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barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me? barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

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Unread 04-13-2002, 08:03 PM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Hi everyone,I am scared to death about my barium enema this tuesday. I have so many questions for you would really appreciate any help that you can give me. First of all I can either drink that Magnesium citrate stuff and take 4 ducolax OR I can take 20 of these horse pills called VISICOL. Im not sure which one to do. they both sound yucky. I went to the nurse practitioner for what I think is classic irritable bowel. She schedualed the BARIUM ENEMA and a SIGMOIDOSCOPY with sedation(on two different days). I dont know why I cant have them both done at once! It sounds like everyone here would rather eat glass than go through another barium enema. Is it really that bad? Does the barium come out afterwards? I suffer from such constipation thats why they are doing all these tests. She put me on MIRALAX. Does any one have any experience with that? She said it is very safe and that you can take it forever... and it seems to be working!!! Im sittng here gagging even THINKING about that bottle of magnesium citrate. I dont know if I can do this... I really need your advice ladies... Thank you sooo much, Jody
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Unread 04-13-2002, 08:26 PM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Hi Jody, I also have problems with what I called severe constipation....I really could not go, unless I had help with laxatives or suppositories...when I went to the gastro doctor in Feb....he gave me Mirolax also, and told me that it was very safe to use, unlike the laxatives on the store is prescription of course...and when I went back to him after my colonoscopy, I asked about Mirolax again and he told me that it was made of the same things that are found in our bodys....salts and so on...and that it was safe because our bodies do not become dependent on it to have bm's....

Now for the other part of your post....the question about the liquid vs the pills....I know for my colonoscopy I had to drink a huge, and I mean huge container of something, can't remember the name, but it had the word lyte in it....

Oh my gosh, was that an experience....he made me very ill.... so when I commented the next day to the nurse before the test...she said..oh, well you should have had the pills then....even though you have to drink a lot of water with the do not have to taste that terribly sweet sickening taste of the for time, if there is a next time, I will opt for the pills......

I don't know what is so bad about the barium enema...I have had to drink barium before for a CT scan and that was one of the least troublesome tests I have ever me, the barium to drink wasn't half as bad as the stuff I had to drink for the I can't imagine that a barium enema would be that bad.....other than is an enema...and no one likes them, but try not to worry so much about it.....I try to look at the tests and the preps as just a process of elimination procedure that seems to be necessary with complications...

What the outcome was for me, was colon looked fine except for some very narrow places that the doctor assumes is adhesions...have no idea how I am going to approach that as yet... but hopefully will see a new gyn and may have some ideas.....good luck with your will be over before you know
Unread 04-14-2002, 06:58 AM

I have question on the Miralax...does it give you cramps? Also how long does it take to work? I also suffer with constipation i'v been taking mom which is ok..but sometimes or should i say most of the time my bowels wake me at 4 am:cry: !I was given Miralx by a colon dr which i never went back too! I never have taken the miralax afraid too!
My new gyn thinks that adhesions are my problem which he said he will free my colon and intestines with this next surgery. Which is on the 24th of this month!
I also wonder if after this surgery miralax would be safe to use mmmmm!
Love Colette
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Unread 04-14-2002, 07:07 AM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Hi Luckylady.....(you really are a lucky lady if you are getting your surgery to remove adhesiions)...

I was very concerned about the laxative and suppository use I was into until Feb. when I went to the gastro doctor.....I was trying everything....laxatives, fiber supplements, fruits, veggies...nothing was helping me....

His assistant gave me Mirolax to try....and wrote a prescrip.....she said it would take a few days to work, but would work....she said..."You will have a bm with this" apparently works slowly, which is the desired outcome for me.....not like ex-lax or anything like that.....

I asked about safety since I knew it may become a way of life for me...and she said...that this can be taken as long as you need to take it because of the ingredients.....obviously, it is better that we do not take any laxatives...let nature take its course...but some of us need help.....and mirolax is the choice when you need the safe approach according to the doctor I go far, I have not had any side effects from it....and it works really well for me....I just wish I didn't have to take anything.....

