I yet live

Colonoscopy done. All is normal. Feeling woozy from the propofol, may just take a nap.

Except there is one emergent side effect. The nurse warned me afterwards that there’d been one small hiccup: I stopped breathing.I guess that happens with propofol, and that’s one reason there’s an anesthesiologist present at all times. He got my breathing restarted, but had to clear my airways, and that involved grabbing my lower jaw firmly at the base and strongly pulling upwards. I was in no real danger, but the nurse cautioned me that I might be feeling some aches.

Boy, was she right. My jaw and upper back are just wrecked right now, and I’m ruined for even the easy work of sitting at the computer for a while. I think I’m going to have to lie down for a while.

But thanks, Anesthesiologist Jacob, I think I’d prefer some temporary joint aches over not breathing for an hour.


  1. Matt G says

    A friend had one a few years ago. It wasn’t ahem clear enough the first time, so they made him do a TWO day prep. Talk about adding injury to insult to injury….

  2. d3zd3z says

    It wasn’t ahem clear enough the first time, so they made him do a TWO day prep.

    At my first colonoscopy, I was told I would need to do a two day prep next time. After three years, I had a different GI doc, and the new doc basically said “nonsense”, told me to take a PEG-based laxative (normal amount) for a week prior, and then do the regular one day prep. He said it was all “clear”.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    I yet live.

    Wasn’t that John Carter’s cry when things went bad during his adventures on Barsoom as chronicled by Edgar Rice Burroughs?

    Things usually went much better for him after that.

  4. robro says

    PZ — I had to wait a few days for biopsies. If “all is normal” means they found nothing they needed to check, that is indeed good news.

  5. robro says

    moxie @ #1

    i knew it would all come out all right in the end.

    ha ha…”it” being only half of what comes out.

  6. bigzebra says

    Remember when getting your colonoscopy, to not patronize one of those colonoscopy shacks you see by the roadside. They aren’t legit.

  7. Slinky's Human says

    I’ve been going without sedatives/anesthesia for my recent colonoscopies. I find the discomfort from the procedure to be less annoying than the recovery from the sedatives. They’re always ready to administer them if needed, but never have.

  8. daved says

    Slinky’s Human @ 12
    This is the benefit of propofol. You don’t wooze around for hours afterward, or at least I didn’t. They give me that stuff, and bang!, I’m out. Then bang!, I’m back. Woke up feeling fine, no drowsiness, nothing. I didn’t drive myself home, of course, had a friend take me — but I could have done it easily. And I did try a colonoscopy without sedation once. It was not an experience to cherish. (It hurt like a bastard, frankly.)

  9. says

    Last one I had, they had the oxygen flow up so high it dried up my sinuses seeming all the way down to my lungs. My sinuses haven’t been the same since.

  10. charley says

    Good news about your results. My anesthetist put a tube down my throat which I assume keeps the airway open.

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    daved @13:

    I did try a colonoscopy without sedation once.

    Me too. Wasn’t painful really, just very uncomfortable. Compared to the prostate biopsy, a walk in the park.

  12. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    Prostate biopsy! (squirms) Ughughughugh!! . . .

    When I eventually get a colonoscopy I will avoid the propofol. I have had a couple of surgeries and the anaesthetic always puts me WAY down — down so hard they have difficulty waking me. So based on that history — discomfort here we come!

  13. says

    Same here. the first time they gave me the preliminary shot and left me in the corridor while they did a procedure on another patient. When they came back for me I was already deeply unconscious or so the nurse told me. The second time my blood pressure dropped so severely they had to reverse the anaesthetic and start again. I ended up waking up for the last few minutes of the procedure and was able to watch the live video of my gut as they wormed the camera through.

  14. bcw bcw says

    I guess you might want to mention the propofol sensitivity on the next one of these.

    Always disappointed they won’t give me a video copy for youtube.
    The other thing that annoys me is that no one tells the laxative its job is done when the colonoscopy is over.
    They say “sure you can eat” – and the laxative says “I’m still here!.”

  15. bcw bcw says

    @10. yeah, the colonoscopy drive-throughs are better, or you can go with amazon prime. Don’t go with Ikea, the instructions are terrible and you always end up with parts left over.

  16. says

    I could get a copy of the video! There is a “release of information” office at the hospital, and I can go there and ask for a copy. It’s my data, you know.

  17. tomc5 says

    I am with Slinky. Use of an anesthetic is optional. I have done my last three without; just use some of the Lamaze breathing techniques. I may get a cramp (feels like a bad case of gas) but it lasts maybe 5-10 seconds.It does take the doctor a bit longer as they go slower but when the procedure is done I am up and out the door.

  18. Kagehi says

    Oh, well, thanks a lot PZ, I got one of these damn things scheduled for the 13th, and I was already unhappy with the “general anesthesia”, without hearing someone else talk about stopping breathing while they where doing it… lol