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Colonoscopy with no sedation..I did it!!

Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I had my 6 month colonoscopy today. The prep was horrid this time. Stayed in my stomach for hours…all 64 oz. and I ended up having to take Zofran to keep from upchucking. Finally went to bed and that is when it all started moving…ALL night long!

Here is the good part. I had been thinking of asking for no sedation because my mind is really getting feeble and more Versed would not help it any. Also, because of the fiasco of my first colonoscopy being declared “clear” and a year later having a malignant tumor the size of a fist…well, my trust in the medical profession took a dive and I wanted to keep a watch on things. So, I asked and to my delight my new Gastro and the nurse were both very supportive of my wishes. I got to watch the whole procedure…even saw where I was stitched up from the surgery. I am so glad that I finally got to have a say in something! It wasn’t bad at all. Only for a moment I had some bad pain, like labor pains, and the nurse gave me a small dose of Demerol. The doctor talked to me, told me what we were looking at, etc. He actually told me after the procedure that he has had one colonoscopy himself and he too elected to have no sedation.

I had 3 small polyps removed. He also showed me some inflammation around the original surgery site ( where the cecum used to be) and he biopsied that but thinks it is probably nothing much. I have a narrowed, but patent side-to-side ileo-colonic anastomosis. Might/might not cause a future problem and have to be dilated.

So, I’m home and doing much better than I did on the other 3 colonoscopies. Versed just screws me up…glad I didn’t have it…but that’s just me.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Pat,

It sounds like you got good results! You are brave to go without sedation, but good for you; it sounds like it worked out great!

Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm not really brave. It came down to a matter of self-preservation. I think my first gastro took a coffee break when he was supposed to be doing my procedure. For my own mental health I couldn't let something like that happen again. I'm just tired of being helpless feeling and at someone elses mercy all the time.

I think all is well. Get pathology back probably Monday.


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

When I did one of those stress tests with the dye (after I flunked the treadmill test-lungs gave out-as I expected) I was able to see inside my heart for awhile cos I looked at the screen...I don't have the stomach for this sort of stuff and can't watch bloody movies. Don't know how my own next and future colonoscopies will go as they'll now be done thru stoma.....I wonder if I reduce amount of prep to drink to account for lost body parts.......steve

abrub's picture
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mar 2010

That's great! I was "minimally sedated" - felt my head get woozy, but was clear enough to watch and comprehend everything, and understand how I'm "different" from "normal" people (the non-semi-colon crowd.) I saw my 2 anastomoses (ileo-colonic and colo-colonic) and was generally fascinated with the whole procedure. I'll probably have my next one without sedation (tho the fentanyl I was given for pain was probably wise, based on your experience, and the few moments of discomfort I had during mine. Had it gotten worse, I would have asked for more. My dr uses fentanyl instead of demerol.) However, I have 2-3 years before my next one (I hope!)

Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

The pain started when he got to the splenic flexure.Got a short shot of Demerol and didn't really have anymore pain.

I have to have another colonoscopy in 1 year and I believe I will choose no sedation again...although I might ask for mild pain meds prior to beginning of procedure.


Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

My hat is off to you. What a trooper you are. There is no way this old man could do that. It just about kills me to get the in-office scope job every 6 months and I take Percocet before I go in. You are one tuff woman.

abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

Congratulations, you are a brave soul! I have never had a colonoscopy, but I should would not want to be awake! I am a big BABY and cannot tolerate pain. When I had my first child 29 years ago, I asked to be knocked out, dr.s said they don't do that anymore, so I told my husband to bring a hammer and he could knock me out if it got to be too bad. Again congrats and Pray all is well. God Bless, Margaret

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

You are a brave person,and it sounds like you had a good doctor,and nurse.Congratulations.For coloCan,when they do it thru the stoma,it's even easier,and yes you still have to drink the whole thing.I'm glad you are home,and doing ok.

CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

I don't like sedation and so I not only did the colonoscopy without sedation, but also the esophagogastroduodenoscopy. I gagged a lot on the last one, and everyone said how brave I was, but bravery had nothing to do with it. I just don't like being knocked out. BTW, I read somewhere that in Great Britain they often don't use sedation for a colonoscopy.

