In twenty-four hours I will be in my hospital's Gastrointestinal Unit waiting room, awaiting the joy that is a colonoscopy. Please note that the MM Sarcasm is currently dialed up to high. Nobody really looks forward to tests, and for a test that involves forcing a camera up your arse, I'd better be a little silly about it or I'll whine.
What is a colonoscopy? Why would you have one? Look — I'm being helpful! Lots and lots of us find ourselves needing this test – with symptoms of bowel issues/as you age/or with familial risk of disease — a colonoscopy is a very common test.
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colo-rectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss.
- What are the colon and rectum?
- How to Prepare for Colonoscopy
- How is colonoscopy performed?
- At what age should routine colonoscopy begin?
- For More Information
Certainly it's one of the most GLAMOROUS tests to have! But, when you're dealing with a symptom of bowel disease/disorder, it may come as a welcome relief … perhaps diagnosis can come of this test. That's where I am at.
I want my pain to stop. It's been ridiculously long.
If you're not a long-term reader of my blog (which this is, a personal blog! Hi!) I've had some special lower abdominal discomfort, pain and other symptoms for ONE FULL YEAR on 12/15. (Yay! We're going to give it a party on the weekend. Oo …)
It started with what I thought was alfalfa sprouts. <laughing> Really. I was on a sprout kick and eating lots of them when this pain in my lower left quadrant appeared. When I explained this to the gastro doctor, I got the look of complete confusion. "You're not serious." Well, how would I know?
I had laparoscopic exploratory surgery last March 1st to rule out functional issues arising from the gastric bypass surgery years before. The bariatric surgeon did not find an obstruction or Petersen's Hernia, and sent me on my way, as it seemed that this issue had "nothing to do with the bypass."
He suggested finding a GI. I did. I've seen a couple since then, the advice has been "eat more fiber, you're probably full of it." That's great, doc. But, that's part of my problem.
I healed from the exploratory surgery and continued to have the original pain. Every single day. It comes in waves, the the pain level varies dramatically. I've been in a sort of discomfort every day for about 362 days. I call it sitting in a pretzel. I've been sitting like a pretzel for a year. I cross my legs, and attempt to squish my lower left gut into a pleasant contortion. I sleep with my left hand on my pain, or lay on my right side, with my left leg up to squish it up to fall asleep. I've often thought it was a hernia of some type because of my propensity to try to "put it back in place," and the fact that it sometimes feels like I trigger the pain with movement.
At times it feels 100% digestive. I react violently to fiber, fibrous vegetables, sugar alcohols, some "flavoring" mixes, etc. Who knew that Meatloaf Mix would make me implode?! What is IN THAT STUFF? I still choose to eat some of these foods — but I have to be prepared for the reaction. I eat a limited diet to avoid side effects, and it bothers me as many of the healthier foods that I adore and WANT to include in my diet: make me rot. Literally.
What do I think? I don't know, but I think there's a couple of things going on since my symptoms overlap into different issues. Or not. I really have no clue.
(But, remember too — I'm still having seizures. Every 7-14 days right now, I have 2-3 seizures in a day. Related, probably not, but they are still HAPPENING.)
I often wonder if there's something I am doing. Tell me. I'll fix it.
Visceral Sensations and Brain-Gut Mechanisms
Over the past several years, different mechanisms located within the gut, or gut wall have been implicated as possible pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the characteristic IBS symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort. The list ranges from altered transit of intestinal gas, alterations in the colonic flora, immune cell activation in the gut mucosa, and alterations in serotonin containing enterochromaffin cells lining the gut. For those investigators with a good memory, these novel mechanisms can be added to an older list of proposed pathomechanisms, including altered gut motility ("spastic colitis") and alterations in mucus secretion.
Professor of Medicine, Physiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences; Director, Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Emeran A. Mayer, MD
It could very well be that I just have some sort of irritable bowel. My bowels just don't like food, I have said recently that I think I am allergic to food. I would not be surprised. I just want to rule out other gut issues (like colitis, etc.) — my grandmother had a colostomy at a very, very early age.
Or maybe not, and I am still hosting an alien in my LLQ.
No matter what, this test is necessary, bring on the fluids – it's liquid diet time.
Fun with water, tea and chicken boullion!
Then later I party! Bottles of sparkling laxatives!
Harvard suggests – "Better yet, once the preparation starts to work, stay in the bathroom — because when the urge hits, it’s hard to hold back. Consider setting up shop near the toilet with music, your laptop, magazines, or books."
"Fun." I really know how to have it. I bet many of you do too. How did your colonscopy go? Fun, yeah?