Real patients discuss their experience with colonoscopy.
We're normally told right around the age of 50 years old to make sure that we get in and get our colonoscopies done. Well, I've been retired for a little over 17 years now and when I turned 50 -- I'm now 62 -- a couple of years ago is when I first came in. I was hard headed and did not come in and get my colonoscopy done right around the 50 year point.
Because of, again, my family history, my own personal history, it had been a process, you know, over the years where you know you're not going to wait til you turn 40 to have your first colonoscopy and all the other routine things. And I very rarely go five years in between a routine checkup.
They initially told me I had to do it. I was like, what? I'm too young to do this.
I had not heard a whole lot about them, and I was not that familiar with what they were for. But certainly as I started to read and you understand a whole lot more about what little things or how little things can grow up to be big things. So yes the concern was there.
The hardest part was definitely the prep.
Preparing for the colonoscopy is worse than the colonoscopy itself.
The prep for the colonoscopy was taking this mix, this... drinking this medicine. The solution that they actually give you, it really is not that bad. They give you an opportunity to mix it with a sweetener of some kind. But when you're taking it in the amount of time that you're given to take it, it may not seem as though it's something that I would volunteer to go and drink. But it really does help. It does what it's supposed to do, and it really isn't that bad.
The bowel prep is very hard on your stomach and the not eating is also hard for me.
I thought the process was pretty, pretty easy. You drink the medicine. They also gave you a couple pills to help process what you need to do so that they can do the colonoscopy.
You have to have a clean intestinal tract. And that prep is part of cleansing that.
Your system really does need to be as clean as possible. So when the procedures are done, they can see whatever's there to see with a clean system.
It's important to do it exactly as they say.
And if you're not following the guidance that's given, then you may find yourself coming back and having to do it all over again.
So the colonoscopy is when they put a camera in your rectum and they just look in your colon.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think I was just more nervous, if anything, because I had never had it done before.
It is very odd. You go into it thinking like, omigod, this is a colonoscopy. This is very invasive. And it wasn't. It was a very simple procedure.
The procedure probably 15 minutes or so and you're done. Then you wake up and you feel a little loopy, but you're done. And you're like, where am I? They're like, oh you're back in the prep room. Oh wow.
I woke up and I had no symptoms, no discomfort, anything. It's like I woke up, had my driver, I went home, and I felt pretty good the whole day.
There were no after effects at all. So, I've got another one scheduled coming up next month. But I'm doing fine and all systems are go.