General Musings, Lifestyles, Ulcerative Colitis

My First Colonoscopy

Not necessarily a title I thought I would be writing when I started this blog over two years ago, then again I didn’t imagine I was going to end up in hospital last year and be diagnosed with a life long chronic illness.

But hey, that’s how the cookie crumbles.

As I am now technically in remission and have been pretty solid since leaving hospital last September (a little too solid if you look at my waistline…), at my last appointment I was told I would be scheduled in for a colonoscopy to see how my ulcerative colitis was looking after the outbreak and to get a clearer view of current scarring and progression.

I don’t think anyone likes the sound of a colonoscopy and what it entails. I know that I certainly wasn’t! But it would have been more idiotic to not go and get checked. Sooo…

Prep:
I didn’t realise how rigorous the prep for a colonoscopy was, and that you started it up to really a week before with phasing out iron supplements, only eating low fibre and no caffeine two days before ‘prep’ day, and then the amount of meds you take on the day. Ironically, with my current condition I would never submit myself to that amount of laxatives – too many summer 2016 flashbacks. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t have caffeine on an event day…..#eventprofessionalstruggle

In all honesty though, my prep went well, yes it wasn’t fun racing to the toilet more frequently and I was starving by the next morning. But I was good and kept myself hydrated, and seemed to avoid majorly bad stomach cramps, probably because I followed the stuff to the letter – and hell low fibre meant I could have that pastry for breakfast after my event day….heavenly!

Colonoscopy:
I was lucky in that my Mum was able to drive me to and from the hospital on the day, so I could have the sedative. By the time I got to the appointment (luckily in the morning) I was starving – and was avoiding food TV shows – though somehow it was still on at the hospital – burgers, torture! But I have to say the hospital and the staff in Endoscopy at John Radcliffe were so prompt, really quick and I wasn’t hanging around very long.

I don’t like needles – and needles really don’t go into me very well – but this time the Dr was really good and got the cannula in the vein first time. So a bonus! If I am honest I cant really tell how long the procedure was, it seemed very quick, but I suppose I was dopey on sedative and oxygen, I do know I was chatting to the Dr – it relaxes me. But it was pretty painless overall, and I can’t say I felt uncomfortable.

Recovery:
Pretty quick, of course my blood pressure would drop, but it was minimal, and I am not surprised as I usually have low blood pressure.I am sure I did in the hospital last year, but other than that I was fine and I got a cup of tea & a biscuit – heaven! The main drama was trying to contact my Mum to bring me my clothes as she had gone for a coffee and there was rubbish phone signal…typical!

Outcome?
I still need to have a follow up with the IBD Clinic and with my local surgery to discuss the results, overall things seemed fine, though I had a lot of polyps which I think the Dr wants to get down, but as I had a pretty severe outbreak last year, he wasn’t surprised they were there, but he wants to evaluate my medicines. But I didn’t get any major alarm bells. So I don’t feel worried.

Then best of all after the procedure I went with my Mum to the Garden centre to have a mooch and eat lunch – all I had was a pretty standard tuna mayo jacket, but  it tasted oh so so so nice. I even saw bunnies to boot. So it wasn’t really a dramatic day, and if anything I felt more hungry and tired from the experience than sore and rubbish. So definitely better than I expected.

Sorry if this was a long post – and potentially boring for some! But I hope it informed others about to have a colonoscopy in some way, yes it is not the nicest thing to have to do but really it is not the worst and it’s  a procedure that can save your life.

 

 

 

 

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