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Author Topic:   To BE or Not to BE
LindaB
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Posts: 658
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-06-1999 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LindaB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The last time I saw my primary care doc was in early November. He said then that the next step would be a Barium Enema x-ray, but that he would rather not put me through that if we could avoid it. I like this guy and from the posts I've read on this procedure I am most reluctant to go for it unless the results are worth the pain. What is this going to show them that the colonoscopy I had in 1997 didn't? That was when the gastroenterologist first gave me the diagnosis of IBS. He said I didn't have any polyps but did have "some" diverticu-losis. I was doing really well until just after Thanksgiving, when I bought a computer that has not worked right since day one. Big time stress from that, the holidays etc. etc. Have been hurting almost constantly since in the sigmoid area of the colon, and elsewhere when I dummy up and eat the wrong thing. So my question to those in the know is what benefit is to be gained from the BE at this point? Would appreciate the wisdom of your experience and expertise.

TBrnot
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Posts: 125
Registered: Sep 98

posted 02-06-1999 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TBrnot   Click Here to Email TBrnot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It probably would show your diverticulitis again. It isn't bad. I had one two weeks ago. Why not spend the money on a new computer? For the test cost you could get yours totally refurbished. And then your stresses would be more tolerable.

TBrnotTB

LindaB
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Posts: 658
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-06-1999 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LindaB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TBornotTB - I should have clarified two things. This is a brand new computer, an HP 6360, and their tech support people have been very helpful so far. They have replaced the minitower, keyboard, mouse, and all components inside the second minitower. The only things left from the original purchase are the 17" monitor and the color inkjet printer. I am beginning to suspect a poltergeist. And secondly, the BE test would not cost me anything since I am under an HMO. Am trying to control the stress factors, but when you are retired and spend $1,800 for a new computer that keeps freezing up, that is not easy. And I keep kicking myself in the *^& for throwing away the boxes too soon, but don't have much storage space in this condo. Thanks for your prompt reply

K
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Posts: 314
Registered: Oct 98

posted 02-06-1999 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for K   Click Here to Email K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If your doctor recommends this test, I would just take his advice. I think that BE's are supposed to show like 25% more than colonoscopys. I had one when I was 8 years old, so I know that if I lived thru it then, you can do it too!! Good luck! K

Elissa
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Posts: 137
Registered: Oct 98

posted 02-06-1999 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Elissa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Linda, I had a BE a 1-1/2 years ago, and it wasn't bad at all. It's a bit uncomfortable since you feel like you really have to GO during the whole thing, but it's definitely bearable. I would get it done for the peace of mind. I'M the one who's afraid I'll have to have a colonoscopy one day! The thought of being sedated scares me silly! Anyway, I'm sure the discomfort of the BE is nothing compared to what you've already experienced with IBS. Good luck. You'll be fine!

LindaB
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Posts: 658
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-07-1999 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LindaB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
K - Was interested in your reply about BEs showing more than colonoscopies. I have assumed it would be the other way around. Is it because the BE uses the liquid and that would show pockets or ulcers or something? Why wouldn't the GI see those with the c..scopy?

JuJuB
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Posts: 19
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-07-1999 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JuJuB   Click Here to Email JuJuB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was always told that a colonoscopy would show the entire colon. Usually a colonscopy is the last test after you have had the series of other test: UGI, BE, Endoscopy,barium swallow. Which in turn,I have had all those test except the colonoscopy. LindaB, my BE was not good, and I will never have another one. If I get anymore test it would be the colonoscopy. I can not waste that kind of money on the test for it to show up the same thing as the other test did. IBS

Birdy
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Posts: 46
Registered: Feb 99

posted 02-07-1999 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Birdy   Click Here to Email Birdy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was told by the Radiologist that did the Lower GI on me , These test's look for anything abnormal in the colon , intestines etc. Anything from a narrowing passage , tumor's , holes actually in the intestine itself. These test's cover a wide range of possible problems and they need to rule them out one by one.

JillAnn
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Posts: 304
Registered: Dec 98

posted 02-08-1999 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JillAnn   Click Here to Email JillAnn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Linda,

If I were you, and your doctor is ho-hum about the BE, I wouldn't do it. I survived mine, obviously, but I won't lie to you, it was horrible. After is was over I felt like I'd survived childbirth, (I haven't really had any kids yet) but then my tests showed nothing and I was very frustrated that I went through all that for nothing.

My GI wants me to have a colonoscopy in case the BE didn't show everything she wanted to see, but I refuse unless I get REALLY, REALLY bad. At least for that you are asleep.

I don't want to scare you and if your doctor wants you to have it done, I think you should. That way you will know for sure, but it is uncomfortable, and humiliating, no walk in the park for me.... but you would survive! (it doesn't take that long either)

Good Luck in whatever you decide. Just make sure that the decision is yours with advice from your doctor!

J

rockcandi1
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Posts: 239
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-08-1999 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockcandi1   Click Here to Email rockcandi1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i have had IBS for about 7 yrs now with various symptoms at first it was both C&D now it is D all the time anyway i have not had test one done,i figured if it was anything serious i would be a lot worse off than i am after 7 yrs of this crap, there is an OTC test for blood in the stool and unless it shows something i can't see putting myself through all of that pain just to be told what i already know I HAVE IBS.

heykate
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Posts: 556
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-08-1999 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heykate   Click Here to Email heykate     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, LindaB

So far, I've read all the posts about the BE and have kept silent because I know that it can be very useful in detecting serious problems. However, I've had two and will probably not do it again unless I suspect cancer. My problem is, that with such a sensitive colon, the before cleaning out made me really sick. I barely made it to the hospital and had a really hard time keeping it in on the table. Afterward, I was sick for days with pain and D. I've asked my doc if there are any other tests that will show similar stuff (ie - MRI, cat-scan, ultra-sound - etc) that is less invasive (I'd be willing to pay any extra) and she said no - the BE and colonoscopy are still the only way to go. I find that offensive to say the least! It's bad enough we are so sick with this garbage, but to put us through such agony, to me, adds incredible insult to injury.

Now, my mom had a BE a couple of years ago and had no problems at all. BOTH of mine were a nightmare. So, if there is a question of a *serious* problem, I'd have it. If not, then I wouldn't. Does anyone else know of any other tests which can be done to get the same results with less invasiveness?

LindaB
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Posts: 658
Registered: Jan 99

posted 02-08-1999 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LindaB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to all of your for your advice and suggestions. As usual, we are all sooooo different and our experiences with the tests vary greatly among us. The colonoscopy I had was a genuine nightmare, probably because they did not give me enough joy juice, and I didn't have sense enough to yell for more. I do have a call in to my PCP to **discuss** the BE. K's comment that it shows 25% more than a colonoscopy made me decide to at least consider the possibility.
Thanks so much for all your prompt responses to my post.

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