My Colonoscopy & Endoscopy – What to expect

A couple weeks ago, I had a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy – both procedures done together. Because I was having discomfort right in the middle of my stomach – just under the rib cage on the left side – my Gastroenterologist decided to take a look at my digestive tract from both directions. Now that it’s over, I can easily say that the preparation for the procedure was definitely the worst part. Click Here to read my post about preparing for a Colonoscopy.

Preparing for the Colonoscopy/Endoscopy, Preventing Hemorrhoids

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had to drink a 14-dose portion of Miralax (in addition to 6 dulcolax) to clean out my guts. Here’s how that played out: About an hour after finishing the 64 ozs of the Miralax/Gatorade/Water mix, I began to experience what Cholera must feel like. I finished the diarrhea cocktail at about 6pm, and then sh*t my brains out (some poop, then mostly water) – about 7-8 times between 7pm and 7am. The urge to poop died down close to midnight, allowing me to sleep most of the night – I had to get up once to go at about 3 am, and another few squirts at 7am before heading in for the procedure.

Preparation H Applicator "Pile Pipe"
Preparation H Applicator

Over the course of those 7-8 watery poops, I used an entire 2 oz (57g) tube of Preparation H – inserting a ridiculous amount via the included applicator (Preparation H calls it the “pile-pipe” – I call it the “caulk gun”) after each visit to the toilet. Normally I use my finger, but I wanted to get a whopping dose of ointment way up in there. I know this kind of diarrhea can easily cause hemorrhoids, so I was not taking any chances. I advise caution when using the applicator. Squeeze some ointment out first, and insert slowly. That applicator is hard plastic, you don’t want to insert it too quickly and impale your rectum. I found that a squatting position was best for the careful insertion of the applicator. In hindsight it would have probably been easier and just as effective to use suppositories, I simply did not think to buy any beforehand. Had I used suppositories I probably would have inserted 2 rather than only one.

I’m very happy to report that my prevention efforts were successful. The Preparation H reduced/eliminated the irritation and prevented the system flush from causing any hemorrhoids. Wonderful! The last thing I want to do after a colonoscopy is to nurse a hemorrhoid. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – with hemorrhoids, an ounce of prevention is truly worth 1,000 lbs of cure.

The Colonoscopy & Endoscopy

Onto the procedure. I checked in, paid my copay – that was perhaps the most painful part. I changed into the open-back gown then watched some TV and dozed a little as they checked my vitals and inserted the IV port into my hand. I was worn out from having my guts flushed out so it was easy to doze off as I waited. After about a 20 minute wait, they wheeled me into the room where it all happens. I met my Gastroenterologist, said hello, and the next thing I remember was waking up in the post-op/recovery/whatever-you-call-it area. I don’t remember a thing. They told me that they use “the Michael Jackson drug” (Propofol). I was curious about this, so I did my research and read that:

 The county coroner stated that he died from the combination of drugs in his body, with the most significant drugs being the anesthetic propofol and the anxiolytic lorazepam. Less significant drugs found in Jackson’s body were midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine, and ephedrine. (Source: Wikipedia)

That’s a hell of a mix. Since I wasn’t taking any ephedrine, lidocaine, diazepam, midazolam or lorazepam – and since the surgical center uses the Propofol on 1000’s of people every week – I wasn’t too worried about dying on the table. I’m guessing the 14 doses of Miralax was probably more toxic to my body than the Propofol. At least the propofol gave me a nice buzz for an hour or so when I came to.

There were some mild after-effects from the Propofol. I had a nice high for about an hour after I got home, then I crashed. The crash was probably amplified by the exhaustion of sh*tting my brains out the day before. I ate something light, the first meal I’d had for about 36 hours, then napped off and on for the rest of the day. I woke up the following day feeling 100% back to normal.

As for my results, they found mild colitis and gastritis. “Very very mild” according to my gastroenterologist. Nothing to be worried about. I am relieved that I went through with the procedures without worrying about being embarrassed or having made any other excuse to put it off. Everyone has an ass, I’ve never understood the “I’m embarrassed to do this” excuse. Maybe that’s just me. If you are at that time in your life where you should have a Colonoscopy, I encourage you to get it over with. It’s really not a big deal. If something is wrong, the sooner it is detected the better.

Regular screening can often find colorectal cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable. In many people, screening can also prevent colorectal cancer altogether. This is because some polyps, or growths, can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer. (Source: Cancer.org)

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below, or click here to contact me. – RG