Sunday, November 21, 2010

Colonoscopy Results

I went to see my doctor on Thursday. First off, I have to say that all doctors should have a file outside the door to look over, so when they walk in the room, they know who you are and what they've done with you. This doctor walked in, shook my hand, told me it was nice to see me again and asked me if I was better.

Um... no. I had a colonoscopy, maybe you could tell me the results and then make it better?

He asked me what my symptoms were and I told him and then he asked if they had gotten better. Nope, you didn't give me medicine, why would I be better?

He finally checks out his computer and pulls up my file. Then he tells me "On November 12th, we tested your blood for anemia, it was fine. We also checked your kidneys and liver and they're fine." EXCELLENT. "We also did a colonoscopy on the 12th..." NO???? Really??? "Did you feel any of it?" Nope... good drugs.

He then told me that the biopsy results were fine, nothing abnormal there. YAY!!!!!!! He said there was no cancer there. Big relief there!!! He said there was inflammation called Proctitis near the end, the rectum area and that the most likely cause for that in a person my age is ulcerative colitis. Lovely. So, he prescribed a medicine called Rowasa and told me I needed to go for more blood work. Oh goody!!! Stupid, shiny vampires. And of course, I should come back in 2 weeks.

I asked a few questions and he told me that most of what I read online wouldn't apply because my UC is only in the rectum area and he's not worried about that. I also asked about the diverticulosis. He said I had that, but NOT diverticulitis. Not too sure on the difference, but I think it means the pockets are there, but they're not inflamed.

I'm then told that I need to go to the hospital to have the blood work done because it's a special, expensive test. They give me a big box to take with me. Great. I decide to do it then because the hospital is right there. I begged them to find me a bed so I wouldn't faint, they were nice enough to do that. This test is supposed to tell the doctor if I do have UC.

I also filled my prescription. I took it last night for the first time. It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't pleasant. It's an enema :( YUCK! And NOT an enema that you put in and then poop right out. You are supposed to go to bed, put it in, and stay there for 30 minutes. THEN you can move, but you are supposed to retain the medication in there for 8 hours!!!! Thankfully, I was able to do that last night. I'm hoping tonight goes the same way.

So, that's where I am... waiting for my next appointment to find out what the blood results show and see if this medication helps any.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Steps

Enough with the yucky colonoscopy stuff for a couple days.

My baby is walking. Bells started taking more than just a step Thursday night. She took a whole bunch and hasn't stopped since. I just can't believe how fast the past 10 months have gone. I knew it would zoom by, but this is ridiculous! Blink and the year is gone. Blink again and they kids will be gone. I'm trying so hard to remember absolutely everything.

I didn't even try to rush Bells. I told her to take her time and what does she do? Walks at 10 months. It's so exciting and so sad at the same time.

Why is it that the first year passes SO quickly, but the teen years DRAG on?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Colonoscopy Updates

Saturday - 10pm (the day after my colonoscopy). My stomach has quieted down, but I'm still passing a little gas. I have not had a bowel movement yet. The two times I went into the bathroom to try, only blood and mucous came out - YUCK! It's bright red blood, so I'm not TOO worried. However, the papers and nurse told me bleeding for 24 hours was normal. Well, it's been 36+. I will probably wait until Monday and call if I still haven't had a BM or if I'm still bleeding.

Sunday - late morning. I finally had a BM, wasn't bad at all. Wasn't real hard, wasn't diarrhea. It was fine at first, but blood at the end. I'm thinking it's from a hemorrhoid. Stomach only talked a few times. No other problems or issues.

Monday - things have been fine. BMs are okay. Just a few drops of blood here and there, nothing out of the ordinary. Not like Saturday at all. Anxious for Thursday's appointment.

Post Colonoscopy

I was feeling okay after the procedure, so we stopped at Denny's to eat. I had french toast. It tasted SO good! When we were done, we picked up the girls and went home. It wasn't until I was snuggled in bed for a bit that I read the paperwork they gave to my husband.

It reads:
Initial impressions from your exam are as follows:
-Diverticulosis sigmoid colon
-Diffuse moderate inflammation was found int he rectum secondary to proctitis ulcerative colitis. This was biopsied.
-The examined portion of the ileum was normal.
-The examination was otherwise normal.


I'm confused. I googled proctitis and that is inflammation, but what is the ulcerative colitis and does wording it that way mean I have it or they're not sure? And what is a diverticulosis sigmoid colon? Does that mean I have it? And why didn't the doctor mention these two things to either my husband or me?

So, now I have to wait until next week to find out what it all means. Frustrating.

