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I had my upper endoscopy this afternoon. I opted out of sedation due to fear of how I'd react to the meds.

Little did I know the nightmare that was about to unfold before me. I was under the impression (from how it was explained to me) that the purpose of the "conscious sedation" was to just relax me so I don't have much anxiety.

Words escape me when I try to describe how unbelievably unbearable it is to have a wired camera shoved down your throat as nurses are holding you down, disregarding your retching and physical signs of distress. "Physical horror" comes to mind. I would rather of had a blowtorch burning my eyeballs. It was seriously that bad.

Not only would I have opted for complete sedation, I would have prefered to die to an allergic reaction than go through the endoscopy while conscious. It was literally the worst experience I have ever had in my entire life. Please, get sedation if you're going to have this procedure.

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I am so sorry that your experience was that bad. I hope that you are at home recovering from it and that you soon feel better! I had one done when I was a teen, and I had conscious sedation. I honestly thought the same thing, that they just gave it to me for anxiety and to relax me. I had no idea it was that bad! Did they not explain to you what the downsides of not being sedated were? Take care of yourself!

Best Wishes,

Fainting Goat

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Thank you. My throat really hurts but that's the extent of it. I picked up some triple peanut butter ice cream on the way home and that helps a little bit!

No, they didn't explain to me that anything like this could occur. The referring doctor thought no one could opt-out of sedation. I had her ask the Gastro that was performing it and she responded that many of her patients opt out of sedation. It wasn't until after the procedure I asked about this again and she said that "Most opt out sedation when it's a colonoscopy". No wonder! Who in their right mind could handle something like that? Never again. Not for $100,000 in cash!

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Wow, that is absolutely horrible! I had sedation with no problem and would have sedation again if I had to but now after seeing your post I know I would chose sedation again no matter what !! That doesn't seem humane! Did you tell them how angry you were? That's ridiculous, no one should go through that. I am so so sorry you went through such torture.

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I am sorry to hear about your awful experience. Did they numb your throat first with a spray or gel? I had sedation with an anesthesiologist and I was still awake for most of it. Screaming/retching/crying with the tube down my throat (which was not numb). I had to be bagged because I started to go below 70% blood oxygen. I found out I was given propofol, versed, fentanyl, and ketamine when I paid to see my medical records - no wonder I stopped breathing on my own! I left with a black and blue throat and was pretty scarred mentally after that. I have woken up during every other general anesthesia except for one where I was intubated but they assured me propofol would be lovely! I hope you got good endoscopy results at least :)

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I am sorry. It is a horrible experience, I had it last year and also opted out of sedation and numbing, because of my sensitivity to medication brought on by dysautonomia. I had wonderful nurses though, that were comforting me and counting time till the end of the procedure.

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Thank you for the comments, guys.

I was not angry at any point. I felt like I had made a horrible decision more than anything else. Not entirely their fault as most of them preferred I get sedation but I wouldn't have any of that. If they would have told me adamantly how unbearable it would be even with the throat spray I would like to think I would have believed them and got the sedation, but I just don't know.

Either way, she said younger people's GI sense is more heightened and recommended I take propofol next time to completely knock me out as "conscious sedation" I may still be aware and have problems like that. I agreed. Please, bash me over the head with a frying pan if need be.

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They probably thought you must be insane wanting to go through it conscious. They did with me and asked me several times if I am sure I don't want any sedation.

Just one advice, if you need a colonoscopy don't try to do it without a sedation. That one is even worse. I am gratefull they kept an anesthesiologist in the room anyway and he knocked me out when I almost bit the nurse.

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They probably thought you must be insane wanting to go through it conscious. They did with me and asked me several times if I am sure I don't want any sedation.

Just one advice, if you need a colonoscopy don't try to do it without a sedation. That one is even worse. I am gratefull they kept an anesthesiologist in the room anyway and he knocked me out when I almost bit the nurse.

I surely wouldn't have any invasive procedure like this without sedation ever again. I can imagine how bad a colonosopy would be. She says most patients that opt out of sedation do so with that procedure. I don't think it would be worse (for me). I can handle horrible pain an discomfort but not gagging, vomiting and being restrained while I can't breath. I'm incapable of imagining anything worse. Maybe both at the same time lol.

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Um… yeah… you definitely want to be completely out if you are getting an endoscopy. I remember in 2003 I started to partially wake up during the tail end of my endoscopy…. It was kind of like a nightmare. I can still remember that choking feeling….

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I had sedation with my endoscopy and it wasn't enough. They told me if it wasn't enough to let them know. Hard to do with a camera in your throat. I tried to signal to them to stop but they held my arms down. It hurt really bad with them shoving it into the back of my throat, and then the gagging made my esophagus try to get rid of the tube and camera and it was very painful. My throat hurt so bad afterwards I couldn't even swallow water without great pain for a couple of days. It was just like you described with no sedation. It was ****, I gag thinking about it.

