Colonoscopy Without Sedation

So I had my 3rd colonoscopy experience yesterday and it was different again. The first was painful. The second was not painful and I was half awake during the procedure but dizzy after. The third was not painful and I was fully awake throughout!

Say whatttt!? No sedation? Yup! 

So as usual, I spent half the day going to the toilet. I started the bowel prep with my first cup of Fortrans drink at 9.50am. 18 cups of Fortrans, 3 cups of water, 7 rounds to toilet and 4 hours later, the nurse said I was ready!

I thought it’d take longer actually. Because during my 5th toilet round, I was still passing solid. Must be the heavy dinner I forgot I shouldn’t take the night before.

Just FYI, I need to pass liquid as clear as yellow pee to be allowed to start the procedure. And yes, passing full liquid via your behind feels like you’re peeing from the wrong hole.

I already told RK to pick me up after his work because I was ready to take longer than average people to clear my bowel, start the procedure at late afternoon and sleep through the sedation till evening.

The plan changed unexpectedly outside the endoscopy room when my gastroenterologist asked me if I want to do the procedure without sedation. He asked me the previous time too but ended up resorting to lower dosage only.

So there I was lying on the bed, getting wheeled into the procedure room and being persuaded to try without sedation.

He promised to give me sedation if I can’t bear the pain even though he felt I’d only feel discomfort. He didn’t even poke my hand for IV site in case of the need for sedation. I was nervous. So nervous.

I looked at the nurse puzzled and was hoping for reassurance but it seemed that the doctor was the only one nonchalant about it. Still feeling unsure, I hesitantly told the doctor, “Huh.. You’re the doctor. You recommend la.”

“Don’t have to put needle in your hand. Don’t have to sleep afterward. You can go home, drive, do whatever you want later. Save money also. I normally don’t give my patients much sedation anyway.” He said things along those lines as I was still feeling quizzed.

I think I said OK like a shy cat somewhere, somehow.

Anyway, I signed on some consent letters. He physically examined my abdomen. I turned to my side with my back facing him. The nurse slipped a cover underneath me. I clenched my fists and closed my eyes as I felt him preparing to begin. I kinda felt air and water being pumped into me. He asked me to look at the monitor to see my surgery site from the inside.

What?! He’s in?! Yeah he was. At that moment, I realized that by signing out of the sedation, I signed up for a live tour inside my own colon. That’s quite cool, isn’t it? 😅

I watched attentively as he explored my colon, clearing residues as he went along. And attending to my questions that came along. Lawatan sambil belajar? Haha.

So I learned that the reason I felt a sharp pain when the procedure started during my first colonoscopy was because my colon was blocked. And I seem to take longer to clear my bowel because the descending colon that I have removed, functions like a pump. Without this section of my colon, I lack that push factor.

I also learned that the most uncomfortable part of doing colonoscopy without sedation is when the doctor removes the scope and soothes my behind with gel. Other than that, the whole experience felt like 15 min of diarrhea. Lots of water and air moving in my bowel non stop. It’s not even as bad as the contractions during my bowel prep.

And honestly, diarrhea and stomachache are easily worse than colonoscopy bowel prep. Especially those that storm up during a bad traffic jam on a rainy night.

Other than the fact that I have not gained weight since 15 months ago and that I was “still full of shit”, I guess my doctor didn’t have any other complaint.

Instead of seeing him again in 6 months, he asked to see him in 12 months instead. Yay #milestone!

In his words right after the procedure, “Get dressed and get out!”

I feel blessed again to have met empathetic and efficient doctor like Dr Wong Chee Sing at Subang Jaya Medical Center. He may appear frank and distant but he’s actually just considerate and cool like that. I personally know two friends whose fathers are patients of Dr Wong and they both sing praises for him too.

See you next year, doctor!

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