Colonoscopy anyone?

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  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    Not quite colonoscopy, but I did have a flexible sigmoidoscopy at the start of last year. I was admitted to A&E because of fresh bright red bleeding from a place you don't expect to bleed from, and this needed investigation.

    It turns out I have a thing called diverticular disease, which is incredibly common as you get older. From time to time it bleeds, but then it settles down - no rhyme or reason to it.

    The flexible sigmoidoscopy was carried out in the endoscopy unit of our local hospital. No clearing of bowel beforehand - in an earlier existence I'd seen the effects of picolax (the laxative referred to). I had an enema, but probably a waste of time as I'd been at least 3 times before arriving at the unit for 8.30 am.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    edited 30 January 2016 at 12:46PM
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    I have a laxative called Laxido to take every day, so could be 14 days if the doctor was right about timings. Apparently I will get a letter on Monday about preparation and I have a blood test on Thursday. I think I would rather starve for a couple of days rather than have an enema, maybe I found them worse because I had them in labour so have very unhappy memories of a nice labour being ruined by a horrible enema.

    I don't have any bleeding, well none that is obvious anyway and I think they are being cautious because of the family history, well I know they are because the doctor said so. It is unfortunate when you have that sort of history because you remember all the people who died not terribly nice deaths. On a happier note the most recent bowel cancer case in the family was picked up early, had surgery and has been problem free for 3 or 4 years so lets look on the bright side.

    The doctor did explain a couple of other things that could account for the symptoms. I am sort of dreading it but not wanting to wait, just get it over with and hopefully get a good result.

    Margaretclare I don't know what a sigmoidoscopy is but I will look it up, I am assuming it is something similar.
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  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    A sigmoidoscopy just looks at the final part of the colon - the sigmoid colon, not all of the colon.

    If you have that sort of family history then of course it's worth following up. If you're looking up sigmoidoscopy, look up diverticular disease as well. Thankfully, it's not malignant.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    A sigmoidoscopy just looks at the final part of the colon - the sigmoid colon, not all of the colon.

    If you have that sort of family history then of course it's worth following up. If you're looking up sigmoidoscopy, look up diverticular disease as well. Thankfully, it's not malignant.

    I have had a look. Doesn't look much fun either but as you say at least it's not malignant.

    Just wish it was over and done with. After talking through it with doctor she has also suggested my kids should have appointments at the genetics department at the hospital to go through things and possibly have screening so worried about them as well.
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  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Posts: 11,913 Forumite
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    mumps
    Calculate your drinking vessel volume. You may want to use a mug you have no special associations with so you can bin the thing later, just make sure it operates in easy units of a litre.

    The prep is your ideal chance to get into meal planning in a big way. Both before & after! Pick your other drinks carefully - I love chicken bovril - the beef was too salty. Early research & staff training (pleading with OH?!) pays off.

    That mixture (I had moviprep) can taste OK or it can taste vile - refrigeration helps, and /or a straw so it doesn't hand around on the palate.

    Have a pinger device that can go off every 15 minutes so you can be certain you are dosing correctly.

    Stay *off* the internet medical sites. Read what you've been given, & take our word for it that you survive this & it actually isn't that bad.

    Make it clear the plumbing is exclusively yours. Sort the heating so you can sit there tastefully clad from the waist up with a lap rug to sort any drafts.

    Pick a book you can get lost in, and re-read repeatedly. Films may need to be started/stopped/rewound a bit - your technology & patience therewith may vary.

    If you think you're empty, go for a stroll. Five or six paces usually makes it quite clear.

    Have transport to & from sorted. One less thing to wonder about.

    Check what you may take into hospital - I wasn't allowed my smartphone (hospital anti-theft policy) & so clutched the Hobbit...

    Afterwards you will be full of gas & will fart like a troopers horse. This is a good thing as trapped gas *hurts*. The up side is that the procedure is Over & you can eat what you want again!

    Very best of luck!
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    mumps
    Calculate your drinking vessel volume. You may want to use a mug you have no special associations with so you can bin the thing later, just make sure it operates in easy units of a litre.

    The prep is your ideal chance to get into meal planning in a big way. Both before & after! Pick your other drinks carefully - I love chicken bovril - the beef was too salty. Early research & staff training (pleading with OH?!) pays off.

