When I had big fun at my colonoscopy five years ago, I was disappointed that I'd have to wait ten years for another one.
Oh... I'm totally lying. The procedure itself wasn't terrible at all... it's the prep for the colonoscopy which is absolute agony. You essentially have to completely clean out your bowels over four days of special low-fiber diet followed by liquid diet and something which reams your colon out by causing constant diarrhea. I made the HUGE mistake of scheduling my previous colonoscopy the day after Halloween, which meant I was passing out candy in-between sitting on the toilet.
Then I found out that since I had "pre-cancerous polyps" removed from my last colonoscopy, my doctor wanted me to have another one after only five years. And today was the day.
Except I actually had two things I needed to have done, which gave me a choice... have the colonoscopy with light sedation today, then come in on Friday... OR have the colonoscopy with NO SEDATION today, and have my other stuff done after. Since the worst part of the colonoscopy (the prep) would have to be done either way, I decided to get everything out of the way in one go instead of having to take an extra day off work.
The prep was, as I remembered, horrendous.
The colonoscopy with zero sedation? Not as horrific as you might imagine. Though just about any experience after colonoscopy prep is going to seem like a walk in the park.
There is some discomfort as the doctor drives the scope around your innards... and it hurt a bit when he was going around a corner of my colon... but I have to say that it was fascinating being fully conscious and watching it unfold in real-time on a TV screen while I was chatting with the doctor. I think it was fun for him too, as I am incredibly funny and charming and he had a much better time than if I were fading in and out of consciousness. We talked about all kinds of things... like how fantastic my prep was because there were no seeds or fiber in my colon... and what he was doing and looking at with each step of the procedure. It was... despite minor pain... a great experience.
PLUS I was able to stroll right out of the recovery ward. After putting my clothes on of course.
I then walked over to have my labs done and go my second appointment (which was not nearly as much fun). If I didn't have the second procedure, I could have just drove home. No waiting. No bothering a family member or friend to drive me.
And so... yeah... next time I have to have a colonoscopy, I am going to skip the sedation again. I don't know that it's for everybody (especially if your pain tolerance is low) but the benefits are just too good to ignore.
The great news is that my colon was clean as a whistle. No polyps (pre-cancerous, cancerous, or otherwise).
No idea if I have to get another colonoscopy in five years or ten years. Hopefully I will have forgotten most of the prep ordeal by then, because right now the memory is fresh and I never want to go through it again.