Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Crohn With The Wind

Had my dreaded colonoscopy today. I say 'dreaded' not because of the procedure itself, (although I can think of a million ways id rather spend an afternoon..) But because of my mental state in the last few weeks leading up to it. I had totally convinced myself something was terribly wrong, another op would be needed and all the worries that go along with that.
Stress makes my symptoms worse, so when i got the slightest twinge of pain, it just served to confirm my paranoia that I was going down that familiar diseased road.
On the whole I had nothing to base these worries on, I've been well for a good while now, other than the odd hiccup I've had minimal symptoms and have been leading a pretty 'normal' life.
I've had this procedure before so I knew what to expect, however the first time, I was in a staggering amount of pain and was desperate to finally get a cast iron diagnosis. Plus, this colonoscopy showed that my insides were so badly diseased an operation was the only option. Therefore, it was a positive thing, a 'positoscopy' if you will.
This time I had no clue what to expect and couldn't think straight.
Leading up to the procedure there is work to be done in preparation. 2days before going into hospital you should make sure you are eating a high fibre diet, the day before is for 'bowel prep' where you can only drink the lovely (disgusting) mixture used to help 'empty' your bowels. This, for me, is worse than the procedure itself! I can't drink or eat anything other than small bites or sips, so having to down 2litres of fluid, which i can only imagine has been personally squeezed from the Devil's teats, is a challenge and a half. Not including the other 2litres of clear liquid on top of that. No food for me = nausea and feeling faint.
So this morning leaving for the hospital, each time I lifted my legs they felt like lead and I was constantly on the verge of slipping into a hunger induced coma.
At the hospital it's a waiting game. A LONG waiting game. They explain what will happen, for a seasoned pro like me this is just going through the motions, then you WAIT and WAIT some more. Always take a book. I found it much more therapeutic to slip into someone's fictional world than to focus on what was happening next in my real one.
For those who don't know, a colonoscopy consists of a small camera being inserted into your back passage and around your bowel so they can get a look at your insides and take photos and biopsies to check. Like a weird internal paparazzi. It's amazing to watch on the screen - never thought i'd say that as I used to be the most squeamish person alive.
However I didn't get a free showing today as I was so tired and dizzy that as soon as they popped the oxygen mask on my face and drugs in my arm I was out cold. The professor who carried out the exam said this time it's much quicker as due to my previous op I have less bowel to get round! Makes sense I suppose, and also a big relief. As I was out I didn't feel a thing. The drugs you are given have a 'hypnotic' effect meaning you forget everything. When I awoke I was given some much needed tea and toast. YUM.
The professor told me the results are great - there is no 'active' disease in my bowel. Best result I could have hoped for! So over the moon I cant describe it.
It doesn't mean I am cured of course, I still have the disease itself - just for now I can wallow in the knowledge that my bowels are on their best behaviour. Nothing has spread and I am immensely grateful for that.
If you are going for this procedure, please bear in mind, it's nothing like the horror stories people who need shot tell you. It's a very simple and surprisingly comfortable few minutes in your life that in some cases can be vital to be able to give you the best life possible. I'm so happy its over with. I feel like I've taken back the reigns on a diseased horse that was getting out of control. Now it's tamed I have to take care of it as best I can so it serves me well in all our future adventures together.
Love, K

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