Saturday, 21 December 2013


This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. It started with a Monday of bowel preparation in.. preparation for my Colonoscopy on Tuesday.
Now I finally know the inspiration behind that song 'I Don't like Monday's'. (Hope your backside has recovered Mr Geldof).
Bowel prep for me is by far the worst part of the whole colonoscopy procedure. It's a day/day and a half where you are only permitted to drink fluids and down pint upon pint of a foul tasting formula intended to 'clear you out'. This is swiftly followed by rushing back and forward to the bathroom for said 'clearing out'; again a similarly unpleasant experience.

On the morning of the colonoscopy I was almost excited; glad to have the prep over with and looking forward to getting a cup of tea in a few hours and a decent snooze thanks to the lovely sedation. However, this didn't go as planned.
I expected to breeze my way through the whole event, having been through it several times before I felt I was well versed in what it entailed, and knew if I just relaxed it would all be over before I knew it. This time I was nauseous. I was calm at my impending Kodak moment but annoyed that I felt relentlessly queasy with a pounding headache. I just put all of this down to the effects of not having eaten and the horror of the bowel-prep. T
he colonoscopy itself was incredibly traumatic. It seems trifling even mentioning it now but it was surprisingly painful and VERY uncomfortable. I was wide awake the entire time and seemingly felt every manoeuvre of the scope. Ouch. The sedation itself is not designed to knock you out, just relax you - needless to say it didn't work. I can only remember flashes now, the main one being a creepy looking man in scrubs giving me the evil eye and squirting a syringe into the air like a scene from some horror film in which my backside is about to be involved in a Human Centipede type calamity.

After the scope I was given my tea and sandwich and it was divine. However not long after this was devoured the nausea returned and I was anxious to get up and get out of there. I was to speak to the nurse to discuss the results, a moment I always find strange; surely its more a job for my consultant and at a later date when I'm not still semi-sedated and unable to properly take any information more than my own name on board. Nevertheless we had the discussion and I was told I have a large area of active disease, highly ulcerated and with polyps thrown in for good measure. All of this around the resection site (where I'd had the last area removed through surgery). She said I was not to worry then sent me on my merry way.  
I was devastated. I was also still sick. I then threw up all the way home and from around 5.30 'til 4am. Thankfully I'd had the foresight to request a sick bowl, and to pick my boyfriend's Mum who spent years as a nurse as my lift home. I was well looked after and my poor boyfriend dealt with me shivering, sweating and shaking all night in between violently vomiting.
I was also crying. A LOT. I couldn't believe I was back to square one again, worrying about getting fired onto an operating table and stressing about having to deal with this level of pain until that happened. It suddenly felt more horrific when trying to eat - I knew what was going on inside and that made me feel repulsed at the reality of trying to pass food through. (I didn't say my feelings were founded on anything other than my own temporary insanity). I was utterly shocked as I genuinely thought the pain I'd been in was just brought on by stress.

A few days passed and I was to meet with my consultant. He reassured me that things were not as serious and as urgent as I'd been led to believe. He advised most of the ulcers and polyps had been taken away for testing and he would report back if there was anything further to cause concern. He advised me they have caught this flare-up quickly and at the moment there was no urgency for surgery. They would be taking me off my drug trial and starting me on steroids and other experimental drugs over the course of the next few weeks.

I went into his office white as a sheet and came out almost skipping.
I am chuffed to bits that surgery is not in my immediate future and keeping my fingers, toes and other bendable bits crossed that the next few weeks of treatment will get things under control and give me some relief. I've been back to work since and its become apparent although I'm not getting up close and personal with a scalpel anytime soon, I'm still sick. As trying to walk more than a few yards without passing out or throwing up have proven. I still need to take it easier and reduce my stress levels and I plan to do just that over the festive period.
I hope you all do too. 

Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued and unbelievable support over the last few months. I hope 2014 holds everything you wish for. But mainly good health and happiness.
Merry Christmas x x


  1. Hi Kathleen I have just read your experience with a colonoscopy ...I have had crohns for 30 years and have had 4 operations and a very nasty almost didn't make it out of there nightmare I have been living as normal a life as you can for the past 10 years but have started to have flare ups recently, I was offered a colonoscopy but heard so many horror stories I declined I have been steering clear of my doctor since and trying to cope myself but feel the time will come when she will offer me it again. If only I could be asleep I would go tomorrow but the answer to that request is no ....... so worried karen

  2. Hi Karen,
    Sorry to hear you have been struggling lately. I certainly think the best way to establish the full extent of what's going on is through a colonoscopy - it's no fun but it's a brilliant tool for the doctors! I think you should go for it - they can give you sedation which won't put you to sleep but will relax and calm you. My experience here was very unusual and has never happened to me in previous scopes so please don't let it put you off! Feel better x x