Hello, I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this thread as my experience was slightly different to you all, and I found this forum a tremendous help in the few days leading up to my colonoscopy this morning.
Background: I am a 33 year old male. No symptoms but family history (my Mum suffered from bowel cancer and passed away last year; my aunt had a polyp that was pre-cancerous) meant that my GP referred me for a colonoscopy.
My NHS trust's bowel prep of choice was Citrafleet, so a bit different to the Moviprep experiences you have all had. I started cutting fibre from my diet 4 days before the procedure, and yesterday I drank nothing but a clear liquid diet. I very much recommend something like Lucozade or Dioralyte to help stave off the threat of dehydration. I was also super cold from not eating, so be prepared to wrap up warm.
Citrafleet wasn't unpleasant - a bit of a weird lemon flavour - but I didn't have to cool it down / drink through a straw to make it pallatable. I took the first sachet at 4pm yesterday and had no BMs until roughly 6pm, after which it was somewhat constant until around 7pm. After that I had a trip to the toilet roughly every 30mins until I went to bed at 11pm, worried I was going to wake up in a pool of my own poop!
I set my alarm for 5am this morning and thankfully no such thing had occurred - I slept like a log (pardon the pun). I took the second sachet as soon as I woke up (I was advised 6am, but given I had a 9:45am appointment I took it an hour early) and it got to work much quicker - first BM was roughly an hour later at 6am. This continued right up to around 9am - by this point it was mostly clear with a few flecks of fecal matter. I was worried this meant it hadn't worked correctly, but I was told on arrival that this was indeed fine.
I walked to my hospital roughly 25mins away and was met by pleasant and lovely staff, who were both profressional but also kind and reassuring. We discussed sedative vs entonox gas, and the pros and cons of both, and I decided on the entonox gas. After changing into a gown and some jazzy pants I walked to the theatre and the procedure began after a few practice puffs on the gas/air mixture.
In my experience I would say it was mostly uncomfortable - with a couple of more intense cramping pains when they had to round the corners of my bowel. I had a few drags of entonox during these periods, but otherwise didn't require pain relief. They asked if I wanted to look at the screen but I opted to not look, and instead focused on literally anything else - what I was going to do later today, what my first food was going to be, etc.
They found a polyp (which is rare given my age, but family history means it's ultimately not surprising) which was removed - and was painless. Any periods of bloating/cramp quickly subsided a few seconds later. I won't lie - it's not the most pleasant experience - but everyone is different, and my experience goes to show that it's not all doom and gloom. If you're reading this and you're also anxious/nervous, know that just because one person had a terrible experience it doesn't mean you will, and it's easy to fixate on the negative experiences people post. I would also say that there are a far higher % of people posting on forums that have had a negative experience vs those that have had a positive one, so also bear this in mind.
Once we were done I was wheeled into the recovery area where, due to the entonox, I had to wait 30mins before being discharged. Having had no sedative meant I was free to go home alone, but my wife was with me anyway in case I had the sedative. I was back home and working by 1pm having had the biggest lunch in a long time!
Due to the polyp I'm due to have a colonoscopy again in 5 years, and because of this first experience I'm not nearly as worried as I was this time round. I'm happy to answer any questions if you have them!