The Colonoscopy >-<


It’s safe to say that I wasn’t looking forward to the colonoscopy!

Well the preparation instructions arrived, which included a package of laxatives, as if things weren’t bad enough! and instructions for a low residue diet.. zzzzzzzzz. How dull is that?!? two days of that and I was fed up. Being a very literal person, I just took the ideas from the leaflet, so to anyone out there that has to be on a low residue diet, top tip! do some research online and check with the hospital team what is allowed and what isn’t. I didn’t, and spent two days eating white bread, chicken, white rice and lots of water. By day two, I was so bored with it that I gave my dog what was left of the chicken and rice. Add to that the required laxative doses and my appointment wasn’t until 6pm, I felt pretty fed up. I tried to use Mindfulness to deal with my anxiety by trying to focus on what was directly in front of me and stay in the moment. Mindfulness is a great skill to cope with anxiety and stress and actually enjoy life in general, but it takes a lot of practice and I wasn’t able to fully engage in it. Instead I realise that I went into my default mode of denial and distraction! These are also good coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety and a skill I can use quite easily. 🙂

I arrived at the hospital at 4.50 as instructed. I was seen by a nurse who confirmed my appointment and personal details and I was shown to my room. Yep! My room! What a new world this private care is. It all seemed a bit much for a quick 30 minute proceedure…but I wasn’t complaining and went with it. A menu was set out on the cabinet next to the bed, I thought that was a bit cruel! But apparently that was for after the procedure but all I wanted was a cup of tea and to get back home. I was told that the colonoscopy would probably be about 7pm not 6pm and that the consultant would come to see me before going down. Left alone in the room I felt a bit lost, so I sat on the bed, watched pointless and began to relax, periodically drooling through the menu!

The consultant arrived and seemed surprised how relaxed (and perhaps cheerful?) I was. He went through the procedure. I had done a little research on the Internet about Crohn’s Disease by this time and read about colitis too. That sounded a much better option! Deciding colitis was the lesser of two evils I asked hopefully “Do you think it could be colitis?”
“No!” came the confused, but very firm reply. “I’m looking for Crohn’s Disease.” Damn it!! and then almost dismissively he said “and anaesthetic…”
“Yep!” I quickly confirmed.
He looked surprised “Are you having anaesthetic?”
“Yep, everything! Give me everything you’ve got!”
“Oh ok, well I wont give you too much, so that we can still have a conversation during the procedure.” What?!? A conversation during a colonoscopy?!? I dont know what sort of conversation he thought we were going to have, but I had a strong sense he was being rather optimistic!

Once in the gown I began to get very sleepy and started yawning. As I was wheeled into the procedure room, I quickly scanned my surroundings and felt a little overwhelmed by all that equipment. My nerves kicked in and I wasn’t sure whether I felt reassured or creeped out when the anaesthetist stared at my hands and said with glee “Oooh look at those veins!” 20mgs of pethidine later…oh dear..pethidine. That’s not good…I had that during labour once, and it sent me as high as a kite!! The conversation the consultant was hoping for was fast becoming a fantasy….

I can remember watching the screen and the nurse calling my name, asking me if I could hear them. I apologised, looked at them and with a glazed look turned back to the screen. And that’s all I remember until I reached the recovery room. The consultant came to speak to me and confirmed it was Crohn’s Disease and that he would be referring me for an MRI. What seemed like an age, it probably wasn’t!, I was taken back to my room. In my mind I’m good to go, but I was put into the bed and the side bars on the bed were raised. That confused me a bit! I was feeling ok and itching to get home, and no-one actually said I needed to stay and rest, so I sat and twiddled my thumbs becoming increasigly bored and agitated. I decided it was time to get dressed, and I climbed over the raised railings out of the bed and donned my clothes. I went and peeped outside the door. The staff saw me straight away, “What are you doing out of bed?”
“I’m ready to go home”
“You can’t go yet. I put the bars up to stop you getting out.” That’s why they were up!
I was sent back to my room with a cup of tea and some biscuits and went home when my lift arrived. I didn’t experience any side effects, other than feeling pretty good! 🙂 I’m not sure if it was the relief that it was all over or the pethidine!

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