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Colonoscopy – Prep through Recovery

  • By FlyDragonfly

    Hi Everyone: This is my first post in the forum. I have battled migraines since I was 16. I am 50 now and can still remember that first one. I am in the midst of menopause or pre-menopause. I have colon cancer in my family history and decided to have one last week at the urging of my internist. I was worried about the prep and not being able to eat but I made it through with homemade chicken broth, lime jello, lemon drop candies and Sprite/Coke. On the day of the procedure, the doctor asked me if I had ever had twilight anesthesia. I told him I hadn’t and that I had concerns about the twilight working for me. I was concerned that with all of the meds that I have taken and continue to take over the years for migraines that it wouldn’t work as well and I would feel everything. He told me that he would try it with a normal dose and then if I feel pain or discomfort that I should let him know. I felt discomfort right away and they gave me another dose which helped. I did have one polyp that starting bleeding quite heavily and he had to put metal clips on it that stay there until they basically fall off in several weeks. As a result of that bleeding I was told that I couldn’t take any NSAID’s and he literally told me to not get a migraine for 5 days after the procedure! Like I have any control over them!! Well sure enough, I woke up on day 2 after the procedure and had a killer migraine. I was panicking because I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t take. While I was struggling with the pain and nausea I looked up the precautions on my Relpax. I didn’t want to make the decision on my own so I called and talk to one of the gastro nurses. She said she wasn’t sure about the Relpax but thought it should be fine for me to take it. I urged her to ask a doctor, which she did and he said that it wasn’t safe and I could have a clot break loose. I ended up only being able to take Norco, which I don’t like to do. I had to take more than I am comfortable with and it was awful. That leads me to today….migraine hangover/Norco hangover, brain fog, nausea. I was told that I have to have another colonoscopy in 6 – 12 months. I feel like I should have been better prepared for this but I had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to take my Relpax. Does anyone have any tips for preparing for this or am I doomed for the next one?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi GoNavy,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Prepping for a colonoscopy is not on my top 10 list, but a necessity. I had a colonoscopy years ago, thankfully without much migraine trouble.

    This is what I did – because triggers can be cumulative, or stackable, a few days to a week before the prep, I made sure to avoid my strong triggers. For example, I stay hydrated, didn’t skip meals and kept a regular sleeping pattern. Luckily, I was able to avoid an attack during and after my prep. Does that make sense? Read more about that here; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/.

    I hope that helps,
    Nancy

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    • By FlyDragonfly

      Hi Nancy:

      Thanks for your reply! I was able to avoid all triggers pre procedure. It was 2 days later the migraine hit me. It was probably unrelated to the colonoscopy. My issue was the fact that I couldn’t take my Relpax due to having a bleeding polyp that had to be clipped. I had to take too much Norco to help with the pain. I ended up with severe constipation from the Norco which did not help matters. Next year when I have another colonoscopy I am hoping to have a plan in place in the event that I can’t take the Relpax again. Maybe something other than Norco that might be more potent so that I don’t have to take so much medication. I’m going to work on it with my neurologist.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Maybe you need to be mindful of triggers a few weeks before the procedure? I’m saying this without anything to back it up, but it couldn’t hurt!!

    May I ask how many migraine attacks you get a month? If we get three or four severe attacks a month, it’s time to talk to our doctor about prevention, in addition to taking medications triptans (Relpax) that stop attacks. It’s important to prevent episodic migraine from becoming chronic, and that means prevention. Take a look at this article when you get a chance; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives-start/.

    Have a great weekend.
    Nancy

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  • By FlyDragonfly

    I actually did a pretty good job with triggers before the procedure (sleeping, eating, extra hydration). Sometimes when I get nervous or anxious about something, my body will fight off the migraine until the anxiety decreases and then the migraine hits. I also get migraines when I cry or am very upset about something. There are many more triggers but that is the one trigger that I think got me after the procedure. I typically get 2 to 3 migraines a month on average. Sometimes it’s just 1 or maybe have a month without a single migraine. It’s all over the board. I am on a preventive (verapamil). Before the preventive, I was an everyday migraine sufferer. All I know is that when I get one, if I can’t take the Relpax, I’m a mess.

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