All Topics → Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment → Topic: Colonoscopy Meds didn't work bowel blocked?
This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.
Posted on: Mar 21, 2008 01:01PM
I was to have a colonoscopy on Wed. I took the phosphates solution and did the prep as directed on my prep sheet from hospital. Well it's supposted start working in a half an hour to six hours. Nothing happened. About 9:30 p.m had a tiny bit of movement went to bed with huge glass of water and hoped. Well the next morning nothing. So I drand my Citro-mag, waited nothing happened. So I called the hospital, the nurse was shocked and said the Dr woul call, of course he didn't but she did and told me only that they would have to cancel the endoscopy and colonoscopy. Has this happened to anyone else, I know I have narrowing of the bowel that was found a year ago and have had bad pain and problem with bowel movements but didn't expect this to happen. Has anyone had this happen. As I'm writing this I"m in pain and full because I thought if I ate yesterday it would work, so now I can't eat because nothig is moving. I"ve tried fibre, dulcolax you name it I"ve tried it but now I"m scared, really scared. Does anyone have any advice on what to do. Thanks Pearl
Posts 1 - 30 (58 total)
Mar 21, 2008 01:18PM otter wrote:
Urgent care might not be enough. With your hx of narrowed bowel and possible obstruction, you might need to go directly to the ER. You should probably have some imaging done (CT maybe), to find out what's going on in there. With no movement in this length of time, despite a huge amount of stimulation, you could be having bowel distention. The more distended the intestines get, the less motility they have (they sort of get paralyzed).
When you called the hospital to tell them about the problem, did they give you any advice besides saying that the procedure needed to be cancelled? I'm thinking "If you haven't had a B.M. by x time, call us back" etc.
I'm not a doc, but I think it would be a good idea to start drinking lots of fluids. Don't take any more bowel stimulants--they'll just cause more problems if you're already obstructed. Drink lots of water, and it might help to loosen things up. If I were you, I'd head for the ER and sit there in a chair, groaning and feeling miserable, until they did something to help.
(see, I said I didn't want to have a colonoscopy!)
Mar 21, 2008 01:19PM - edited Mar 21, 2008 01:21PM by Hanna
Is there a gastroenterologist who is managing this test for you? If so, please call them and tell them. I know you said you feel full and in pain. I am certainly not a doctor and have no experience with this, but if it were me, first I'd be scared because my body wasn't doing what the instructions expected. Second, I'd think if I'm in pain and tried some typical methods to get moving, but they hadn't worked PLUS already been diagnosed with a narrowed portion of the bowel, then I would definitely get with a physician today because tomorrow is Saturday and you might have to be seen with a doctor you don't know.
So, call your main physician or your gastroenterologist now.
I don't know much about this, but I would think the best place for you to be is in range of a hospital - just in case you have a blockage or something. You don't want to suffer in pain, treating yourself with various medications at this point.
Please do what you know is best and call your doctors or go to the ER of a good hospital. I always think it's best to take a conservative approach and allow the medical professionals to figure something out like this. Who knows, if you get to the ER, you may just relax enough to go. Good luck honey. As if there isn't already enough on the plate.....
Mar 21, 2008 01:24PM HeatherBLocklear wrote:
Honey, get to the ER right away. Also call the gastroenterologist who prescribed the test -- he's sure to have an emergency service. You can't fool around with this kind of problem. Don't take no for an answer, and tell them it's URGENT that you be seen immediately when you check in.
We'll be waiting very impatiently to hear that you're fine.
Mar 21, 2008 01:24PM AlaskaDeb wrote:
Get thee to the doctor girlfriend! There is NO reason to guess what is going on. Have the pros figure it out....that's why they get the big bucks...
I'm so sorry you are in pain and worried...
Mar 21, 2008 01:25PM snowyday wrote:
Nothing on the plate today Hanna can't eat, but already took a laxative hoping it would help and last night took three dulcolax hoping it would soften up and move but nothing, Today is Good Friday and I want to try wait until tomorrow if nothing happens by then definatley will go in. This is so scary and it doesn't help that I'm terrified of hospitals, but have been warned never to go in on a holiday apparantly you get the worst care then. I will and am drinking lots of water and hoping. Thanks for your support. Pearl
Mar 21, 2008 01:30PM AlaskaDeb wrote:
Pearl - I understand your fear of hospitals, but I really would not wait. The hospital will call out the experts any day, any time. They always have specialists on call.