I did nap. Maybe an hour and a half or two hours, I would have slept longer, but the kids were sleeping in the room with me and they woke up. I was tired, but felt fine. No pain. No other side effects. For dinner, I had half a sandwich and some cheese. I kept it easy. I had a small dessert, my taste buds needed something sweet!

We watched TV for the rest of the night, just relaxing. My stomach never stopped grumbling and growling. It didn't hurt, no cramps, just noisy! In fact, it's still making noise and it's 11:30am the next day. I'm starting to wonder if it will ever stop.

I do want to let anyone going through this who is breastfeeding know... it was fine. I breastfed all day the day of the prep, that night, and right before I went in the morning. When I got home, I pumped and dumped once. Then I started nursing her again. She has been fine. There is no reason you can't breastfeed while going through this procedure!!!!!

The Colonoscopy

After dropping the girls off at a wonderful neighbor's house who was willing to take all five of them at 6am, we made it to the hospital at 6:30. I was very impressed at how nice the staff was. The receptionist was nice, the admitting lady was kind, empathetic, and even funny. We got checked in and back in the prep area.

I had my own little room which shared a bathroom with one other room. There was a flat screen TV hanging on the wall. I loved that it was private and not all out in the open. The nurse was sweet, but I don't know if she was new or not too good with needles - because she stuck me THREE times. Now, those of you who know me, know I'm NOT good with needles. Push a baby out, no problem. Stick a needle in, big problem.

First she had to draw my blood... now WHY she could not do this when she was doing the IV, I don't know. Every other time I've had to have something done, they did it while putting in the IV. After drawing my blood, she switched to the other arm and started going on about the small veins in my hand and she was going to use that area on the other side of my elbow - don't have a clue if that is actually called something.

She gets it in and makes a mess. From what I could tell... blood everywhere. My sweet husband shielded my eyes. Once in and taped down, she made a face... I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, the IV wasn't working. She had to take it out. She called in someone else to put the IV in. This person put it in between my wrist and elbow. It HURT! But, it worked.

Then they brought me 2 nice, warm blankets and turned off those awful fluorescent lights. I was only in there a few more minutes before they came for me. I was wheeled into the procedure room, which was cold! The nurse checked my ID bracelets, put the blood pressure cuff on my arm, the oximeter on my finger, oxygen in my nose, and leads on my chest. They did a "time out" and made sure I was the right patient in for the right thing. Then the anesthesiologist verified I was breastfeeding, told me to pump and dump 1-2 times and then warned me that the sedation medication would burn as it went in and then go away... which is exactly what it did. Then I felt fuzzy and warm and......... I was out!

I remember I was dreaming... no idea what about though.

Then I woke up, slowly. The nurse said "good morning" and immediately started taking off all the things attached to me, including the nasty IV. She informed me that "all the doctor found was proctitis". I had NO clue what that meant and wasn't awake enough to ask. She wheeled me back to my private room where my husband was waiting for me.

The nurse told me once I was awake enough to get dressed and I could go. She brought me ice water and saltine crackers - yummy! Still it felt good to drink and eat a little something. I didn't want to move though. I was warm and tired. My husband told me that the doctor had told him my colon near my rectum was inflamed, that they had taken a biopsy of it and would have the results by my follow up on Thursday.

I finally got dressed and dh went to get the car, they sat me in a wheelchair and brought me down to the exit. Every time I have something done at the hospital and I get wheeled out alive, I praise God. I thank Him for returning me to my family.

To be continued...

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Dreaded Colonoscopy Prep Part 2

I was late... again. I was supposed to start at 10pm and ended up starting at 10:15. I grabbed the mixture out of the fridge along with my can of orange soda, my glass of water, and my chicken soup. I plugged my nose really tight, took 2 deep breaths, then took a deep breath and sucked. Four gulps down! Whooo! Gag! EW!! And swish, spit, breathe.

Now, repeat.

The first 240ml went down "okay". Minimal gagging. The second wasn't "too bad" either. But, then it was like torture. I had to talk myself into it, patting myself on the back after each time. Plus I had started shivering so bad I was wrapped in my winter robe and my teeth were still chattering! So, needless to say the second half went slower, much slower. But, I managed to get the whole jug down in an hour and a half. The last four gulps made me gag like never before.

I did go potty a lot. My BMs never ran clear, they ran yellow. I read online that it was bile and normal. But, I had expected them to be clear. It was clear yellow though. Once I was done with the drink, had gone potty again, I got in a HOT shower. I stayed there for half an hour at least warming up.

I continued going to the bathroom until about 1am. My butt did get a little sore, but not as bad as I had expected. I didn't need the Tucks. I only used Desitin once. I had been prepared with the vaseline and the flushable wipes, I really think that helped.

