Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Barium Enema scheduled
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Barium Enema scheduled

Okay, I am the "M" from the Rectal Bleeding post below. I went to the doctor yesterday and told him my history. He told me that the next time I notice the bleeding to call his office and tell the nurse to schedule me to come in either that day or the next day, and he will do an Anoscopy, which is basically looking just inside the rectum with an instrument to see if there's hemorrhoids or fissures (tears) that he can detect.

But in the meantime, he scheduled me for a barium enema on Saturday (4/1) at the hospital. I've read up on this, and am NOT looking forward to this. Not only the the whole embarrassment thing, but the discomfort/pain that comes with it.

Has anyone else here been through this? I really need some words of encouragement here, 'cause I'm seriously considering cancelling my appt. I know, I know, I shouldn't worry - these people do these procedures all the time, I shouldn't be embarrassed, etc. etc., for the good of my health, etc. etc., but I've never had to do anything like this before, and I am a VERY modest person. I mean, I have to put a suppository in the morning of the enema - I've NEVER done anything like that before! I've never even taken a laxative in my life. Not only the whole insertion of that, but is it going to make me feel like I have to go to the bathroom before I even get to the hospital and they give me the actual enema??

HELP!
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21 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the Barium Enema done on Monday, March 27, 2000.  It is really not bad at all.  I had slight pressure of having to go to the bathroom but it was very bearable.  The worst part for me was the preparation before the test.  The two days prior of a liquid diet and then the day before the test two types of laxatives to clean your system out.  The suppository the day of the test wasn't bad either.  Get the test done, it is well worth it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a new question but I can't find where in this site to pose the new question.  Maybe my browser doesn't highlight the spot.  Anyway here is my QUESTION.  I had an endoscopy done yesterday and the MD said they found a polyp in my stomach and are doing a biopsy on it.  I have not heard of Polyps in the stomach and wondered what to expect.  I have had GERD for over 4 years and have been on Prilosec which until recently had taken care of my symptoms.  thanks, Lu
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been through the barium enema routine and can say it is definetly not the way I would like to spend a Saturday morning. What happens is they give you an enema full of Barium. Don't worry about the embaresment factor, tons of people do this everyday. Then the enema tube is removed and you are asked to hold it in while x-rays are taken of your lower bowels. This is the tricky part becuase while they are snapping the pictures you will begin to expirience cramps and the urge to have a bowel movement. Continue to hold the barium in until the pictures are complete and then run as fast as you can to the bathroom becuase at this point its going to feel like you can't hold it in any longer. Hopefully you will make it to the bathroom before an accident occurs. I would assume alot of accidents occur on account of this test. It's only a 20 minute test at the most from what I recall and the biggest thing to worry about is some stomach cramping. Good luck on your test and I hope it yields some positive results.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 76 years old and have very little modesty any
more.  I have had so many embarresing test done.
Don't worry about it. You will be covered up except
where they are working and you won't really even
see them.  The barium enema is not nearly as bad
as it used to be.  It doesn't take very long.  You
will be fine.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, my BE went as scheduled; NOT the most pleasant experience, and one I hope to not have to repeat any time soon!

The worst part was actually when they inserted the "tip" and pumped up the balloon. That literally hurt. The rest was not that bad. They drain most of the barium out, after you roll around with it inside so it coats all the surfaces of the intestine, so I didn't have the feeling of having to "go" that bad. Then when they pumped the air in, I felt kind of bloated for a few seconds, but that went away after a short time. The rest was just having to roll around and around, and tilt vertical and horizontal time and again, so they could take all kinds of pictures from all different angles. Then it wasn't too pleasant when the removed the "tip," but at least that was short and sweet, didn't take as long as putting it in did. When I was all done and went in the bathroom, I looked like I'd just rolled out of bed - my hair was all mussed up from rolling around like a loon.

I got a call-back from my doctor's office today, and the x-ray/enema came back NORMAL. So now I guess I just wait until the next time I notice bleeding, and go see my doctor that day or the day after as he requested, so he can do a digital exam and anoscopy. That won't be fun, either, I'm sure. At least I'm feeling better mentally since no polyps or abnormalities were found on the x-ray.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel you.  My doctor made an appointment for me to get the barium enema.  I'm scared.  If you hear of anything, please let me know.

I do know that it is necessary.
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Avatar_n_tn
wow lot's of people going/gone through this test.  i have one scheduled for next week.  have chrones,colitis in the family. so just want to get this out of the way. Question... has anyone tried taking an 'ativan', to help get through this, if so did it help? can ya do this?
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Avatar_n_tn
M,
Hang in there, yes it is rather embarassing if you are a modest person, but honestly a little embarassment is better than a lifetime of illness and pain. When you do the endoscopy you can be sedated entirely or locally, it is your decision. Keep in mind that Doctor's do this all the time and after this you will probably never have to do this again! AND you might be diagnose and cured! Good luck, and if it makes you feel any better my friend went throught it and she said just breathe, relax, close your eyes and cope. It is not as bad as you are imagining. Good LUck
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello.

