Reply
Valued Contributor
Posts: 555
Registered: ‎10-16-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!


@Aussie Lover wrote:

@AuntMame  

Thanks, I'm kinda glad I'm still here, too. Smiley Happy

 

BTW, when this happened we had two Aussies and I was "their person". When we got home from the hospital, my husband went into the house and put them in the bedroom and grabbed every bed pillow he could. He got me into the house and settled, and covered me from the chest down with double pillows. Then he let the dogs out of the bedroom. They were well behaved, obedience trained dogs but their exuberance could be overwhelming. The only good thing about the entire experience was the greeting I got at home both times. Smiley Happy

 

The screwups and horrible things that staff said to me was enough to make me want to write a book. I happen to have an ultrarare form of muscular dystrophy (acronym is OPMD) and it is hard for me to get up out of chairs or off low beds, etc. Add to that the almost 13" incision and getting out of bed was challenging, to say the least. I had nurses TSK at me and roll their eyes when I asked for help standing up and one said, "You know, our job is a lot easier when a patient tries to help themself once in a while". 

 

The mega meds they had me on were making me sick to my stomach. When the surgeon came into my room after the first night of being sick, he told me that nobody gets sick from the meds I was on. He said, as he waved me off (literally waved his hand at me in disgust), "These meds don't make anybody sick. You're just anxiety ridden from this ... this OH PEE thing you keep blabbing about."

 

They decided to put in a Nasal Gastric tube to keep my stomach empty so I wouldn't aspirate in my sleep. They gave me a huge glass of water, tried to shove the tube up my nose and said, SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW HARD!". Well, one of the symptoms of my muscular dystrophy is dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing and I'd already told them this. They either didn't pay attention or didn't care because the nurse was literally screaming at me to swallow hard. I told her I couldn't and she just shoved the tube harder. Next thing I knew there was blood gushing out of my nose and all over the bed. I ripped the tube out of her hand and yelled in her face "DON'T TOUCH ME. I'LL JUST PUKE. STAY AWAY FROM ME." I was then labelled a "difficult patient". 

 

On the second day after my surgery I developed an infection (expected) and high fever; I think it was 103.5. Without telling me why, one of the nurses came into the room and put an ice pack under one of my armpits. Another nurse came in and said to her, "There are supposed to be two; one on each side. Where is the other one?" and the first nurse shrugged her shoulders and said, "I have no idea. I couldn't find it. Go find it yourself if you think its that important".

 

It wasn't just the surgery and recovery that was horrible. The treatment I got was just disgusting. And I wasn't a particularly demanding or difficult patient at all. I needed help getting up out of the bed and off the commode, but that's pretty much all I ever rang my bell about.

 

These are just a few of the things that occurred. There are a lot more crazy things that were just unbelievable. We moved, and I go to Wake Forest Baptist Health in NC now. Thank God. I wouldn't go back to Mayo for anything. I'm sure there are other people who have had wonderful experiences whose lives they have changed but my experiences were almost all negative.

 

And Aussies do rule! Smiley Very Happy

 


 

How horrible! Thank you for mentioning all this. Were you at Mayo in Minnesota? I live not too far from there. When I had several hospitalizations last year I considered going to Mayo because the treatment I was getting at the medical center I went to was not good. But it would have required my getting different health insurance, as well as arranging out-of-town transportation, hotel, etc. Now I'm glad I did not go there. 

 

I have heard good things about Wake Forest. Now I want to move to NC. Cat Wink

 

So glad you found a place to get good health care. I've known people with MD and getting good health care is such a huge challenge. 

 

Give your dogs a hug from me!  Woman Happy

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,227
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

My friend had a horrible experience with a colonoscopy. She was getting it done and was AWAKE but couldnt communicate with the doctor. The medicine used didnt totally knock her out and she felt pain but she was not able to speak !   She said "Never again" !!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,804
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

[ Edited ]

  • @Reever wrote:

    My friend had a horrible experience with a colonoscopy. She was getting it done and was AWAKE but couldnt communicate with the doctor. The medicine used didnt totally knock her out and she felt pain but she was not able to speak !   She said "Never again" !!!


 

 

 

@Reever 

 

Within my 15 Colonoscopies I have woken up several times. I also had 2 of them with no anesthesia. With mine there was always at least 1 person, mostly 2, besides the doctor standing right next to me. I could talk, but if I couldn't,  I could easily reach up and touch them, and they would certainly know I had woken up.

 

Why your friend could not talk I have no idea, I would like to think any reputable Gastro Doctor would not be doing ANY invasive procedure with no other person in the room. Does your friend maybe have a Colonocopy confused with an Endoscopy? A strange question, but that I can better understand why she couldn't talk.