If you took all the prep and have not had a BM at all, I would not wait....especially if you have discomfort. If there is some kind of blockage you can cause permanant damage to your bowel by waiting. At the VERY least I would call the hospital and ask to speak to the on-call gastro person.
Mar 21, 2008 01:34PM - edited Mar 21, 2008 01:35PM by Hanna
Oh Pearl, and Otter I hope you won't think I'm butting in here but, I just read what you wrote about thinking Pearl should start drinking water. Oh, I so don't want to say something and find out you are a doctor or something.....but I just think fluids might back her up worse or cause whatever's going on to swell inside. I know the thinking seems right about the fluids, and please jump in to correct me if you know better - its just I'm thinking if she's already in pain, its like with appendicitis, they say drink nothing, eat nothing, do nothing...just get to the hospital.
That's all, I'm just remembering the appendicitis advice and thinking she should be getting any fluids by IV. But what do I know -- nothing about this. Hey Otter, we should schedule our colonoscopies at the same time since we've both been putting them off for....let's see..what could be this reason?
So Pearl, pain and the "me no moves" equal a doc or ER visit. Much as you don't want to do that - without hearing back from your doctor, it's the best thing to do.
Mar 21, 2008 01:45PM Hanna wrote:
One more thing....do you still have that bottle of prep you drank? If you do, I'd take it with me. You just never know in this world if maybe the thing had a long overdue expiration date and wasn't going to work like it should.
Even saying that though.......as everyone is saying to you.....get thee to the hospital where the pros will help. Take that bottle with you too just for proof along with the list of other remedies you've been supplying yourself with. And don't be worried you won't get the "best care" cause it's a holiday. Sometimes, the best show up on holidays cause the pay is better.
Now call or get your butt into the hospital like a good girl!
Mar 21, 2008 01:52PM candie1971 wrote:
Sorry about this happening to you. I would say go to an ER. I would think you would get better care today as they have not booked many procedures today. Good luck and I will keep checking in on you. I think the lon ger youwait, the more stressed you'll get which will be harder to relax and have a bowel movement.
Hugs and prayers,
Mar 21, 2008 02:06PM dianej1962 wrote:
Please, please, please get to the ER. You are not doing yourself any favors by staying home and being in pain. Don't be afraid because it is a holiday...I think it is even worse to go on the weekend. With all my treatments and hospitalizations, the best time to go is in the middle of the day during the week. Don't hesitate any longer. Do you have someone who can go with you? Take a friend, neighbor, partner, husband, anyone you can find. This is also no time to be alone. I am sorry you are in such pain. My thoughts are with you.
Mar 21, 2008 02:07PM saluki wrote:
I agree with Hanna---Go to the ER ---You want to get this seen to today
when the regular staff is still there---Not on Easter Sunday-
I know this is very scary for you but Please go now. ----Call your PCP
and your Gastroenterologist if thats who ordered it and tell them you are on your way to the ER.--so that they can facilitate the Admit.
Mar 21, 2008 02:19PM HeatherBLocklear wrote:
I'm sorry to jump in here again and hope I'm not seen as pushy. But you could develop acute abdomen which is a medical emergency. You CANNOT wait until tomorrow. I hope someone hauls you off to the ER now.
Mar 21, 2008 02:38PM AnnNYC wrote:
Pearl, I hope the fact that your last post was an hour ago means you are already at the ER.
I chime in with everybody else that you can't wait. You must get to the doctor now.
As for weekends and holidays -- I had my exchange surgery between Xmas and New Year's and lots of people told me that wouldn't be good because it was holiday-time -- but it was fine, great, no problem. Emergency rooms are even MORE oriented toward working around the clock regardless of the date.
Again -- I hope you're there already and hope to hear a good update from you when you get back!
Mar 21, 2008 03:17PM otter wrote:
Aw, heck, HannaB, you may be right. I'm not a doctor, and I shouldn't be giving suggestions like that, especially when the most important advice is for Pearl to get to a doctor (preferably an ER) immediately. Don't worry about offending me or disagreeing with me, please.
Pearl, I know people say hospital care can be substandard on a holiday. But, I had major surgery during Thanksgiving week once, and my care that week--including Thanksgiving itself--was just fine.