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I'm such a baby just walking into the same day surgery floor makes me a blubbering idiot! I am trying to move them along getting the IV going so i can get the happy meds! It's not the pain that's a deterrent as much as PTSD.

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

you are one tough woman. I always elect to have propofol. I don't even want to be awake or even know when it started or ended. So glad that things went well. Please update us on MOnday to your path report.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I had my 4th one w/o sedation last fall and have enjoyed watching where my resection was heal up. This last one the GI doc had to look extra hard to find the tiny thread like scar. He said we wouldn't be able to tell where it was next time which just amazes me. I saw my tumor during a flex sig (sedation for that wasn't even offered) and remember what it looked like so I kind of like seeing the healthy pink colon.

I'm going to check up on the stuff Canadians use for their prep next time. I can't remember the name but hopefully someone here will and it sounds so much easier then the stuff we have to drink.

Again congrats on being all clear, sedated or not THAT is always great to hear.

Lisa P.

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I am glad you found some level of satisfaction and control in having your colonoscopy. I have seem so many images of the camera going into my hairy but, I want to be knocked out, the longer the better.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Good for you...it gives you back a sense of control that you lose during this ordeal...Good for you , it goes a long way in mental rehab which greatly effects the attitude needed to overcome the journey it takes us on......Have a great weekend, Love and Hope to you , Clift

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...Mary on this one, I too, am a blubbering idiot who actually looks forward to getting the happy meds LOL...You are wayyy to brave Pat, I couldn't do that, I don't like people looking at me while I'm getting something done, and just the weariness of them being there is too much for me lol..I need to get knocked out, I don't want to be screaming.


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Unfortunately some people ARE screaming, yelling OH! OH! OH!...they just don't remember it when they have the amnesiac drug Versed.

The RN held my hand, we talked about Grandchildren, what we were seeing on the monitor, etc. It hurt one time, a huge cramp when he got to the first turn,she gave me a small dose of Demerol & a little oxygen & told me to take deep breaths, and the pain subsided within less than a minute.The sedation doesn't relieve pain. The pain meds do that if they give you enough.
50 mg Demerol is all I needed.

I am losing my mind.I think it is called chemo brain. I don't need anything else like sedation to help me along with the insanity:)


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

You hit the head right on the nail;)I needed to regain my sense of control as much as possible.My mental health has taken a dive the past few weeks. It isn't depression or even really anxiety. It is, I believe, what they call chemo brain. I can't remember anything...even the colonoscopy this past Thursday is getting foggier & foggier in my head and I was awake! It is like a jigsaw puzzle in my head. I get glimpses of the pieces but someone or something has jumbled up the pieces and I just cannot get a clear picture anymore.

I used to be the most organized person I knew but now that has gone down the drain. I keep telling my family that I am losing my mind and they laugh or say don't worry about it. But it is NOT funny and I do worry. I've read that this can be permanent..ah, sorry for the vent. I'm NOT brave; I'm scared!

-Jaylo aka Pat

P.S. Yes, I will talk to my Doc when I go Tuesday. I hear they are trying Alzheimer drugs for chemo brain.

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I admire your grit and determination in getting through your colonoscopy without sedation.


daydreamer110761's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2008

congrats - not thinking I could have done that. I had the fentynol, fell asleep at first, but mostly cause I was tired from getting up at 4am to drink citrus stuff. I was awake through most of it, saw the polyps and watched him cut them out. I also woke up during the last one and watched him tattoo me. I'm really not into the medical discovery channel - weak stomach...

krf's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2009

You rock. I love the power of controlling your own procedure. That is one problem I have with Roger's surgery. I do have a great deal of trust in the surgeon, but I am very uncomfortable with getting all information orally. Everything else I have on paper and disk- ct's, mri's, bloodwork, colonoscopies. I am requesting the surgical notes from ROger's surgery because I need to have a written report to go over and google, information, etc. I wish I could be in the room during R's next colonoscopy. I do not know if he would want to go with no meds, but at least I could be in there. I will ask him about it. Thanks for bringing this up Pat.
Congrats to you.

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