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Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 18
Location: Israel
Post Colonoscopy
A bit off-topic but this seemed the best place to post this.

The docs want my mum to do a short colonoscopy. Last year we had a disastrous attempt at a full length colonoscopy. She didn't do the preparation properly and in short she suffered incredibly for nothing.

The prep for the short test is a lot more straightforward but I just can't see her doing it. I just see another source of suffering for and for me with little benefit. She has done CEA blood test which came out OK and the family doc says that as far as her finger goes there is no abnormality. Even if we did find something I can't see her pulling through treatments.

What would you do?

Father of five and manager of my mum's life

Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:59 am

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Colonoscopy
Starman, Frank will no longer have a colonoscopy, as you have stated, what if they found a problem, with us, we wouldn't have any procedures done, so no point of going thru a colonoscopy. Others have gone ahead with it and were relieved to find everything was fine. Good luck with your decision.

Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.

Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:11 pm

Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Colonoscopy
Derek has had two colonoscopies since Lewy--the last one being last March and it went smoothly. The first one--similar to your mother's--involved his throwing the prep solution across the room and never being really 'prepped'. Whether or not to do invasive testing is open to question in these situations. Even though I have had him undergo more testing than was probably prudent, I have finally asked that PSA tests, for instance, be eliminated, along with lipid panels. We want to continue liver and renal function tests and basic chemistries but, as you are wise to point out, if we would not opt for treatment, why get the diagnosis?

Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.

Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:11 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Colonoscopy
It is a very personal decision. I would decline. What good would finding an abnormality be if there isn't going to be treatment? Why go through the discomfort and the expense of the prep and the exam?

Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012

Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:30 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Colonoscopy

You might want to do some reading on the "slow medicine" movement to see if their ideas sit well with you. One of the champions of the movement is Dr. Dennis McCullough. He wrote a book called "My Mother, Your Mother." See:


Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:32 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3441
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Colonoscopy
I'm of the opinion, too, that tests and invasive procedures at this point would not be prudent to put our LOs through. I was very glad when my dad said "no more tests" about 2 years ago, and I would have declined them on his behalf if he hadn't, because I know that's what he would have wanted. There is quite a bit of discussion about colonoscopies and other tests on here in various places, including the Slow Medicine topic, as Robin pointed out. Good luck, Lynn

Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.

Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:12 pm
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