I've had a total of 3 colonoscopies, all 'without' sedation. It used to be, years ago that they knocked you out 'completely' for the procedure, requiring that awful 'trying to wake up' after the procedure, and of course having someone with you to drive you home. Back then they were all done in hospitals as well, where now they are done in doctor's offices.
My first was years ago during those times. I was single, had no friends or neighbors that I could depend on, (not to mention asking someone to take off work for the day to be my chauffeur), so I just drove myself to the hospital, (and quickly!).
Hoping that I didn't need to hit a bathroom on the way. Believe me, the prep is actually worse than the procedure! As someone else mentioned, you will wind up sleeping in the bathroom, and on the toilet the night before!
That stuff they give you to drink is the worst! Drinking 8 ounces of it every 15 minutes... it's like drinking a bottle of mineral oil, once it starts, it never ends!
Anyway, arriving at the hospital, I was asked who was there to drive me home. Naturally I said no one, I drove myself. Well it was like a hurricane had hit the area, with nurses and staff running around, not knowing what to do.
At one point, 'someone' told me that they would have to cancel the procedure and reschedule for when I had someone there to drive me home. I said that will never happen, and on top of that, I went through all that prep work for this, and wasn't about to go through that again!
Finally the doctor was called down, came to me and asked what all the problems were. I simply told him that I'm single, and don't have anyone dependable that could drive me there, then back home again.
He stated that this procedure is normally done with sedation, back at that time general anesthetic! I told him that I had gone through all that prep work, was there ready for the procedure, and to just get it done and over with without the sedation!
He had never done it that way before, but agreed to do it, only stating that an I.V. would be started anyway, and if I couldn't tolerate it, they would knock me out, and figure out how to get me home afterwards.
Naturally, totally nude with only a hospital gown on, I was wheeled into the procedure room. Judging from the following 2 that I had years later, I would say that this particular doctor was good at what he did. I made it through the procedure without very much discomfort at all. It really wasn't that bad!
He commented afterwards that he wished more patients would opt to do it without the sedation. Being wheeled out of the room afterwards, a male nurse told me that if I needed to fart, just to go a head and let it out, and not to try and hold it in to try and be 'polite'. (They do inject air up inside you to open up the intestines.) He said that was a sound they were very used to hearing around there anyway...
Well afterwards, I was able to get up, get dressed and walk out of there, while at the same time others were still 'trying' to wake up from the anesthetic they were given.
Times changed over the years, now the procedures were being done in doctor's offices, and not with a general anesthetic, but just something to relax you and put you in a 'twilight sleep'.
Some people will just sleep through the procedure, some will stay awake, but just won't give a damn... It's not unlike receiving nitrous at a dentist's office, you're aware of what's going on, but you just don't care!
My second and third were done pretty much the same way, but now in a doctor's office, and again, no one to drive me back and forth, so no sedation. Although don't know if it was my system and getting older, or the particular doctors, but the second was a bit harder to get through.
Luckily the doctor's nurse was extremely experienced and knew just where to apply her hands and some pressure to help the '6 foot' scope around the bends in my intestines.
The third was nearly unbearable! Doctor seemed to be in a hurry, nurse not as experienced as the previous, and I was lucky to even get through that one.
But if you're going to be a typical patient, have someone to drive you there and back home, it won't be any problem at all! You will be given sedation, and afterwards hardly even remember the procedure. You'll find that the 'prep work' is the worst part of the entire procedure.
That third doctor was someone that I had seen for a couple years for occasional hemorrhoid treatments, and knows of my 'extra circular activities', and is actually pretty laid back and pretty cool about all of it. Where others I had seen over the years, where just too straight, stuck up, and judgmental about it, and condemned me for it.
I had asked my 'good' doctor why can't I just do a series of enemas to get preped for the procedure instead of drinking that awful gallon 'jug' of stuff and wind up sleeping on the toilet the night before.
He told me that the series of enemas would tend to inflame the lining of the intestines, and he wouldn't get the view that he needed. Watching the scope follow through my intestines on a television, I noticed that the stuff they give you to drink to clean you out, really doesn't do all that well at giving you a good clean out!
Not to get gross here, but I was still able to see pockets of 'green matter' up inside my intestines.
Don't know if it's true about a series of enemas, or even a colonic really inflaming the intestines any more that those harsh chemicals they give you to drink.
Got to remember one thing... the scope is 6 foot long, and they are only looking at the large intestine. Drinking some 'solution', is going pass through your stomach, then through your small intestine, and onto the large intestine.
It's that drinking of that gallon jug of that stuff that loosens and starts moving 'stuff' out of the small intestine, which really isn't needed! I believe that's one reason people find themselves spending the night before sleeping on the toilet, and probably why it just 'never' seems to stop coming out!
'Ready to leave'... No, one more trip to the bathroom! In the car, ready to leave... wait a minute, another trip to the bathroom! And when you 'finally' make it to the doctor's office, WHERE'S THE BATHROOM!
Changing clothes, yet another trip to the bathroom, finally up on the table, ready for the procedure... wait a minute, I 'really' need to use the bathroom again!
By that time, the doctors know that you're pretty much empty enough for the procedure and are ready to start it. It's just that every little pocket of what little is left in you will give you that 'urge'.
Those chemicals are harsh, will give you cramps, makes things 'unpredictable', and so much so that instead of wearing a diaper, you wind up just never leaving the bathroom the entire night!
I think doctors should look more into patients having a colonic before such a procedure. It will only clean out the large intestine, which it what they want to look at anyway, and I think would be much easier on the patient. And it will give them something else they can bill for!
And the doctor wouldn't have to give the colonic... a staff member could do it. There are only two states that require a license to give colonics, and it doesn't take much to get that license.
If I remember from 'my' training, an extra 20 hours of classroom training, then a test to pass. All the other states don't even require a person to be 'classroom trained'. One person can go to the school for a, (if I remember), 30 hour course, then can come back and show others how to do it. As simple as that...
A 'few' doctors are finally starting to come around with the thoughts of colonics being beneficial to one's health.