I had the colonoscopy and the gastro doc said that I probably have adhesions causing constrictions based on his use of the scope while in I have to see gyn for that.....

I asked him again, the last visit about mirolax...and he said...that it is unlike the correctol and over the counter that my body will not need it just to have a bowel the event my problem resolves ..... so if I were you, I would at least try the Mirolax.....I would feel safer with that than the MOM..... take
Unread 04-14-2002, 10:30 AM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Hi Jody. Boy can I feel for you. I had both a colonoscopy (which turned out to be a sigmoidoscopy because the camera couldn't handle the corkscrew turn in my colon) with sedation (tons of IV valium) and the barium enema on the same day, in fact less than 2 hours apart, this past Tuesday. It was only supposed to be a colonoscopy; the barium enema (for x rays) was added when the gastroenterologist found he couldn't complete the colonoscopy without risking rupturing my already inflamed colon (I have diverticulitis). Believe me, if possible you don't want to do both in the same day.

The prep for the colonoscopy, for me, was unpleasant but not unbearable. I had to drink huge quantities of that lovely tasting Fleet Phospho Soda...I found it tolerable mixed with orange soda. One tip - don't mix it with anything you normally enjoy drinking unless you want to risk not being able to stand your favorite drink later on! Also drink tons of water, which the Fleet solution made me crave anyway. I was in the bathroom about every 1/2 hour for the whole afternoon and evening (lesson here: don't plan anything for the night before). That was the worst part of the colonoscopy. When I arrived to have the actual procedure done, the doctor and nurse were so pleasant, calm and reassuring, and gave me so much versed in my IV, that it was almost a non-event. The fear I had about the procedure was far worse than the reality. I was awake and able to see on the video screen but just didn't care. I wasn't the slightest bit uncomfortable, as hard as that is to believe. Afterwards I was allowed to sit and rest for about a half hour in a recliner chair in a recovery room across the hall from the procedure room, until I felt ready to leave.

The barium enema thing was a whole other story. I went over to the radiology department of the hospital for that (the colonoscopy was done in a special procedure suite in the doctor's office). Because I was already "cleaned out" for the colonoscopy I didn't have to drink or take anything additional (this is the only advantage to doing both in the same day, but it's not worth it). I had to lie on a hard table with a hospital gown which was open in the back (of course; I just mention this because I was so COLD!). There was a movable x-ray machine over the table. They brought out the IV pole with the bag of barium solution hanging on it - it looked to be about 4 times the size of an IV bag. Attached to that was a long clear plastic tube with a straight "wand" about 8 or 10 inches long at the end. The "wand" works similarly to a Foley. They insert the "wand" (lubricated of course, but it still feels yucky) up into your rectum several inches. Then they inflate a bulb inside you so it won't slip out, just as they do in your bladder with the Foley, only the Foley doesn't hurt and this thing is VERY uncomfortable, particularly any time you move, which you end up doing a lot. Then they open the valve on the barium bag and the solution flows into your rectum and fills up your intestines. If you can stand to turn your head at this point you can see on the video screen your intestinal tract in all its glory. I could only stand it for a few seconds. The feeling of the pressure from the solution in the intestines feels like you have to have a bowel movement RIGHT NOW, perhaps more urgently than you've ever felt before. Only you don't, and you can't, because they've got you plugged up with that bulb. Then they move you all around into different positions to get different views of your intestines and take x-rays in each position. Each time you change positions you feel that wand stuck up your backside... For me the whole thing lasted over an hour. When they are almost done, they deflate the bulb and the solution drains back into the bag (well, most of it does). You have to help it along by rolling around and sitting up (lots of fun with that wand still stuck up your rear end) so gravity can work. Then they take a few more photos...then they remove the wand (feels similar to having a Foley removed, and just as with the Foley, it helps if you exhale sharply when they do it). Then you are finally allowed to use the bathroom while they go look at the x-rays. I had to go...and go....and go. I kept leaking out this chalky white stuff (the barium solution). My bottom was raw from the combination of the prep for the colonoscopy and now the constant having to go with the barium solution (fortunately that rawness healed up in about 24 hours). I had to wear a thin pad home to catch the leaking solution (bring one with you, they're not likely to have them in radiology); in fact I wore one for about 24 hours as I continued to leak a little for about that long. They told me to drink a lot of water for the next day or two to "flush out" the excess barium so it wouldn't harden in my intestines. I did this, and still for the next 3 days every time I went to the bathroom it had a chalky white appearance.

