So on Thursday, having only just recovered from the ordeal of having metres of snake-like black tubing shoved down my oesophagus, I dragged myself to the day clinic once again to undergo another round of probing and prodding.
It was a joy that no words can describe. You really had to be there, and until you’ve had the experience of having an endoscopy you will never truly appreciate the shear horror and hilarity of the situation. It is something you have to experience to understand.
As a veteran of the endoscopy, having been submitted to so many of these bizarre treatments I have honestly lost count, having the metres of tubing probed inside my bowel didn’t really daunt me. Previously these investigations had been risky and tricky due to my bowel being inflamed with 13 years of Crohn’s/Colitis….and yes most of those times the investigations had been met with a sense of dread, mostly because of the discomfort and serious amount of pain they caused. But this time I only had part of my bowel, so although I was slightly afraid of the doctor being overzealous and forgetting I only had a tiny amount of bowel leaving me with the end of the tube sticking out of my abdomen like a weird waggling worm, I knew that it wouldn’t be half as painful or long.
I mean really there wasn’t that much to explore and what could they find that they hadn’t before? The possibilities were endless!
Unlike the day before – where I was left shaking in my boots and terrified when my GI poking around in my stomach said “oh nothing’s where it’s meant to be” referring to my stomach opening being in the wrong place….to which I could respond apart from dribbling and thinking SHIT that’s not good, get out now! – I was strangely calm. I remained cheerful throughout, well as cheerful as one can be when someone is forcing a scope up your arse.
My GI specialist nurse was doing the procedure. I was thankful for that. She knows my bowel better than I know the back of my own hand, and she was able to tell immediately if I was in pain or just uncomfortable. I guess after all these years of being my personal prober she knows just how far she can go before I will start to protest – I tend to be difficult to read as I try not to make any noise while these things are happening.
The low point of the whole thing was not being curled into the fetus position which my bum sticking in the air like a red-bottomed babboon and having someone poke around oohing and ahhing and saying things like that doesn’t look good. It wasn’t even watching in horror as the camera revealed a bowel spotted with ulcers and colitis looking like the scene from Alien, or the tugging sensation as they take the biopsies. No it was the reassuring chit chat before and during the investigation, supposed to calm me down and help me relax, but it really didn’t, do you know why? Because the nurse watching this very personal moment, and in charge of cleaning up after my bum and its contents had been exposed to the world, remarked on my address and then said “oh my brother lives on your development”. FANTASTIC so his first impression of me is going to be of a shiny bottom sticking up in the air…great first impression.
Anyway the results, from what we could see from the scope, were not great. Of course they were not the worse results of these investigations I have ever had…the last one revealed my bowel was beyond repair. This time they showed what was expected, that my Crohn’s/Colitis was very much starting to gain control on my rectal stump, and that, although it is not yet at emergency point, I am not doubt in the grip of a flare.
I mean I could have told them that without them sticking a big black tube up my arse.
I felt a bit wobbly after and considered going back to work. However, after being dropped home by a colleague I was soon glad I had resisted the temptation to go back to work. Due to the substantial amount of air I had been pumped up with I had an afternoon bout of uncontrollable farting, and diarrhoea to contend with….nice! Luckily this had gone down in time for my mate’s fancy dress Halloween party on Friday night, not that it mattered as I went as a round pumpkin!
for more information on Endoscopies and other investigations for Crohn’s/Colitis see an amazing document at Crohn’s and Colitis UK: