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severe pain with colonoscopy
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severe pain with colonoscopy

I had a colonaoscopy yesterday and i had sedation/pethidine and buscapan all i.v. This procedure was the most painful experience i have ever experienced and i have had x2 children. The procedure went on for over an hour and in the end the nurse told the doctor to stop as i was sobbing. I'm still very tearful over the event and can't understand why i suffered so much pain. Can any one help. Sue


This discussion is related to Extremely Painful Colonoscopy.
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627211_tn?1260958345
What type of drugs where you put on for this? In almost every case you are supposed to be asleep for a colonoscopy or drugged to the point of being unable to remember the procedure afterwards. It seems very odd that the doctors would perform this with you awake, and with the ability to be able to fell the amount of pain you where going through. It sounds like you have had a very traumatic time with this which is surprising because everyone i have ever talked to, both in real life and on med help have claimed that the worst part was the pre-cleansing drink they had to take the day before but besides that it was pretty forgettable.And also the procedure doesnt normally last for that long ? You obviously havnt gotten your results back yet as it was only done yesterday, these could maybe have an answer in them as to why you where in so much pain, though it doesnt seem right that you went through this experience this way. Im not to sure what to say to help, i hope you feel better soon and can do everything to put this traumatic experience behind you. If you need someone to talk to feel free to send me a note im always here to chat.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Emma for your reply, they gave me madazolam which is sedation within 5 minutes 50mgs of pethidine then 20mg of buscopan all intravenously. Every time he put air in i felt like i was being ripped apart. After the procedure i was kept in hospital for several hours as my blood pressure was so low. The consultant was sorry that i had to go through that and the endoscopy nurse came to see me she said that it was rare to have such a traumatic time but it did happen and it could be due to me maybe having Irritable bowel syndrome. It helps to off load as i keep reliving trhe event!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too had severe pain with my colonoscopy and was also very aware what was going on around me. They even gave me extra meds to calm down because I was crying. I have read that people with IBS have extra sensitivity in that region and thats why it hurts so bad. Hopefully next time they'll knock you out better and tell them of your last experience so they can properly medicate you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Suzie,
Good grief.  It bothers me so much that the people who were in the room with you when you were first hurting during the exam, did not immediately respond and inject more drugs to make you feel better.  When I had my exam, I was given drugs that made me feel very good, and when they put the thing in there, I barely felt it, but then I noticed some pressure and made some mention of it, and there was a needle still attached to my I.V. stuff, and they just immediately injected more in me, which the physician who did the exam told the nurse to do it, and that was IT for me, I was in la-la land and don't remember another thing about the test.  And I had ALSO had IBS at the time, diarrhea daily, so I was very sensitive, plus I was apprehensive anyway on account of I'm a female.  But I never once felt strange or hurt during the exam because I was so well sedated.  Therefore, I think the nurse who said what she did, that maybe it was becuz you had IBS, was about as ignorant as a nurse could possibly be!  It was the DRUGS that didn't work for you!  Obviously that particular group of gastro people need to be better trained about patient care.

I do think you should seek counseling at the county mental health clinic, because stuff like this can make you feel really bad, and it helps so much to talk through it and kind of get most of it out of your system, and the counselor can help you find ways to cope.  The basic problem is apparently the meds they used were not effective with you or not a strong enough dose.  Like when I go to the dentist, my original dentist years ago told me to always tell them when they're getting ready to inject me for dental work, to give me a good whallop of the stuff, because he noticed I felt pain with the regular shots.  

I'm glad some of the people involved with your exam acknowledged your situation, at the very least.  That is a good thing.  Plus they did not mean to do what they did... they were just careless and stupid.  What makes this particular event so traumatic is, first, they did not respond to your initial problems with pain, and second, this exam is already an unpleasant and invasive situation.  Therefore, not only did you feel very bad pain, but you also felt ignored, you were also in a compromised situation where unfortunately respect was thrown out the window, and so you feel like you've been assaulted.  I know people from years ago, when they didn't have as good sedation as they have now, that still have trouble with what happens during those things, and it is most definitely not right, one of the most dreadful things that can happen to a person, in my opinion, and I know first-hand from men, that they can feel just as degraded as women!

Just keep in mind, dear one, that you do not ever have to have one of those things again if you don't want to.  And if you come up with a bad result and/or if they ever recommend one of these again, you can just say NO.  Sure, the exam is to help people, prevent colon cancer.  But like for ME, I don't like pelvic exams and so I refuse them every time.  It's just the way I feel about it.  If I have female problems down the road, it'll just have to be discovered in some other way.  Some may say that's too radical, it's stupid, and all that jazz.  But I say as a human being I can do what I want with my body, and I just want to encourage you to feel and do as you are comfortable with doing.  

I just can't seem to say enough about this.  I think you are actually grieving over this thing.  They say you go through several waves of experience as you grieve, which I think includes anger, which you SHOULD be mad as heck, and another step is denial, and eventually you get to acceptance.  So, I shall say what the others here have said, I feel so sorry for you that I find it hard to express.  My feelings are so hurt by your experience, if I could just hug you and tell you it's gonna be all right, I would.  And I will also say that this experience was not SUPPOSED to happen, and while there is no question in my mind that the colonoscopy exam was a complete failure as relates to patient care, it surely was not meant to happen.  And I hope you will really get some counseling, be it a clinic, or a minister, or a trusted friend or relative, and talk this thing out as best you can.  You can even request an appointment with that specific physician who did the actual exam, bring somebody with you, and just tell him how awful it was and how mad you are at him, and are there ways to make this not happen again to other people, and you want a sincere apology, that sort of thing.  

And from my own experiences, I also want you to cry a river, just every time the thought of it bothers you, let it all out, punch on a bed pillow, scream, just let 'er rip.  But also remind yourself that sometimes mistakes are made, and that's all it was, kind of like accidents.  Sure, there can be blame on others sometimes, but in the end, in this case it was not MEANT to hurt you, so that can be something you can kind of cling to, that no one intended for you to be hurt like that.  Eventually, the farther away the experience gets from you in time, the more you let out your feelings, the easier it will be to see the big picture, and that is you had a VERY rough day at the doctor's office, that's for dang sure!
GG
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627145_tn?1230309226
When I had my colonoscopy, I felt no pain, yet remember hearing myself saying "ow, ow, ow," in a very calm voice.  

The problem was that I have a twisted colon.  The gastroenterologist says he tried giving me triple the dose he normally gives, and yet still couldn't pass the scope past the sigmoid colon.  I woke up just fine and remember asking if the twisting was causing my constipation or if the constipation was causing the twisting.  I remember the doctor and nurse assured me that the twisting was causing my constipation.  

I'm very sorry you remember so much pain!  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had two colonoscopies and both were extremely painful. The first time I started kicking and crying, so they introduced more meds into the IV, but that did not help, so they held me down. Needless to say I dreaded the next, but with colon cancer in the immediate family, I needed to have it done. I told the doc (different one) about my previous experience. She promised to knock my lights out. Well, again I kicked and cried, and they held me down. But, I also have a history of fighting when completely knocked out for surgery, so I have decided meds do not affect me like they do most people. You may be one of those for whom anesthesia isn't completely effective.
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627145_tn?1230309226
It's true that not everybody has the same experience with medications for anesthesia.  I kind of like the way I seem to know what's going on, but I couldn't care less and can't really register pain during procedures.  Now general anesthesia for my gallbladder surgery had me GONE, yet in recovery room, while I was awake I understood everything.  It was just that every time I'd fall asleep, the dreams were as believable as reality, so I kept wondering why I would go from being on my golf cart at work to lying in recovery room, LOL.  
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Avatar_n_tn
OMG! my colonoscopy was on 2 days ago on Friday may 22/09. two months ago i feel my doctor saved my life or at the very least saved me a lot of grief. i perforated my bowel.  up to now he has been very causious it seems with all his decisions.  my test on friday,other than when my bowel acctually perforated, was the most painful procedure of my life. he sedated me and told me to relax and not to fight it.i was relaxed and loopy, but not asleep although my eyes were closed. the beginning of the procedure was not painful, but half way into it, i felt like my insides were being blown apart. i began to cry.i began to pray. i heard the stress in my doctors voice, he said he could not talk right now. the nurses pressed on my stomach to try and relieve the pain as it shot up my side. the doctor gave me more medication, but it did not take me out of my miserie.the nurse told me it was almost done, to breath in through my nose and out through my mouth, she even breathed with me. at one point i asked him to stop. it was a nightmare.i heard the nurse say this was a very difficult colonoscopy. i felt i was at the mercy of all of them, i even began to pray to God for it to be over. then it was. then i cried more, and continued when i got home, and i cry now. i haven't spoke to my doctor yet since the test. a nurse in recovery said it was because i fought the drugs. i say BULL!!  i like my doctor very much. i am terrified to ever go through this again. i don't think he intended this to happen. this is tramatic, and difficult to deal with. and i cry now. please help
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a colonoscopy last Thursday, I'm still having pain. They gave me Demerol and Versed.  I had both of my children natural. This procedure was excrusiating. I too began crying and asked them to stop. After a few more trys they did. They also turned me on my back and pushed on my abdomen to try to push the scope thru. The Dr. kept saying we only have 2" to go. I begged them to stop. I kept asking "Should I be this awake?" "Why is this hurting so bad." I had endometriosis and adhesions from hysterectomy rectocele bladder lift. Was the reasons given. I have sleep apnea and they were afraid of desats. in O2. I only went down to lower 90's I'm a sleep tech. and I'm use to seeing much lower desats. They want me to have another in three mo. I don't think I can do it. The fear that something is happening that their not seeing is great. How can you say everything is fine when your wrything in pain. People have been punctured. You should have been read disclaimer of what can happen "accidently". Still Feeling it in ohio
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a colonoscopy today... my first.  Initially I had no problems and was pleasantly sedated.  However, midway through the procedure, I do recall over the top pain, and I think this was happening as he was negotiating flexures in my colon.  (this happened more than once)
    Needless to say, I am unhappy and frustrated with the experience.  I will call them tommorow for an explanation.  I would advise others to do research on the planned meds and what your goals are for a low or no pain experienced.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there

I can totally sympathise with you all. I had my first colonoscopy yesterday and have never felt pain like it. I was reassured before the procedure that I should feel nothing other than "discomfort"..not the case ! I had a light sedation which intially made the room spin and relaxed me a little but I didn't feel sleepy at all. The pain was intolerable at times and I had to keep changing position. They kept telling me I was doing really well and "nearly there". Surely they shouldn't let people go through this kind of pain. I'd have to seriously consider it if I had to get another one in years to come.

Good thing was that I got the all clear and the only problem was that I have a "lazy bowel".
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I had my 6th colonoscopy and yes it was painful at times. For some of the people here who talk about going to sleep I have to inform them that in Canada we do not go to sleep. We do get meds that help us relax and some for pain but we have to be fully aware of the procedure. The pain is caused by a number of things. The scope has to go around a couple of turns and to do this a small amount of air is blown into the colon, the first pain is similar to bloating followed by the force of the tube pressing against the colon when it rounds the first turn in the colon. After that you need to get around the second bend which is usally more painfull as it is still pressing against the first one. After that you can relax becuse now the doctor slowly moves the tube out examining the colon. however, sometimes he may need to go back a little to view a missed area. Now to put this in persepective.. I had two brothers who never had the colonoscopy done and both died a few years ago. I have had polpys remvoed which no doubt would have been cancer by now. Trust me, they suffered more than 30 seconds of pain once year.
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Avatar_m_tn
"For some of the people here who talk about going to sleep I have to inform them that in Canada we do not go to sleep. We do get meds that help us relax and some for pain but we have to be fully aware of the procedure.

That statement is not true! I have had a dozen colonoscopy procedures  here in Ontario, Canada and slept through all of them with the exception of the last two, that were performed by a different surgeon.
I was in dreadful pain during the last  procedures. I have never had a bit of discomfort before whilst the examination was being done by two other surgeons.
No one has ever told me that I had to "fully aware of the procedure" prior to any of the twelve examinations I have been through.
Neither have I heard from my wife or any of my relations or friends that they were awake or  felt any discomfort during their individual colonoscopy procedures.
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1134679_tn?1260570198
The pethidine you were given was a "twilight sleep" and the buscapan was used to relax the spasms in your intestines.  However, there was still inflamation (inflammation) from having IBS.  That could be what made the colonoscopy so painful.

Two things come to mind...  either you are not phased by Demerol and didn't go into a twilight sleep, or you had very inflamed intestines.

Colonoscopies, in general, once you've been sedated you wake up and it's over... case closed.  But these two possibilities could have increased your having so much pain.  

Just my thoughts....
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my first colonscopy a little over a week ago and I was entirely alert and lucid throughout the WHOLE procedure. I also moaned loudly and uncontrollably throughout the entire procedure from start to finish (about 20 minutes). I honestly couldn't form any words like "Help me!" or "You're killing me!"; all I could do was moan. The pain was alsolutely intolerable. The doctor removed one polype (located in a dangerous area, where the large intestine joins the small intestine). I didn't think to complain after the procedure: I was completely exhausted and--until I read this thread tonight--I figured everyone must suffer this way. I have to go back in 5 years...I think I'll shop around for another specialist.

Sean Rooney, Quebec City, Canada

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Avatar_m_tn
I had the same experience recently and the gastroenterologist said it was because I had been taking Clonazapam for 11 years for head tremors and it is a 'sister' drug to Versed, rendering it ineffective.  They did give me some kind of pain medicine along with the Versed, and I think it helped some, but the worst pain was when they put in the gas and even worse when they removed it.  The did remove 4 polyps, one of which was precancerous and rather large.  So it was worth it to have that taken care of.  I am hoping they will be able to give me something different next time to make me not remember any of it.  I know they need you to move to your side....and then I had to move onto my back.  I talked to the Dr. and watched them 'snare' the polyps and remove them....watched the whole entire thing.  Cried when they were removing the scope and the gas....of course, it was almost over by then.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a colonoscopy yesterday and although I was given pain relief and sedation I felt it all and they gave me more pain relief but when I asked for more I was told that I had had it all-I am wondering if its because Im asthmatic and I also have allergies and maybe they weren't able to give any more. Also the doctor doing the procedure was asking if I had had an operation as he was doing the procedure and I told him I had a cesarean-thats how wide awake I was-the only thing I could think of was a cesarean scar - I also tried to tell the prep nurse that I had an hernia and would it get in the way but she didn't think it would
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4581910_tn?1356791983
I am having a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy at the same sitting. My first was Private after the NHS Doc refused to explain the warnings about breathing probs with sedation. When i had it done Privately The Doc (in Europe) used 7mg Madazolam and i never felt a thing. He removed 7 Polyps and 3 Adenomas, one with active cells. He then wanted to go down my throat so a week later I flew back.

He found the biggest bag of cack in my Oesophagus so I am glad I returned. I had a follow up in  UK and I got 3 mg and woke up. I admit I didnt feel a thing but was in terror. Tried to keep saying "I am awake and whats so funny that you are laughing and joking about it" Thing was I had a car crash 10 years ago and an out of body in which i had no controll and this "awake" experience put me straight back there.

There is a list you can google for age and doses of medication, but in UK they shortcut the dose to save money.

22 March 2012 I took a bloody Stool sample to the GP and he was as worried as I was so said he would send it off and refer me on to a Gastro.
A week later I found out that another GP marked my records "Stool sample not required at this time". Not much i could do about that but I and my carer were gobsmacked. I made an appointment at the surgery EVERY week till they got fed up and referred me. Took 5 months and 3 weeks!!

On Xmas exe 2012 I saw a Gastro. He actually looked at my records and booked the double under General, mainly as I am disabled and live alone, and assistance would come to £285. but also he wanted a good root around, and he also booked me into hospital for 3 days or whatever time was needed so I would be cared for (RESULT)

I had already called Cancer UK and explained to them about  the stool destruction and delays. They said to call the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. once in their hands the GP could not interfeer. I did. It took a while  but they sent me a FOB kit out in January 2013.

I did the test, and it came back Abnormal. I did a second test and THAT was abnormal. They made me an appointment but as long as things go well with the booking i have, I will cancel it, but right now I am too worried that the booked one will be cancelled at the last minute.

The point is that 11 months have elapsed since the GP destroyed the  stool sample I took in, and I have been bleeding ever since, so I fear not getting my procedures at the last minute, and worry about the 11 month delay.
I think a lot is down to your Health Authority and the Consultant and I have made i clear that I am selling my house and moving area, so insist I am treated in the new area (naughty me invented my new area)
.

I have really had to jump through hoops and spend my savings on Private procedures, but there is a very worrying reason.

My father died of OesophageaCancer aged 64
My sister died of Stomach Cancer aged 55
My eldest daughter is now suffering blockages and a twistted Bowel age 46
I have 6 other children and 14 grand children and it has been mentioned that this could be "Familiel", so need the connection recognised to protect the next generation  :-/

I have already had Polyps and Adenomas removed, 10 altogether, a lot..
I have Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease,
Hiatus Hernia. Peptic Ulcer Disease. Oesophagitis. Gastritis. Gastroparesis. Perforated Ulcer (left to stop bleeding itself).
Duodenitis. Malabsorption.

And worse, Cachexia,(Google that) diagnosed by 2 Drs, one NHS, but still nothing done, not a single pill. And in nearly 6 months my weight loss dropped 5st 2lb, now struggling to hold on to 6st 6lb from 11st 10lb. I was size 20 and now 6, or 11-12 year old clothing and not even allowed a Dietician to help me. I would pull my hair out but it falls out in clumps itself...