I had the barrium enema done last December.  It is not nearly as bad as you would think it would be.  It does feel a bit intimidating at first, but everyone there is professional, so there is really nothing to be worried about.  There isn't really any pain, just a "cramping" sensation.  Once done, you will realize that it is not that big of a deal, and it is definitley worth having the test done.

The best piece of advice I can give you is, make sure you wear something that you don't mind getting messy.  It can be a bit messy.  Also, try to get someone to be there with you just to give you a ride home if you can. This helps simply because it is messy, so you will not really want to be on a bus but will want to get home quicker in order to shower.  

I encourage you to get the test.  It is not that bad and well worth the trouble.

- Jodee
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Avatar_n_tn
YOU WILL BE FINE.... IT WAS VERY SCARY FOR ME ALSO. EVERYONE SAYING "DONT WORRY" EASY FOR THEM TO SAY,RIGHT? THEY'RE NOT THE ONE WHO HAS TO LAY BUTT NAKED ON A TABLE WHILE EVERYONE STARES ON AND THIS MACHINE PUMPING PINK FLUID UP YOUR REAR END. BUT SERIOUSLY ITS NOT AS BAD AS YOUR THINKING IT IS. YES UNCOMFORTABLE, BUT NOT PAINFUL. A PRESSURE LIKE IN YOUR STOMACH. JUST BREATHE AND TRY TO RELAX. GOOD LUCK AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WAS. ***@****.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 37 years old and had some slight rectal bleeding,and that alone scared me a lot more than having the barium enema ordered by my Dr.
I was so afraid that I may have colon cancer that the fear from that overshaddowed any fear I had of a barium enema!
I couldn't wait to have it done and over with so that I could find out the results. Waiting for me is the hardest part,and the longer the wait,the more paranoid I become because I always expect the worst (which I shouldn't)
The enema was not bad at all,and nobody has their eyes on your rectum while the test is being done either.
After all..your bottom isn't even exposed as many people think.
Remember,these proffesionals do this every day,and if they have seen one bottom...then they have seen them all!
My test was negative and I hope yours will be the same.
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Avatar_n_tn
I go tomorrow for the test.  I do not relish the idea and really want to cancel.  I am 50 years old, and with my family history they, the doctors, say this is a must.  I am overweight, and such a modest person that I am sick inside just to think about this test and the pain.  I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to the test, and each minute will seem like an hour.  I really hope I do not chicken out.
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Avatar_n_tn
I go tomorrow for the test.  I do not relish the idea and really want to cancel.  I am 50 years old, and with my family history they, the doctors, say this is a must.  I am overweight, and such a modest person that I am sick inside just to think about this test and the pain.  I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to the test, and each minute will seem like an hour.  I really hope I do not chicken out.
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Avatar_n_tn
NOBODY was more scared than me. NOBODY! And Im only 19 years old. Well, before the test, the xray tech took me in a room and gave me a gigantic clear water enema, which I didnt expect and guess what? she went slow and I hardly felt it. Then during the test they went slow and easy, I hardly felt it.  The air was a bit uncomfortable but all in all, the female Radiologist, female tech and I had a few laughs, and I kinda liked it!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Bull Shi*  this test is the most painful thing I have ever been
through!!  Good luck to anyone who has it. I was in so much pain I personally think there are other tests that are out there that doctors can do so check them out first!!
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Avatar_n_tn
My dad did not have the barium enema but he had to drink the barium for x-rays to look for a blockage...he was in the hospital at the time with the ng tube...he had had the whipple procedure done and the opening from the stomach to his intestine was not large enough...some of the barium did make it through but apparently no one flushed the barium out...when he had the surgery to enlarge the opening it was completely blocked and the barium that had seeped through had hardened and caused his intestines to shut in different locations .... has anyone heard of this about barium...and what it does if left in our system???
I know this site says no new questions would be answered by the staff so I thought maybe someone else had some knowledge on this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a barium enema performed yesterday and honestly, it was the most painful procedure that I have ever had done.  I was practically in tears.  For me, it was a very painful procedure, but one that I know was necessary and I'm glad that I did it - but I'm REALLY glad that it's over!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a barium enema performed yesterday and honestly, it was the most painful procedure that I have ever had done.  I was practically in tears.  For me, it was a very painful procedure, but one that I know was necessary and I'm glad that I did it - but I'm REALLY glad that it's over!
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17567_tn?1276205629
I HAVE NOTICED THAT SOMETIMES OUT OF NOWHERE I COUGH UP LITTLE WHITE OR YELLOW CHUNKS,AND NOT TO BE GROSS BUT THESE LITTLE THINGS STINK .I THINK THEY ARE FORMING ON MY TONSILES,WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY AND DO I NEED TO WORRY?
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17567_tn?1276205629
I HAVE NOTICED THAT SOMETIMES OUT OF NOWHERE I COUGH UP LITTLE WHITE OR YELLOW CHUNKS,AND NOT TO BE GROSS BUT THESE LITTLE THINGS STINK .I THINK THEY ARE FORMING ON MY TONSILES,WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY AND DO I NEED TO WORRY?
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