 

I have had multiple invasive procedures where I was wide awake watching them, and not a single one of them was done with only the doctor next to me. I am talking Heart Caths/back surgery/Vena Cava Filter into a major artery, and many more. Just seems strange to me that there was no other person next to her she could reach out and touch.

 

All of the doctors in my Gastro Group now use Propofol, which is a General Anesthesia, even for my recent Endoscopy, no early waking up. They always previously used Versed and Fentanyl for both the Upper and Lower Scopes, but for my Double Balloon Enteroscopies, Propofol was used in all 5 of them.

 

 

 

hckynut

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,227
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

15 Colonoscopies ?? My goodness thats a lot. This dreaded procedure needs to be improved. This day and age something better needs to be developed.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,112
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!


@Aussie Lover wrote:

I am on the opposite side of the fence, here. In 2008 at the age of 52 I went for my first colonoscopy. No symptoms, no family history. It was just time.

 

I had this done at the Mayo Clinic.

 

About five minutes into the procedure they tore my bowel open. They stopped, woke me up and wheeled me back to the outpatient surgery cubicle and were telling me what they were going to have to do about it. While the doctor was talking, peritonitis (which came on FAST) hit me like a ton of bricks and I went from talking to screaming in less than five seconds. They couldn't find a vein and had to get someone from the flight crew to get the IV in to give me morphine so that I would stop screaming and writhing from the unbelievable pain. My husband, who was sitting there, said the entire medical team looked like they were in shock. The surgeon who saved my life later told me that the peritonitis I experienced was what it feels like to get stabbed or shot in the stomach. Nice club to belong to, right?

 

I had an emergency bowel resection done which required 175 staples to close me up. I now have a twelve and a half inch scar from the surgery. They opened me up, took all of my bowels (and a few organs) out to inspect for other holes and then put it all back in. I was in the hospital for ten days, five of which I was allowed nothing but a small ice chip per day while the resection knitted itself back together. The recovery at home was horrendous for another four weeks or so.

 

Three months later I developed incisional hernias. Back for more surgery. Hernia repairs are normally easy and outpatient, but the doctor told me afterward that I was like Swiss Cheese from all of the hernias along the incision line. He told me that I now have the equivalent of a screen door inside me, with a giant piece of mesh that's about 10" square. It was done laparoscopically, though he told me if he had known how bad it was going to be he would have opened me back up again. This surgery resulted in a stomach with so many laparoscopy scars that I now look like I have a tic tac toe board on my stomach with a hellacious looking looooong scar from the first surgery. I was in the hospital for five days after the hernia surgery. Recovery was incredibly painful because of all of the tacks needed to fasten the mesh to my muscles. 

 

I wouldn't go back for another one if wild horses dragged me. Needless to say, I never paid a DIME. Mayo picked up the entire tab - because it was their own doctor's fault. I DID see the invoices, however, as they would come to my house in the mail and I then scanned and emailed them to the head honcho Medical Director at Mayo. I had the personal email address and cell phone number of Mayo's head guy - just goes to show you that they knew it was all on them. Believe me, they handled me with kid gloves afterward. The total - at least what I saw - came to about $925,000.00. 

 

I won't even go into some of the incredibly inept staff that I encountered and some of the insane things that happened to me during both hospital stays. Things like having the IV ripped out of the top of my hand sideways because a nurse was flirting with a Blood tech and wasn't watching what she was doing. Etc. Etc. I could go on and on.

 

I SHOULD have been in the hospital longer for the hernia repair but they told me I had to leave because we were approaching a holiday weekend and they didn't have staff for people who didn't need to be there. Like I CHOSE TO be there!

 

I contacted four lawyers after it was over. None of them would touch it. They said that because I signed the release that they give everyone (when nobody thinks anything will actually happen to them), and because it would require an affidavit from another attending doctor stating malpractice was involved that I had zero chances of a lawsuit. The idea of getting one Mayo doctor to sign an affidavit against another Mayo doctor was ludicrous, or so I was told by all four lawyers.

 

I recently took my husband for his first colonoscopy, ever. When they gave him the form to sign, I became hysterical. I am NOT a particularly reactive person and I am very pragmatic. It came out of nowhere and I didn't feel it coming. 

 

I had a long chat with the Gastro doc who did my husband's uneventful colonoscopy. I can't disclose everything he told me, but he said that a virtual colonoscopy was a good option for me. If they see anything, obviously they will have to go in and snip things. But if they don't, nobody ever lays a finger on me.

 

This wasn't the first time Mayo screwed up royally. I had a botched laminectomy for a ruptured disk in my neck that resulted in chronic pain which I've had in my neck for 15 years now. I will likely be on painkillers, though not too strong or the evil opioids, for the rest of my life.