I have red hair and I read that redheads need more pain killers and sedation as a rule. I believe this is true for me.

So, if you do get an endoscopy, some of us might need more sedation than others and i would work something out with them to tell them if you need even more sedation. It was just as Ryan said, pure ****. My son recently had one and they said he got the maximum sedation they could give and he still gagged at one point. I am so jealous of those people who tell me they slept through it.

I had a colonoscopy recently. Other than the prep, it was a piece of cake.. At one point I said, "That hurts" and they gave me more meds and even though I was conscious, I was happy as heck. I babbled to the doc and nurse about nonsense the whole time and afterwards had a great time playing with the animal crackers they gave me to eat. Loved those meds. A tiny amount of pain was a walk in the park compared to gagging up a camera.

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I have had to do this 3 times for endoscopy wide awake the doctor did not even give me the option to be sedated. I then switched gi doctors and he did an endoscope and there were no questions he just put me out with sedation much easier than vomiting and choking. I know how you feel.

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I am like Medicgirl. I am OUT and unaware of anything until I am in recovery. When I had my epidurals for delivery, I also could not feel a thing...no urge to push, etc. I've heard other mothers say they could feel some of that. I felt paralyzed. I must be the opposite and could probably use less, but I'm fine not being aware!

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I'm an out and unaware person too for procedures, except for my last heart ablation, they didn't knock me out, and it was horrible. The first time I had an ablation, they ended up knocking me out because they found four places misfiring, but the second time they didn't think about doing that, but they did give me some versed to try to relax. I was okay until my doctor said he was having issues finding the place misfiring, and I started crying. He ended up doing a different tracing to locate the area, and started killing it before they got me out, so I felt everything, and you wanna talk about pain, I thought I was dying.

I take drugs and knocking me out any day, I'm a big chicken when it comes to stuff like this. Of course, I end up waking up crying and freaking out, and feel like heck afterwards, but oh well.

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I didn't feel mine, but I was completely aware. I had stomach ulcers, and he was talking to me in the room before hand and asking what I wanted to go to school for and what not. When he still had the camera in he said "congratulations, you have stomach ulcers. I really know my s*** don't I?" I looked at him awkwardly, and he said "don't worry, you won't remember I said that." When I followed up with him the next week he was talking to me and right before he walked out of the room, I said "thanks you really know your s***." He turned so red and said I wasn't suppose to remember that.

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Hahaha! Love when doctors do what, and when you repeat it to them, they get the weirdest looks. Mine did something similar to that. I never saw this man blush so much!

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Anytime they give me compazine for nausea, my hr shoots up to over 200. And if I recall correctly, same thing happened when I got reglan too. I have both of these drugs on a listing of allergies now for those reasons alone. I have tachy issues anyways, I do not need anything else to make it worse.

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It wasn't until after the procedure I asked about this again and she said that "Most opt out sedation when it's a colonoscopy". No wonder! Who in their right mind could handle something like that? Never again. Not for $100,000 in cash!

Sorry Ryan that you had such a painful experience.

I'm at a loss to know why opting out of sedation with a colonoscopy would be any less painful. I thought that a colonoscopy would be very painful without sedation. Has anyone experienced this/

BLUE

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My first endoscopy was done at mayo. I was told I would be " out" and not feel a thing. Unfortunately that was not the case. Because of BP issues and tachycardia issues I too was held down, because of the pain and gag reflex response. The thing was they knew before hand, but did not tell me. Truthfully though, I'm glad I did not know what was coming, because I might have backed out and I REALLY needed the test.

Second endoscopy a few months later, I was able to prepare more. Drank 93 oz of water the hrs leading up to midnight when I had to be NPO. Then 18 gage needle IV fluids as soon as I got to hosp.

Was able to be completely out for procedure, with only slight tachycardia. Soooooo much better!

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It wasn't until after the procedure I asked about this again and she said that "Most opt out sedation when it's a colonoscopy". No wonder! Who in their right mind could handle something like that? Never again. Not for $100,000 in cash!

Sorry Ryan that you had such a painful experience.

I'm at a loss to know why opting out of sedation with a colonoscopy would be any less painful. I thought that a colonoscopy would be very painful without sedation. Has anyone experienced this/

BLUE

I have done endoscopy and about 15 minutes of colonoscopy without anything. I am very sensitive to meds, many give me tachycardia, high blood pressure and skipped heartbeats and I can't handle dental anesthetics.

Endoscopy was horrible because of chocking, burping and feeling like you want to puke but can't, but it wasn't really painful and it was over fairly quickly. Colonoscopy was very painful. I couldn't handle the pain at some point and was sedated for the last 10 minutes of the procedure. They said I was lifting my head and opening eyes from time to time, but I have no recollection of this. Anesthesiologist was very careful with me and I wish I've done it with sedation all along.

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