And, I don't want to offend anybody here, but I don't think Pearl should worry about it being Good Friday. I live in the Deep South/Bible belt, and I don't know of a single store or place of business that's closed today. Easter Sunday might be different, but not much. Christmas and Thanksgiving are lots different, with respect to businesses. But I doubt that medical care will be any less efficient today than it would be on a Saturday, for Pete's sake. What's important is, who's on call and how quickly can they respond, and does the hospital have the facilities to do an appropriate work-up of the problem?
Please, Pearl, get this checked out. Then you can go home ASAP and eat chocolate Easter eggs.
Mar 21, 2008 04:54PM ADK wrote:
Please go to the ER. Never mind that it is a holiday. Bowel obstructions are dangerous. I have a stricture that prohibits the colonoscopy from going the whole way, but I have Crohn's disease and (pardon the grapics) it always comes out as a fluid. It does sound like you have an obstruction and it will only get worse. My father passed away on February 15th due to a bowel obstruction - what they would have been able to do for him, they couldn't because of other health issues. Fluids is one thing they would have done, but had he been younger and not had the heart issues he had, they would have done surgery. Please go to the ER. This is serious.
Mar 21, 2008 05:07PM snowyday wrote:
I can stand the pain right now and really just want to wait. I'm terrified of hospitals surgury and I have to move the end of this month. If the pain gets to the point that I can't stand I will go in but right now I can stand it. I also passed a bit of gas so thats a good sign right. Just one night, I have no one here to watch my cats I just can't go now, but will tomorrow if nothing has happened. It sounds stupid but hospital are the equivical of a snake to me they terrify me, the only reason I got through chemo was because I knew I could get in and out and even with bad fevers I wouldn't go unless it hit 100 the terrror is so deep I can't expalin it, I wish I could.
Mar 21, 2008 05:18PM ADK wrote:
I am not trying to scare you anymore than you already are. I don't share your terror of hospitals, so, I can't understand that and I won't pretend I can. I just want you to take care of yourself. If you believe that you will be okay until tomorrow, then I will have to believe that also. Just remember we are here for you and we want you okay.
Mar 21, 2008 05:29PM - edited Mar 21, 2008 05:30PM by Little-G
You don't need to explain that thought process to me. I'm right there with you! And have no right to say go in, because I know where you're coming from. I had a colonoscopy last year. I drank the first solution and was on the bowl almost non-stop for hours. Then I had to drink one more mix of it. There was NOTHING left inside me. I know how harsh those things are. So, if you drank all of it, and followed all the directions, and you're still not going...I can't help but think that is bad news. Not to say any long term bad news..but bad news that you are backed up which can cause many problems all on its own, and become like poison to your system. Like I said...I am so bad about taking care of myself and going to see the docs too, but my situation is not what I would think "immediate" But I think yours is. Feed the cats and give them water, enough until tomorrow, and go in!! Don't wait!
Mar 21, 2008 05:49PM artsee wrote:
O.K. I can't stand it any more. I have to give my two cents worth.
Pearl, what could be the alternative to getting to the hospital??? I think you know the answer. I happened to be with a person who got instantly ill with a blockage and it's NOT pretty. In fact it was almost too late for her.
As for Otter and HannahB...scedual those darn colenoscopies!! It's a piece of cake. You go and they give a sleep med so you don't remember anythingand as fast as you can snap a fingure you're done.
Painless for any intellegent adult which you both are.....Artsee
Mar 21, 2008 06:29PM susan_CNY wrote:
hi snow, I am a stage 2 colon cancer survivor, found at my 1st routine colonoscopy, the doc could not finish due to my blockage, I had an emergency hemi-colectomy the following morning. I suggest if you are in severe pain call that doctor, however, if you were prepping for the test then you only injested maximum fluids for a day so maybe you have nothing to evacuate but liquid, and sitting on the john and straining can make your belly and everything else connected hurt. My Mom has severe diverticlosis and normal prep (what makes me and most people blow it out in force ) does not do the trick for her, she has to do a differant prep, so like everything else everyone is differant. Sorry you are in pain, and the stress has to be outrageous, if I can be of any help to you just ask. Big hugs.
Mar 21, 2008 06:44PM - edited Mar 21, 2008 06:55PM by Hanna
Well, I have been out and about and checked back here to see whatcha been up to....and I seem to find you still haven't moved...in any respect!