 

Moral of my story is that colonoscopies are normally performed without event. But there are statistics, and I ended up being one. I am otherwise healthy and take good care of myself and never, ever imagined in a million years when I walked through the door that day that it would impact me for the rest of my life.

 

I am not sharing this to scare people, but naturally, it is offputting. I just want people to know that stuff happens.


@Aussie Lover   Wow!  I'm so sorry to hear of the horrors you went though!

 

As you know bad medical complications can happen to people.  Procedures that can have very harmful outcomes we are told are "so rare" .....until it happens to you.  My husband has a very rare autoimmune illness that has changed his (and our lives) for the worse.  Most doctors haven't even heard of his illness.  Once you experience a rare illness or medical situation you tend to do more research concerning medical procedures.  They say that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country (after cancer & heart disease).

 

Because of your experience and others that I have read about at the age of 65 I don't plan on getting a colonoscopy unless I feel that there is a good personal reason.  For me everything is fine and I have no family history.  Sure cancer could happen but it's a risk that I'm willing to take right now.  I can also get hit by a car.  The point is, I think people should stop and think rather than doing what the doctor says just because this is what we're told.  Weigh the pros & cons.  For most it will be to get the test but it's not for everyone.  

 

The worst part of this test is not the prep but having something terribly life changing go wrong.

 

My best friend's brother had colitis since he was in high school.  As an adult he would get a yearly colonoscopy.  Everything was fine until he had his last one.  He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer yet the year before he was cancer free.  He had surgery, healed from it but passed away 2 years after being diagnosed.  Having a colonoscopy may discover cancer but will not always stop it.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,112
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!


@software wrote:

@haddon9 wrote:

@LipstickDiva   "If anyone is putting this off, please just get it done.  It's really nothing.  Even the prep wasn't as bad as I thought."

 

It's rare but any invasive procedure is not 100% foolproof and is always safe.  Complcations can and have happened.   I think that's something that one should consider....always weigh the pros & cons.


 

 

A colonoscopy is way more fun than colon cancer.


A perforated colon from the procedure can be as deadly as cancer.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,804
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

@Reever 

 

Yep 15, and that does not include the 5 Double Balloon Enteroscopies. Same procedure as Colonoscopy but longer scope and takes hours, not 10-15 minutes like the Colonoscopy. Same gallon drink of GoNuLytely before each one.

 

Bleeding colon where the bleed was hard to find. I don't find the Colonoscopy to dreaded or to be a bad procedure.The hardest part, for most, is the Prep, for the clean out the days before. To me the benefits greatly outweigh the possible consequences of not having them.

 

 

 

hckynut

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,227
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

Im taking one every 10 years. I know the Doctor recommend every 5 years but thats too much. Yes, I am aware of the possibilities but it is my ****** body. My grandmother and mother never had a colonoscopy and lived into their 80s and 90s.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,804
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!


@Reever wrote:

Im taking one every 10 years. I know the Doctor recommend every 5 years but thats too much. Yes, I am aware of the possibilities but it is my ****** body. My grandmother and mother never had a colonoscopy and lived into their 80s and 90s.


 

 

 

@Reever 

 

Every adult can make their own decision on any, and everything to do with their body. What they decide is certainly none of my business.

 

When there is a thread about anything to do with a Colonoscopy, I have always spoken up in this forum, in favor of everyone over 50 years old, or has a genetic predisposition to have a Colonoscopy. I also share my personal experiences, along with 2 close friends of mine that died in their early 50's from Colon Cancer, and how it affected all of those close to them.

 

My grandmother and my mother never had an EKG or a Heart Catheterization, because they were not available in the 1950's. They died of heart disease long before their 80's or even 70's. That had nothing to do with my decisions to have regular Maximal Heart Treadmill Stress Tests. I did them because, as you say, "it is my ******body, and I wanted to stay abreast because on my genetics.

 

To each be their own.

 

 

 

hckynut

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,268
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My First Colonoscopy is Under my Belt!

[ Edited ]

Good for you LipstickDiva.  At my doctor this morning he just asked me when was the last time I had a colonoscopy.  I have had two so far in the past 10 years I believe, what prompted it was my diverticulis attack when I was knee deep in eldercare issues, working fulltime, etc.

 

Thank goodness everything is ok but I do have to go every 5 years until the doctor extends the time.  The prep is the absolute worse for me and I am trying to think of a better way to prepare before the prep starts when that time rolls around again.  The procedure has never been a problem for me and getting home I'll take Uber even with hubby coming with me because the parking and traffic in NYC is crazy.