Well, I did do both in one day and live to tell about it, but I don't recommend it. The nervousness is draining, and the barium enema experience left me completely wiped out. Things that will help: have someone with you for moral support and to drive you home (they won't let you drive for 2-4 hours after the sedation for the colonoscopy). If you have to drink the prep solution before the colonoscopy, mix it with something you don't love but can tolerate that has a relatively strong taste but is still "clear", and don't eat anything afterwards, just drink clear liquids. Wear loose comfortable clothes to both (you won't feel like zipping up tight jeans after either one). Bring a thin pad with you to wear home after the barium enema. And don't plan other activities for the night before or the day of either one - except you can probably do something the evening after the colonoscopy if you have it in the morning.

I hope this will survive both, lots of us have, it's just not very pretty. But we are tough, right? After all, look what we've been through already! And if these tests help the doctors to figure out how to help us, then they are worth it. Please post to let us know how you did and what they found. Good luck and lots of s,

- Linda
Unread 04-14-2002, 07:57 PM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Well Linda it sounds like it was quite a day for you....but you survived!!

But I was wondering what would the barium enema show that the colonscopy didn't? that sounds tough having them in the same day....

thanks for the
Unread 04-14-2002, 08:23 PM
barium enema...can someone PLEASE help me?

Hi again BJ, you're right, many people don't need both, but in my case they had to use the barium enema/x rays to get up higher when the camera couldn't get up there. Also, it's a different kind of look at the inside...the x rays show the outlines and shapes really well but the colonoscopy camera shows colors and details better, plus if they have to they can remove polyps or take samples while doing the colonoscopy.
Hope that helps...good luck!
- Linda
Unread 04-15-2002, 04:50 AM
Sigmoidoscopy etc

I had no sedation for my sigmoidoscopy. It wasn't pleasant. I was sedated for my colonoscopy, don't remember anything.

I've had lots of upper and lower gi barium junk done. Upper made me very sick (nausea) but the docs said that was mainly due to the shape my stomach was in. For the lower, well, I really wasn't pleased with how uncomfortable I was. Internal hemeroids (sp?) were really aggrevated by the process - caused lots of bleeding. And, like my stomach, my colon was pretty beat up, so the pressure from the procedure was painful.

Don't know if this helps you any or not.
Unread 04-15-2002, 11:20 AM
Try not to worry....

Hi Jodys,

Gee, the replies so far here, seem to be mostly negative. But, the barium enema is really not that bad. If you are cleaned out real well, there should be no reason to worry too much.

I had one done, and drove myself over and back, and had a very nice technician, that explained everything to me. The bag of stuff is really not that big, and they usually do not use all of it anyway.

Just try to relax during the procedure and breathe slowly and you should not have any problems. Afterwards, drink plenty of water at home, and you will notice that for one or two days, the stuff still looks kind of whitish and chalky coming out.

Probably the biggest worry for most people is the embarrassment of the whole procedure. Just try to think of your body as a car, and you are just going in for a routine exhaust inspection.... hehe..

Take care, and God bless!

Unread 04-16-2002, 04:14 AM
I think Mobaleena has a good point....

Her experience was ok. Probably for most people these procedures fall into the "so what" category. In my case, we know that my gi system is rather iffy (multiple gi bleeds) thats why they are in there looking around to begin with.

Depends on what shape your "innards" are in, and your own tolerance for pressure that will determine how you personally feel.

Good luck, try not to stress too much.

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