20# in 20 weeks.