Pearl....listen to me young lady....You know that American Idol boy Bo Bice? Well, he had some kind of stomach troubles and they weren't causing him too much trouble...till all of the sudden they DID. He ended up having to have surgery on account of it and that is what you're saying to us you don't want. OK, and there's another pop singer who was probably before your time, but he was one of the BeeGee brothers. He ended up dying from a twisted intestine or blockage or some such thing that can happen. There is also something called "intusseption" which is where the intestine sort of telescopes into itself, like a kid's telescope. As new Mom's are usually informed if they have a baby with constant crying, the baby may not have "colic" but intusseption. Picture the intestine just telescoping into itself.
Now, if you are saying you want to wait till the pain were to get so bad then and only then will you go to the hospital, then is when you might be in for it. Before the pain gets to that level is when you should get in there. When they can run a painless CT and see what in heck is going on in your belly.
Also, are you hearing any sounds coming from your belly? Feeling anything moving or gurgling? Do you have a stethoscope in the house? You could listen for your own sounds of peristalsis (sounds the intestines make like gurgling, sqeaking and all.
Normal intestines make these sounds if all is well. If you are downright soundless in there......then I say pour a HUGE bowl of food out for your cats, get a big pan like a 13 x 11 inch of water and put it out for them. Cats are bigtime survivors by themselves and actually like having the house to themselves. Quit worrying about them.
What we are all saying is this. We do not want you to have a sudden burst of pain start cramping you up at 3 AM with no one around to take you to the ER and you being to scared to dial 911.
Unless what you took to prep with was no good, I have never heard of anyone not pooping for hours after taking it. You haven't and that is why we're collectively concerned here.
Pearl - if you'd prefer a non-surgical method to getting going again, you might just think of dropping in on the ER. I can't believe your doctor hasn't called and I can't think of why.
Have you been taking any painkillers that would slow your system down like the codeines, percoset, etc.?
Have you been eating next to nothing for a couple days? Maybe that one poop you had was it? Even so, with the water you drank, something on the order of the runs should be cleaning you out.
If your doctor knows about this and thinks this is ok, then we and me will just shut up about it. I fully believe in the doctor patient relationship and if your's knows what going on and is ok with it, then I am too. Just say you've talked with the doc and the doc says this is fine and dandy for you, then I will just not write anymore!
p.s. edit - I'm sorry for being such a nag here I really am sorry. I just don't want you to have a problem in the dark of the night.
Mar 21, 2008 07:16PM ADK wrote:
Hanna brought up a really good point about the bowel sounds. I had a bowel resection done and I couldn't leave the hospital until I went, but they kept checking me for bowel sounds. If you feel (as in a slight cramping which is how the bowel works) and hear nothing, you need to be checked out asap.
Okay, I'm done. I wish only the best for you, Pearl.
Mar 21, 2008 07:52PM Linora wrote:
There is a very effective laxative called Biscolax that is a suppository and works within 15-30 minutes. It was what I used before my last colonscopy and you can buy it in a drug store...it is good because it is working from the other end.
I think you should be working on this problem rather than waiting. I had a bowel obstruction once and the pain was beyond what I imagined a human being was capable of feeling. I was in physical shock by the time I reached the ER and I would have required emergency surgery if things hadn't resolved on their own.
If you get to that point, your bowels could rupture and contaminate your entire abdominal cavity..you don't want that to happen. It's kind of like having a ruptured appendix...not good at all.
Mar 21, 2008 07:55PM - edited Mar 22, 2008 10:08AM by NancyD
Pearl, Go to the ER. Don't wait until you have to call an ambulence.
My brother waited almost too long. His colon burst as they were taking him in. It was touch and go for a while, and he had to have a temporary colostomy bag until it healed. Fortunately, the reattachment went well...they don't always.
A good friend has a very similar problem, and whenever she has her colonoscopy she has to have a special prep and be knocked out completely...not the twilight sleep the rest of us get. If she hasn't had her bowels move by the morning of the procedure, she has to go into hospital for an extra special treatment. It's just the way it is in these cases. So please go; you can't be building up all that fluid and undigested food/toxins with any good results.
Mar 21, 2008 08:26PM Linda1 wrote:
Pearl, I can understand your fear of hospitals completely. I used to be exactly the same. I couldn't even go to visit friends who were hospitalized. However, maybe you could look at it this way.....if you get yourself to the ER NOW, they can probably get the problem resolved quickly and you'll be back home right away. if you wait, it may/will get worse, and you may have to stay in the hospital for a while. You know there's a problem. I think it's better to take care of it ASAP while it's still a small problem, rather than waiting until it turns into a bigger prblem that needs more medical care.
I'll be thinking of you!