Sleep didn't come easily though. I was hot, then cold, then hot again. I tossed and turned, couldn't get comfortable, and of course thought about the next morning. Bells woke up around 4am and I ended up nursing her for about an hour, I had to get up at 5 anyway. I think I maybe slept an hour or two.

I ended up on the potty a couple more times and my BMs were still yellow, but cloudy, which worried me. I started worrying that I wasn't cleaned out well enough, that the doctor would get in there and not be able to do the test. I finished that disgusting prep though, so I could only be hopeful.

In case you missed it... YES, I did breastfeed my 10 month old daughter through the prep. No problems, she didn't get diarrhea, it was fine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dreaded Colonoscopy Prep

It's bad - yes, it's THAT bad. Because there aren't many "young" people who go through this, I decided to blog about it in hopes of helping someone else my age who has to do this.

I'm 35, no spring chicken, but not 50 either. 50 is the recommended age to get your first colonoscopy. I had hoped that by the time I reached 50 and needed one, they (whoever they are) would have developed a better tasting or easier prep. Unfortunately, I couldn't wait until I was 50.

Why am I having one? For as long as I can remember I have either been constipated or have had mashed potato like BMs. Not diarrhea, just mush. I often spend hours in and out of the bathroom, with 5 kids, that's no fun and not always doable. Usually when I start going potty, I have to plan about 3 hours and by the end, my BMs are tinged with blood. Then later on in the day, I usually pass some mucous - which I know can't be normal.

Many doctors have told me I should have a colonoscopy. But, I have always pushed it off, even cancelled a couple, in fear of the prep!! But, recently, I've become more and more worried about my health and I knew it was time. My regular doctor recommended a nice gastro doctor and he did recommend the colonoscopy and gave me the prescription for MoviPrep.

The appointment was made 2 weeks later - many times in those 2 weeks, I almost called it off. But, I kept looking at the sweet faces of my girls and knew I had to do this.

So, along came Thursday afternoon. I was allowed to eat a breakfast, so had an english muffin. The rest of the day, I would be on a clear liquid diet. I was supposed to start my prep at 4pm, but I couldn't until about 4:20pm. It is supposed to be done in an hour, but it was 2 hours. So, I mixed these 2 packages into the container they give you, add water and then I put it in the fridge. (I did this in the morning, so the drink was cold.) I got plastic cups and straws. You have to drink 240ml every 15 minutes.

1st 240ml - Put in plastic cup, used small, drinking straw. First 3 gulps went okay. When I went to do it again.. UGH!!!!! It's a sweet - no... ultra sweet, nauseating taste. And it smells like cleaner. It tastes like what I would think cleaner might taste like. I chased it with water and orange soda. BLECH! I gagged. I almost threw up many, many times.

2nd 240ml - I put ice in the cup (the first one had started to get warm by the time I had drank it all). I used the straw again. UGH!!!! Still awful! Kept gagging.

3rd 240ml - Tried drinking it without a straw, but with ice. A few gulps here, a few gulps there. But, when I was halfway there, I knew I couldn't drink the rest like that. So, I went in search of a bigger straw. A wider one like the kids get at restaurants or come with big, refillable amusement park cups. This is how I finished this one.

Then I read some tips at a website.

4th 240ml - Plugged nose TIGHT (I had plugged nose before, but not TIGHT). So, I plugged tight, took a deep breath in and out, in and out, in and held it and sucked as much as I could through the wide straw. Before letting go, I drank orange soda through a straw, and then a gulp of water to swish around and spit out... finally followed by a big sip of warm chicken soup. This was the easiest way.

And this is where I am now... Part one done. Part two to start at 10pm. I started having BMs about an hour after I started drinking. They come every 10 minutes.

I'm being proactive. Instead of waiting for my bottom to start hurting, I put vaseline on before I go to the bathroom and I use flushable wipes instead of toilet paper, and then when I'm done, I put on some Desitin. I have my sitz bath and Tucks ready in case I need them.

The liquid diet hasn't been too hard... yet. I started to get hungry around 1pm. I don't like a lot of things, so Jell-o was out as well as many other drinks. I drank orange soda and water most of the day. I had orange popsicles and then I tried chicken broth... chicken broth does not taste good. So, I warmed up a can of chicken noodle soup and took the broth out of it and drank that.

Besides going to the bathroom, the only problems I've had have been a little headache, and some lightheadedness. Oh, and my stomach is making noises I've never heard it make before!!

This has been part 1. I shall be back with part 2, either later or tomorrow.