    That mixture (I had moviprep) can taste OK or it can taste vile - refrigeration helps, and /or a straw so it doesn't hand around on the palate.

    Have a pinger device that can go off every 15 minutes so you can be certain you are dosing correctly.

    Stay *off* the internet medical sites. Read what you've been given, & take our word for it that you survive this & it actually isn't that bad.

    Make it clear the plumbing is exclusively yours. Sort the heating so you can sit there tastefully clad from the waist up with a lap rug to sort any drafts.

    Pick a book you can get lost in, and re-read repeatedly. Films may need to be started/stopped/rewound a bit - your technology & patience therewith may vary.

    If you think you're empty, go for a stroll. Five or six paces usually makes it quite clear.

    Have transport to & from sorted. One less thing to wonder about.

    Check what you may take into hospital - I wasn't allowed my smartphone (hospital anti-theft policy) & so clutched the Hobbit...

    Afterwards you will be full of gas & will fart like a troopers horse. This is a good thing as trapped gas *hurts*. The up side is that the procedure is Over & you can eat what you want again!

    Very best of luck!
    Thanks for all that. I am a bit worried at how much you need to drink, I drink very little, I have to force myself as it is and not sure I am physically going to get it all down:rotfl:I wouldn't have made a good drunk. Too much like hard work.

    I will have a think about what to eat, I understand the day before it is nothing solid so doesn't seem alot of choice. I will give the chicken bovril a try.

    Not too worried about the plumbing issue, two of us live here and we have three loos so I think I will lay claim to the main bathroom. Husband has mobility issues so downstairs loo needs to be accessible for him in the day and en suite at night so the main bathroom is mine, all mine. Is that just the day before, when you have all the stuff to drink? I normally pick grandchildren up from school so may need to think about that. Don't want an incident in the playground:o

    I have got a load of books to catch up on so will look forward to that.

    Thanks for the advice, I should get all the information on Monday so will know a bit more about it then. Does the hospital send a prescription for the prep stuff?
    Sell £1500

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  • Haylescom
    Haylescom Posts: 342 Forumite
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    They'll send the prep with the letter and information.
    Try not to feel embarassed; once the sedation starts you won't have it in you to feel embarassed anyway, you'll be too floaty!
    The not knowing is the worst part. My symptoms started aged 15 with bleeding, vomiting etc and my grandad had passed away from bowel cancer 2 years previously. Goodness knows what my mum went through but the colonoscopy gives you that definitive and, although it wasn't the best news, it wasn't the worst.
    I took my dad for a CT scan as they thoughr he had appendicitis. The doctor came out and said it was a bowel problem and he needed a colonoscopy and my heart sank (dad's nearly 60). He's since had the colonoscopy and been diagnosed with diverticulitis which is a relief.
    Let us know how you get on with the prep, just to add you should have a 'normal' drink on standby (water or orange squash) as the prep dehydrates you.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    Well I think I feel a bit more ready for it all. We have a terrible record for cancer in the family, particularly bowel cancern. I am exactly the age my grandmother was when she was diagnosed but I feel confident that things have moved on since the 1960s.

    I think I am more concerned about my children but I have to put that to the back of my mind for the moment.
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  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    Haylescom wrote: »
    I took my dad for a CT scan as they thoughr he had appendicitis. The doctor came out and said it was a bowel problem and he needed a colonoscopy and my heart sank (dad's nearly 60). He's since had the colonoscopy and been diagnosed with diverticulitis which is a relief.

    Diverticulitis is when there is a flare-up of the underlying condition which is diverticular disease. This has been called a 'Western disease' because we are all apparently constipated all the time, we eat the wrong things - not enough veg etc - and the constipation over time causes those little bulges in the interior of the colon. It is increasingly common as we get older.

    Diverticular disease is the basic underlying condition. Diverticulitis may be inflammation or infection of the existing diverticuli.

    You can imagine, the first time I went to the loo on our way back from France and - err - I didn't expect to see a quantity of painless bright red bleeding in the loo.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • Haylescom
    Haylescom Posts: 342 Forumite
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    I now have quite a history of bowel problems in my family on both sides; dad has diverticulitis, as did his mum, my mum had bouts of IBS, her dad had bowel cancer and now me with the ulcerative colitis. It's not a nice thought but if my symptoms ever change my consultant is straight onto it, they're very proactive these days.
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