I think, and hope I am getting somewhere now, but bless the Consultant who offered me the General, even though I will need Intubating some how because of Acid Reflux and a previous backwash.
At least he seems to know the fight I have had.

I wont have a problem, but my sympathies go with all here with a past bad experience, and for those just reading as they may need a procedure, dont be afraid to ask, because Anxiety is a common condition with the stress of the unknown. I wish you all well and that your procedures either show what the problem is, and you are treated, or shows a clean bill of health so you can get on with your lives  ;-)  Love and prayers to all x
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had three attempted colonoscopies, 2 different doctors, and none of the three could be completed due to intense pain.  I have always had a high threshold for pain and am convinced that I can stand just about anything for a while and it will be over.  I do not dread surgery or recovery pain (been there, too), injections and am very interested in watching whatever is done to me.  I had the IV solutions and felt loopy until the pain convinced me that my bowel was on the verge of being perforated.  Some of the most awful pain ever, including childbirth and toothache.  I felt like a wuss, but had to stop them.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi! I had the same thing happen to me yesterday, I also have had two children but the pain was so bad that they couldnt complete it. Did you find out the reason why this happened to you? What was the alternative solution for you. Thanks and I know now im not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know if this thread is still active, but I have stumbled across this post via googling what made my endoscopy hurt so much. I two have had two children and my second was with no pain relief whatsoever, so I'm no lightweight when it comes to pain.

I have IBS, and had the camera down the throat first which wasn't exactly pleasant, but 'ok'. I then had the endoscopy straight after, the camera went in and the second he put in the air, I felt the most horrific pain I've ever experienced in my entire life. I hadn't been sedated at all, I was just given gas and air :-/
I find it hard to describe the pain, but my entire body keot writhing against it and I was clung to the side of the bed to try and stay still.
I have no idea why, but at one point I had to lay on my back, which was hideous in itself with a bowel full of air in pain, and the nurser was told to push down on my abdomen. ARGHHH the pain!!!
I too was in tears and biting down so hard on the gas n air mouthpiece to try and contain the pain.

The dr said did I want to stop, of course yes I did, but I was also worried that if I did I'd have to go back again, so just screamed 'whatever'. He carried on, but at this point one leg just kind of flew up in the air and both him, another man, who Im not quite sure who he was, and the nurse all said, no, no more it's too much.
I had been quite looking foward to seeing my insides on the tv screen, but all I saw were my white knuckled hand clung to the side of the bed.

I too feel quite traumatised after it and thinking about it, it still makes me teary two days later.

Because I hadn't been sedated I should have been able to go home straight after, but because I was in such a bad state I was taen to recovery. I was sat up on the trolley and ased if I could lay down and curl up as this is the way I coped with the pain at home. The lovely nurse who was looking after me, said 'oh, you have pain at home? The proceedure will have really made it worse then, you should have been sedated'. :-/ The nurse really was sweet and everytime I tried to talk to her, I just broe down in tears and felt so ridiculous, but she just reassured me that all was ok etc.

I am looking forward to going back for my follow up appointment with the dr, to as if he knows why it was so hideously painful, I can only pressume that I have incredibly sensitive intestines.

If anyone reads this who is due to have this proceedure, I have to say that everyone who came out after me seemed absolutely fine, just a 'slight ache' I had heard one say. So I do think it really ordepends on each person, so dont let this worry you.

I'm glad I've found Im not the only one who has experienced this.
Claire
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Avatar_m_tn
My first colonoscopy I watched all the way through it on the screen. It was real painful when the air was pumped into me. I left not having any chat with any one. Looked up my results abnormal terminal villi.  Which mentioned maligmant tumour. I went from December to February worrying myself silly. My own doctor couldn't give me results cos I was under a consultant. Worse few months of my life. All was ok just polop removed.
Fourteen months later I had another colonoscopy to check all the polop was removed. I told them it was painful last time and they said I could have gas and air this time. I layed there expecting to watch it on the screen again. How wrong was I. From the moment they started I screamed all the way through it I kept pulling the end off the gas and air. I was pushing my stomache to try and ease the pain. I could hear the lady saying can't you top her up she is in so much pain. She later said do you want us to stop. I don't think I answered I just wanted it over with. Apparently I had pethedine as well. the pain was the worst I have ever experienced in my life. I have given birth with just gas and air which was less painful. I can't beleive in this day and age we should have to go through this sort of pain.
I am now waitin for an endoscopy and I am scared stiff.
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